• Downtown Duncan

Choice Vintage

Fall brings a slight chill in the morning air, signaling a change in season. With that change comes an opportunity to refresh your surroundings. As you search for the perfect piece to complete your fall décor, consider a visit to one of South Cowichan’s many vintage shops, where you’ll find unique, quality pieces lovingly restored by local craftspeople.

Here are some of the best reasons to shop vintage for your home this fall.

1. Superior Quality

We’ve all said it: they just don’t make things like they used to! Unlike the mass-produced items commonly seen in big box stores, vintage pieces were often hand-crafted with quality materials that stand the test of time.

“You might be paying a little bit more for a dish,” says Tracey Otto from West Coast Vintage in Shawnigan Lake, “but that dish is already 70 years old, so you know it’s going to last another 70 years, as long as you look after it.” Her shop is known for vintage Pyrex pieces, which are often handed down through generations because of their durability and continued usefulness.

2. Unique Finds

It can be a struggle to find unique pieces for your home. Before you look online, hunt locally instead. Sarah Hiebert of Blend Creative Vintage & Studio in Cobble Hill notes, “I think people want to come in and know ‘Hey, I’m going to be the only person who has this one of a kind item’.” Sarah’s mother and business partner, Wendy Hiebert, points to a beautiful barn wood cabinet that will someday be a showpiece in one lucky customer’s home. With styles from upscale farmhouse to mid-century modern, vintage has something special for everyone.

3. Environmentally Friendly & Health Conscious

Many of the furniture and décor items on the market today contain harsh chemicals. For a healthy, eco-friendly alternative, look for vintage pieces that have been restored using quality products. “All [our vendors] use non-toxic products,” says Amy Raymond of Union 22 in Cobble Hill. Vintage is also a form of recycling. Since these items were built to last, their beauty can be restored and they can be given new life.

4. Hand-crafted Pieces

Looking around your local vintage shop, you can see the time and care that has gone into the restoration of each item. “I love to take an old piece that somebody’s not going to use and redo it,” says Lisa Smith from Shawnigan Vintage Barn. A former UK-based graphic designer, Lisa’s creativity is evident throughout her shop. She just finished restoring an old hutch, repurposing discarded fence panels as the back-splash.

5. Support Local

Buying from a local vintage shop not only supports the shop owners and their employees. Most of the items in these stores were made or restored by local craftspeople from the Cowichan Valley or elsewhere on Vancouver Island. “I think it’s important for people to know that they’re supporting real local people,” suggests Sarah from Blend Creative.

- Brittany Taylor

Economic Development Analyst


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