Get out and enjoy the countryside! Navigating back roads searching for flea markets and antique stores is so much fun. But what should you look for when sifting through potential treasures?
With a little effort you should be able to find some great wooden pieces. Look for quality craftmanship by opening drawers, examining undersides, and peeking on the back of potential purchases. You don't want to find pressboard or synthetic materials. Dove tailing, mortise and tenon, dowels, wooden pegs, and square nails are all good signs. Wooden planks on the back of old dressers should be wide and thick. Wetting the wood will give you a better idea of the grain.
Look for quilts, embroidery, weaving, linens, and braided rugs. Some pieces will be perfect for daily use while others may be more suited to interesting artwork for your walls. Your best bet is to buy natural materials like wool, cotton, and linen. When examining textiles open them up. Be on the lookout for rips, tears, stains, and discolouration. Lemon juice can be used to take old stains out of white textiles.
Beautiful old mirror glass has a daydream-y charm. Look for beveled glass and wooden or plaster frames. Often there will be a piece of wood in the back with newspaper between it and the glass. Checking for a date on the daily can give you a better idea about the age of the mirror. Lovely old windows make handsome mirror frames as well.
Glass and Dishes:
Old glass may have imperfections like bubbles or waves in it, but don't let this put you off. Look on the back of plates or on the bottom of glassware to see where the item was made. Depression glass, carnival glass, cranberry glass, and Indiana glass are available in a range of delightful colours. Wedgwood dishes, Fiesta dinnerware, Limoges porcelain, and Flow Blue china are just some of the beauties you may find.