There are so many reasons to shop for secondhand furniture, starting with the environmental benefits of reusing goods.
Then there are the style rewards, like the originality of a vintage piece and the way it lets you envision a past era of design. Mixing older pieces into a newer decor can make a room more interesting. And then there’s durability — “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” The couches, sofas and woodwork of today’s fast furniture industry don’t hold up, literally, in comparison to many of their predecessors available in vintage stores.
Sonoma County has a vibrant vintage and antiques shopping scene. Here’s a small sampling of favorite shops to visit.
French Salvage Antiques La Maison
Laurie MacDuff sources most of the inventory for French Salvage Antiques La Maison from flea markets and estate sales in France’s Loire Valley. Her store on Bodega Avenue, just outside downtown Petaluma, is painted in dramatic charcoal color and is draped year-round in a magnolia garland that has turned a rich amber color. The windows offer a glimpse of the decorative pieces inside.
Unlike most antique or secondhand stores, the inventory here is carefully curated and styled. In MacDuff’s hands, a simple pot of herbs gets new life on an antique marble-topped side table. Vintage vessels or baskets filled with flowers become showstopping decor atop grand tables, armoires and sideboards.
In addition to furniture, the store offers new fabrics from France, linens from Italy, acrylic trays by Gien and Rigaud scented candles. Regular visits to French Salvage Antiques La Maison will offer plenty of style inspiration for your home.
307 Bodega Ave., Petaluma, 415-407-2816, frenchsalvageantiques.com
All sorts of midcentury marvels are on display at vintage store Retrospect in Sebastopol.
The store specializes in the clean-line, low-profile styles of the ’50s and ’60s. You’ll find lots of teak, sofas and chairs (like the streamlined-yet-comfortable penguin lounge chair) here, as well as accessories like lamps, canisters and mugs. To finish that midcentury look, Retrospect proprietor and artist Gregory Odle offers his own modern mixed media paintings and vinyl records he converts into good-looking clocks.
104 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol, 707-291-7058
Sonoma Reclaimed Furniture and Consignment
This furniture and consignment store is one of several excellent boutiques in the Sonoma Antique Mall on Eighth Street in Sonoma. In addition to a rotation of eclectic furniture — from a fringed sofa to flower-print swivel chairs — there’s an upholstery studio on site.
Dick Belanger has decades of experience and keen design abilities to refurbish pieces. On the sales floor you might also find an antique chair or vintage bench that he and his apprentice have transformed into wonderfully refreshed pieces.