Sarahs House Vintage Quilt And Antique Bed

6 Ways to Keep Up with Trends

Photo from Sarah's House, a TV show on HGTV.

Does it sound odd to talk about trends and vintiques in the same breath?

After all, we sell old stuff, not trendy stuff!

It may surprise new sellers when they learn that popular items that sell well in antique mall booths go through cycles.

The cycles are a bit softer and gentler than those in mainstream, big box retail, but the cycles are there just the same.

What do People Want in Their Homes?

Decorating trends generally pull the hardest on those cycles. Is light colored natural oak in or do customers want deep, rich mahogany? Do shabby chic customers still want white painted furniture, or has gray taken over as top color palette? What’s hot in the kitchen? Jadeite? Pyrex? Both or neither?

Six Ways to Keep Up With Trends

Go get a cup of coffee, because you’ll want to browse this plethora of links.

  1. Shelter magazines: The traditional magazines like Country LivingMartha Stewart LivingCountry Home (yes, it’s still being published, but only quarterly), Romantic HomesRomantic CountryCoastal LivingVictoriaTraditional HomesSouthern Living, etc. Go to your local magazine stand for many more print magazines. Choose those with covers that catch your eye, because they’re obviously in your niche (discussed in a previous post). Watch indie publishers like Porch, too, especially if they’re in your niche. Be sure to keep subscription and purchase receipts for write-off purposes.
  2. Blogs and Websites: Online resources are plentiful. Pay attention to the biggies like DesignSponge and Apartment Therapy, but don’t discount niche blogs, too. Eddie Ross, a former Martha Stewart guru and Southern Hospitality are good examples of bloggers to follow. Surf and specifically pages like Rate My Space where everyday home owners upload photos of their homes and other everyday home owners comment on those photos
  3. Digital Shelter Magazines: As traditional publishers go out of print, digital magazines are popping up online like Rue
  4. Photo from the collecting category on Paula Deen's website.

    TV Shows and Celebrities: Martha Stewart’s daily TV show and magazine still sway a big portion of Americans. Even shows that aren’t about decorating can create a demand for certain items. Take Paula Deen’s passion for collecting things like vintage pink Gooseberry Pyrex mixing bowls. Viewers see those and want to copy her. HGTV use to be decorating heaven for both customers and vintique dealers. Since the network move towards real estate, there are fewer actual design shows. Still, keep an eye on the channel for shows like Sarah’s House

  5. Show Homes: Look for designer show homes and events like the Parade of Homes in Colorado Springs, especially if stories of those homes show up on TV or in magazines. 
  6. Retailers: Check out retailers like Restoration HardwarePottery Barn and Anthropologie. While retailers like these are sometimes behind the innovation curve, they can still create demand for certain looks. Their prices being on high side, budget savvy customers will look for similar items in our booths.

Keeping up on trends is worth the investment of time and money, and can prevent you from getting caught with a booth full of dying trends. On the other hand, don’t get carried away with design trend blips that are short lived. Look for those trends with staying power. When you see similar items, looks, designs and colors in more than one source, that’s a good indication that a trend has legs.

Want more tips like this? Consider buying our ebook Selling in an Antique Mall: A Beginner’s Guide.

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