Antiques or junk?

After reading Maria Killam‘s excellent post the other day about creating “vignettes” or “tablescapes,” I was feeling a bit under-accessorized.

So I went out to this rather odd intersection in Royal Oak, about 15 minutes from St. Michaels, Maryland, where we’re staying. There are dozens of precious “interior design” shops in St. Michaels, but I wasn’t in the mood for those. I wanted to hunt. I wanted to be rewarded. I wanted a bargain.

This is on one side of the street:

And this is on the other:

Two buildings, same shop. What I’d never noticed before are the “Antiques” signs on both buildings. (In the top picture, it’s yellow, hanging perpendicular to the building.)

Antiques? Really?

I always thought of them as junk shops. I WANTED a junk shop; we’d driven past all sorts of chi-chi places to get here. But I didn’t want to be snooty – maybe something had changed since the last time I was here – so I went in with fresh eyes.


I dunno. It’s not looking good for the “antiques” designation. The building across the way had furniture; maybe that’s what they meant. (When we walked into that building, my husband took a deep sniff and said, “Yeah, this is just like my Nana’s barn.” Terrific.)

Antiques / junk terminology aside, there are some finds if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. Not a lot of true bargains, though; the shop has wised up since the area got all fancy.

I would stock up on these iron doorstops if our house were country-ish. I think they’re fun.

This is a good place to get brass candlesticks, if you happen to need some:

And old glass bottles, which can be pretty in a farmhouse kitchen window:

I loved this blue vase. But the owners clearly know what they have; it’s 100 bucks:

I liked this little marble pelican, too, but I didn’t get him:

I did, however, get these goofy “feather paintings.” I’m not exactly sure why, except that they crack me up. And I do love tiny pictures; they’re only about 6″ x 9″:

So. Antiques or junk? I thought there was some 150-year rule about designating something an “antique,” but I’ll leave it to you to decide.

To me, it’s junk.

And I mean that as a compliment.


  1. Rachel says

    Have i got a fantastic rummaging store for you! It's called Lucketts, and is on the way to the outlet malls in Northern Virginia. Lots of wrought iron pieces too.
    I went there several years ago before moving to CA, and took all sorts of photos of the interior. I may have to write a post now that you've inspired me!

  2. Annie, bossy color says

    Rachel, that is an excellent tip! Thanks so much! Post about it, and I can take follow-up pics for you :) Thanks again!

  3. Maria Killam says

    Thanks so much for the mention? Can you fix the last name though (sp) it should be Killam.

    And you've been tagged, I want to know what your colour personality is! Start writing!

  4. Annie, bossy color says

    Holy cow, Maria – what was I thinking? Terry Gilliam? So sorry about that. Will get on the tag asap –

  5. Betsy says

    Love that place! A couple of years ago we rummaged around in that shop with the smalls (versus furniture) and dug up a great repro Victorian cast-iron blue transferware foot bath. Perfectly oversized to hold an arrangement of 60 roses for a significant birthday — and then the birthday girl had a fancy toe-soaker to boot.

    It's all about the digging, be it through "antiques" or junk or whatever.

  6. Annie, bossy color says

    You are so right, Betsy! Digging and context. It really helps to have the time to sift through the stuff and envision it in different ways, in different places. Thanks very much for the comment!


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