This past Saturday I helped my sister with her Christmas baking. That is, if your definition of helping includes watching her do most of the work while test tasting all of the cookies.
Although I will say, for those of you who have followed me for years, I am still responsible for all of the ball rolling.
But she has cut way back on the amount of baking she does at Christmas, which left her Sunday completely free. So I suggested we check out some of the antique shops in Stillwater, MN.
It has been a while since I’ve visited antique shops around Christmas. I used to go all the time in order to add to my non-collection of vintage ornaments and tree toppers.
While I was away in Mexico, Mr. Q accidentally broke one of the toppers in my toolbox (the one on the far right), so I decided that was a good excuse to look for a replacement.
So on Sunday afternoon Debbie and I headed out for a little lunch and shopping. We visited a few different places, but eventually ended up at Staples Mill Antiques.
I hadn’t been inside this place in ages. In fact, I’m betting it has been at least a decade if not more. The thing is, I no longer really enjoy the traditional antique shop with piles and piles of dusty things crammed onto shelves or locked inside glass cases, with small areas for each vendor where you can barely squeeze yourself inside without knocking over an old easy bake oven or some carnival glass.
But I was willing to give it a shot to see if I could find a replacement topper for my toolbox.
Spoiler alert, I did not find one. But I did find out that Staples Mill has a pair of refreshing new vendors, Jeff and Mike.
I literally walked into their space and said out loud to my sister “now this is more like it!”
You can see everything, it’s displayed in such a way as to give you a feel for how the items could look in your home, you can walk around without knocking stuff over, and it’s well lit by a couple of stunning chandeliers.
But mostly what I was admiring was the expertly curated selection of fabulous items, like this painted set of green lockers.
The price on this was $275, by the way, which I thought was very reasonable.
This black cabinet was awesome as well. I love the row of black and white penguins on top, perfect for a unique Christmas display.
And just check out this chippy beauty that was filled with vintage silver.
I love the contrast between the formal silver with the rustic chippy painted cabinet, and isn’t that wreath pretty?
Isn’t this sled/coffee table awesome?
This collection of bottle brush trees in old door knobs that totally filled a pine cupboard really caught my eye.
There’s definitely something to be said about strength in numbers, right?
I have a couple of these myself, but not a big collection like this. But I’m definitely inspired for next year. I’m adding ‘old door knobs’ to my garage sale shopping list. I see them all the time, and I already have half a dozen or so in my stash. I just need about 25 to 30 more!
As I was wandering around snapping photos with my phone, a voice floated down from the staircase above saying “are you going to give us some free publicity?” Yep, I was caught red-handed. But either Jeff or Mike (dang if I don’t remember which one he said he was) just happened to be there. So I admitted that I was going to share the photos on my blog, and he was happy to hear it. Sometimes you run into shop owners who don’t want people to share photos of their space, and I’ve never really understood that mentality. I mean, really? Who doesn’t love a little free publicity?
Anyway, these guys definitely have a flair for both display and for finding uniquely fantastic items like these golden horses.
I also thought their prices were quite reasonable (and for a cheapskate like me, that is saying something). In addition, they are willing negotiate, so I was able get about 30% off the price on the tag for the rusty metal reindeer that I purchased and brought home for my garden.
FYI, I had a heck of a time trying to get a decent photo of a mostly see-thru metal deer. I promise, he looks better in person.
I’m definitely going to make a point to go back more often to check out their stuff. In fact, I may even go back for this guy …
Wouldn’t he be perfect in the garden?
If you want to see some photos of their space set up for Christmas before it was mostly picked over, check out this post on Facebook.
If you’re local, be sure to check out their space at Staples Mill Antiques. If you aren’t local, I hope you still got an idea or two from today’s post.
Do you have any fabulous antique spots near you? Leave a comment and let me know.