Antiquing 101 in Edmonton

Photo courtesy Travel Alberta

“Collect what you like and enjoy doing it…Choosing a really unusual knickknack might really make your day and give you joy.” -Debra, co-owner of Ibon Antiques.

Looking for unique new furniture? A piece of art for that pesky blank space on your wall? The perfect artifact to place on your mantle? Check out Edmonton’s antique shops–home to one-of-a-kind trinkets, quality treasures, and, sometimes, interesting pieces of history. Here are our top tips for antiquing in Edmonton!

1. Be Specific

It is often helpful to start shopping with a specific item in mind. Build a vision board to include examples of items and styles that fit into your existing décor and style. And research, research, research! By understanding brands, eras, and styles that are appealing to your visual eye, it will become easier to spot the perfect piece.

2. But Not Too Specific

Although it’s helpful to be knowledgeable, the universe isn’t always in our favour. The pursuit of the perfect piece is always fun, but it’s just as exciting to find something unique and unexpected. Try to e patient and shop with an open mind, and even take a few laps before leaving.

3. Embrace Imperfections

Sometimes a nick or scratch gives character and sometimes your find might need a little extra TLC. Recognize what you are capable of fixing, what you aren’t, and what you can leave authentically as-is. Everyone’s DIY skills are different, so it helps to recognize what tasks might be outside your comfort zone. A thorough buffing or fresh coat of paint? Easy. A complete reupholstery project? Now that’s a little more complicated!

4. Ask the Staff

Some treasures come with a story, whether about the historical use, the designer, the previous owner or how it came into the shop’s possession. They might be excited about a particular piece that could get you excited too.

Technically Speaking

  • Antique: item is at least 100 years old
  • Vintage: item is roughly 20-99 years old
  • Retro: item was made within the last 20 years but still gives a “vibe”

Edmonton Shops to Start Browsing


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