I grew up going to flea markets and antique fairs with my mom. I remember two things the most – the treats and the fact that I wasn’t allowed to touch anything. You know, for fear that my little hands might end up breaking something. It’s only natural that I would grow up to love old things. I prefer pieces of furniture that tell a story and, even if they don’t, I simply dream one up.
I will say, however, that after getting married, I did have to go through some adjustments. Some of the things I’d pick out were so old or disheveled my selection would leave Vitaliy responding, “Candace, no way. That looks like something my grandma owned back in her village in Ukraine.” After going back and forth like this the first two years of our marriage, we finally found our mutual design aesthetic which is a good mix of modern and vintage. And when I say vintage, it can’t resemble grandma’s village.
As much as Vitaliy may dislike beat-up old things, he does have a great appreciation for quality vintage items with a history and story like I mentioned earlier. I think his appreciation grew after attending his first antique fair. We attended our first Alameda Antique Fair and, while I practically sped walked the aisles, Vitaliy would get lost in a booth for an hour and I’d have to swing back around to find him. This has become one of our favorite things to do together. I’ve since tried to slow my pace and we peruse the aisles somewhat together sharing cool things we find while building our own history with the items we bring home.
If you live in Northern California, you must check out the Alameda Antique Fair. There’s nothing like it! After attending a few times now, here are a few tips and tricks.
Wear layers as the weather changes throughout the day and your most comfortable shoes.
Bring sunscreen, water, and snacks. Though, there are food vendors.
Upon arrival, drive to the front of the parking lot, there are always open spots regardless of what it may look like.
If you don’t own a truck, borrow a friend’s for the day just in case you find some good stuff.
The last hour you can really bargain because the vendors would prefer not having to pack the stuff up and haul it home.
Make a list of things you need because you can easily get overwhelmed by all the stuff.
Our highlight purchase of this trip was an old typewriter that Vitaliy found. We were able to bargain down the price after Vitaliy’s inspection found two broken keys. He was like a kid in a candy story. He’s already purchased the ribbon and is gearing up to send out letters soon. I imagine he’ll write his mother-in-law first to thank her. Everything we know about thrifting and anique-ing we learned from mom.