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Treasure Hunting for Home Makes it Special

Many clients ask me how to make their home special or different and of course, they want to achieve this without breaking the budget! Often the assumption is that unique or “special” items cost loads of money and this can be true unless you are willing to do a little treasure hunting off the beaten track.

Finding that unusual item which adds a unique flavor to a room’s décor can be baffling as it’s easy to forget about good vintage shops, salvage yards and consignment stores. Pushed for time or overloaded with multiple glitzy advertisements, homeowners can get caught in the rut of shopping at regular or traditional retailers. Because of this, many items start to look similar to each other as corporate buyers follow one trend to the next.

So please let me re-introduce you to the world of Up-cycling! This is where cool pieces like mod glassware and antiques, to painted furniture and 60’s classics mix and mingle, (often sharing the same aisle space), offer the persistent décor-hunter THE special item they crave.

This is not a new concept of course, but with the rehash of styles constantly percolating to the surface by retailers looking to cash-in on a particular style with knockoffs, why not look for the real thing or at least something that breaks from the norm? It strikes me there is a lot of good stuff out there waiting to be found so here is a refresher on where to begin your hunt for your perfect piece! (And these are just a few, so Google your local neighbourhood for thrift shops and vintage stores to get the goods before they are gone!)

Of Things Past….

Celebrating 20 years in business this grand dame of consignment furniture, housewares, art and even jewelry only carries the best in its 22 000 square foot warehouse! From English china to previously loved hand-carved wooden bedframes to silk-covered chairs from some of the ritziest homes in Toronto, nothing lasts long here! Check it out bi-weekly or monthly to see the new items coming and going!

A Changing Nest

Located in the west end of Toronto, this beautiful little shop hosts an eclectic mix of home furnishings and consignment pieces displayed in wonderful vignettes. Owner Diana Ross, often offers pieces redone with new upholstery or paint to look like they are brand new! Nothing tired about the items sold here!


For the seriously cool, check out Morba on Queen West. Most modern furniture lovers will know this place as it has been around for a while, always refining what modern means! Lighting, furniture, weird seventies glassware and all the accessories you can handle mixed in with newly produced pieces, just for good measure!

The Singing Lady Consignment Emporium

As the website says: “A treasure trove of gently used quality home furnishings, décor, accessories and fab finds”. Two large spaces house a range of items including an additional area called the Annex. It is worth the drive to south Etobicoke!

The ReStore

Let’s not forget about building materials! Yes, pink toilets really are making a come back! (Remember your millennial has never seen these before. so it’s cool!) Why not check out the Re Store for hardware, doors, building materials and yes, bathroom items? Here, money goes to Habitat for Humanity.

The Door Store

A forty-year-old enterprise created when the business’ founder witnessed wonderful architectural items being thoughtlessly discarded during renovations. With this mission in mind, the Door Store offers hardware, architecturals, iron, lighting, artifacts and beautiful wooden doors. As owners Sam and Leila Mirshak note, “ultra sleek modern interiors are calling out for a little bit of soul.”

Post and Beam Architectural Reclamation

Located in the Junction with a spectacular vintage store front itself, the P and B offers mantels, leaded glass windows, old gates and fencing, old tongue and groove flooring among other unique and salvaged items. It is always a fun place to poke around.

Eclectic Revival: Fine Vintage Lighting

Also located in the Junction, this shop offers unique and vintage lighting from wall sconces to chandeliers and even parts if you happen to own a vintage light and can’t find the right candle cover or shade. It is a wonderful shop to browse lamps and fixtures from bygone times.

About the author: Jane Lockhart is Founder & Principal Designer, Jane Lockhart Interior Design

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