We grew up in a home where china was a big deal; more than almost any other possession, it represented personal style and taste. Even now, vintage china has a strong pull on us, and we love sifting through thrift store racks (or web pages) to see what will turn up. Here are some of our favorite places to look.
With all the online stores out there, you can scour the web rather than dusty antique shop aisles if you prefer. For even more online vintage shopping recommendations than the ones listed below, click here.
If you're a thrift store shopper, you've probably made a few visits to your local Goodwill store, but you might not have known that you can also shop online from the comfort of your couch. ShopGoodwill.com is an auction website with an extensive tabletop section.
Three Potato Four
Three Potato Four was started by husband and wife team Janet Morales and Stu Eli who "both grew up collecting things." It's one of our favorite places to shop for unique modern and vintage home items, like colorful plates and dishes.
The Loaded Trunk
As an Army brat, Roni Jaco grew up abroad, surrounded by "treasures and people and food from other countries." That early interest in cultural immersion led to her newest venture, which launched this past July. The Loaded Trunk carries vintage Turkish tinned copper pots, ceramic bowls from Turkey, and Guatemalan table runners.
This e-retailer (there's a brick-and-mortar version in Seattle) is filled with "unique vintage and retro items selected for their great colors, beautiful lines, fun graphics and genuine character."
Chicago-based P.O.S.H. sells dinnerware and china originally produced for restaurants. There is a definite gallic flavor to many of the choices, and the rest of Europe isn't forgotten either. Prices are reasonable for these items, which are workhorses due to their original design intent - the commercial market.
High Street Market
Interior designer Kelly Galvin Robson has a good eye for classic vintage housewares. She collects pieces from flea markets, antique stores, estate sales, and auctions, and sells them on her Etsy shop, High Street Market. Styles tend to be traditional, with a focus on durable materials like porcelain.
LA-based TINI, or This is Not Ikea, has been around for a while as a great online store and a series of storage spaces filled with treasure. Browsing recently through their online selection of vintage tableware we found graphic melamine trays, retro picnic baskets, and enamel mugs galore.
Offline - New York / New Jersey
If you love the thrill of the hunt, nothing quite beats the old fashioned method of visiting hole-in-the-wall shops and stumbling across something really great.
Offline - West Coast
Offline - Midwest
Photo: P.O.S.H. Chicago by Sarah Coffey