Shopping for Vintage with South Loop Loft

Alright friends, if there is one topic I geek out over it’s vintage clothing and furniture. A few of you may know that my wedding vows did include the line, “I love you more than vintage clothing.” Ha! I’m not messing around, and neither is today’s posts special guest, Beth Berke of South Loop Loft. Not only is Beth the sweetest gal, but she’s got a fabulous eye for vintage home decor and art and fabrics and the list goes on! We first met at the Randolph Street Market and hit it off from the start.

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Chatting design! Are you over the banana leaf or is it timeless?

Beth recently moved into a fabulous new showroom space in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood (shared with the equally awesome Canary Lane), which is open to the public on Saturdays and by appointment. I recently visited the showroom and asked Beth to share some of her tips for shopping vintage here on the blog.

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Beth of South Loop Loft, Meredith of Canary Lane, and me artfully arranged by our lovely photographer Anna Sodziak.

Beth’s Top Five Tips for Shopping Vintage:

1. My first tip is to JUST do it. Buy vintage. So many of the current trends in furniture and home decor are inspired by styles of the past. Vintage home furnishings can create a layered and interesting home – and the process is often more affordable than buying new and the goods are built to last! 

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2. Not sure where to start? Go for the accent pieces! Here are a few of my favorite things to shop for that easily work in most homes and can transition with you throughout the years. Gold mirrors, coffee table art books, brass candle holders, pottery, table lamps, bar ware, abstract art, sculptures and planters are wonderful pieces to bring home. 

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3. If you like it – Grab it! So many vintage pieces are one-of-a-kind and won’t last long! If you hesitate –  chances are someone else will scoop it up! 

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4. Shop often and stay in touch with your favorite resources!  Looking for something specific – email us! Most shop owners would love to know your wish list and can let you know when something arrives that could work for you. There’s so much inventory that never make it to Instagram or the online shop – keep in touch, let them know what you want and you could be getting first dibs on your dream piece!

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5. Don’t be afraid of a scratch or ding!  That scratch on the glass table that you’re hemming and hawing over isn’t that big of a deal. Those small flaws won’t be noticeable once the piece is set up in your home. Having all vintage furniture in my own home – I can easily say the spots of patina on my brass coffee table have not bothered me once! 

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I think all Beth’s tips are spot on! I truly believe every well-designed room should have a piece of the past, and even better if it has personal meaning or significance to you. You can find more of Beth’s pieces at South Loop Loft, and if you’re the type to hit spring and summer flea markets, you’ll want to take a look at my 10 tips to be Flea Market Fabulous.

Thank you so much Beth for sharing your insights with us. Also, special thanks to talented photographer Anna Sodziak for snapping these great shots of the showroom. If you’re looking for portraits or wedding photography I highly recommend Anna!

Do you have other great resources for shopping vintage? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

XO – CLAIRE