How to Vintage Shop for Entertaining Decor
This post has been sponsored by the Parkdale Village BIA
If you live in the Greater Toronto Area and are looking to jazz up your dining room, or if you're a food blogger on the hunt for some fantastic props, there's a great way to support local businesses and get your home decor fix in. Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood has some of the city's best known collections of eclectic antique and vintage shops, perfect for the Shop the Neighbourhood campaign starting November 28 and running for the duration of December.
Regardless of whether or not you live in Toronto, supporting local businesses in your community can be a great way to support the vibrancy of your neighbourhood and inject money back into the economy, and you'll often be surprised at what you find on your search for the perfect serving platter or new set of cocktail glasses.
In partnership with the Parkdale Village BIA, we visited some fantastic finds in Toronto's west end, and we're rounding up some of the best spots to find the perfect vintage decor items for your next dinner party or special occasion. Take an afternoon to get out and explore your city – we promise that the hunt itself is so much fun! Here's just some of what we found…
Old Trunk Antiques (1706 Queen St. W)
This small and unassuming antiques store is filled with immaculate antiques to add to your plate ware and glass ware collection. Whether you're looking for that perfect set of martini glasses or some decorative vintage plates, you'll quickly find what you're looking for here. Everything is in spectacular condition regardless of its age, and there are some even some smaller furniture items available for purchase.
Queen Antiques (1698 Queen St. W)
Queen Antiques is a bit rougher around the edges than many of the other stores we visited, but it has a great website displaying some of its better finds. Some items are quite unique, like this Travelling Tea Service most likely from the late Victorian era. If you're looking to take home a piece of history, this is where you'll find it!
Contrast Living Ltd. (1688 Queen St W)
Contrast Living is a bit different from your average antiques store: everything here is modern and carefully handpicked. There's a mix of kitchen and home decor items, and the store also does custom orders for furniture if you're really looking to go all out. Another reason we love this store is because they partner with local artisans and designers to sell their products in store. Our favourite find? Metallic mason jar mugs complete with striped straws.
The Toronto Designers store is based on a super cool concept – local designers can rent out booths for reasonable prices in their 3000 square foot showroom, and the store doesn't take consignment so vendors can offer their products for reasonable prices without the store taking commission. There are so many different booths, all with different themes and displays from jewellery to clothing, and furniture to entertaining decor. Our favourite find had to be the bar light at the back of the store, but for those looking for smaller items, we're big fans of the wooden salt & pepper grinders and stainless steel serving platters.
Passion for The Past Antiques & Collectibles (1646 Queen St. W)
This antique store is packed to the brim with just about any sort of tabletop ware you can imagine. Plates, silverware, glasses, pitchers, serving platters, candlestick holders, teacups, vases and more come from just about every time period and every style. There's fine china, there's glass, plastic, wood, stainless steel…The owners are super friendly and told us that local restaurants starting out often come to them to get an eclectic array of plate ware to start their collections, and it's easy to see why!
This gorgeous, minimalist store displays some pretty sweet plants (everything from air plants and cacti to fresh flowers) but there's no shortage of gorgeous vases, plates, glasses, pots and more. We love the all-white collection of vases in the back of the store, and the vintage mason jars are another great find. If you're looking to add some greenery or a gorgeous centrepiece to your dining room tabletop – or even just want to add some plant life to your office – this is a must-stop.
Quinn West (1479 Queen St. W)
This hair salon is more than meets the eye: it is a community hub for art and music that also has a front room full of vintage glassware and knick knacks. Though the collection here is smaller, it's definitely easier to peruse and contains some really interesting items such as colourful glassware from the 1950s and 60s.
Located above another storefront, Studio 1484 was by far my absolute favourite store on our hunt, and I left with an amazing set of pristine Mad Men-esque cocktail glasses – yes, those beautiful gold and black glasses are now sitting on display at home and will probably end up in a future food photoshoot! Owners Paul & Robert have a beautiful store that is also somehow carefully cluttered. You can really tell the time and care put into maintaining this store and this is evident from the front room with collections on display. If you're in the market for designer plate ware at a reasonable price, this should be your first stop in Parkdale!
Known for fabrics, this sewing studio offers classes for crafty Torontonians and is a great spot to pick up some unique napkins and material for tabletops. As food bloggers who always have their eyes out for new table props, we'll definitely be heading back here!
If you're on the hunt for vintage decor and antiques this holiday season, Toronto's Parkdale Village is definitely a one stop shop for everything. Make an afternoon out of it – get out there and support your local businesses, and be sure to follow them on Twitter (@ParkdaleBIA), Facebook and Instagram (@ParkdaleVillage)!
Where are some of your favourite neighbourhoods to shop? Whether you live in Toronto or a different country, we'd love to hear how you shop local for your entertaining decor! Tag us along with your favourite vintage finds on Instagram and Twitter!