If you haven’t seen a Hyppiä Home tour yet, my goal is to share homes that feel lived in & warm. And in the tours so far, I’ve learned one big lesson that I need to share with you:
The warmth you feel emanating from their homes comes from their vintage & pre-loved decor and furniture.
Finding those special pieces can take a long time—but once you’ve built up your arsenal of go-to spots, you’re golden.
After about a year of curating my Instagram feed with talented vintage curators, I have a list of my favourites located in or around Vancouver, BC that I am pumped to share with you. Let’s kickstart that vintage shopping for ya!
But first, why buy vintage?
1. Your home will feel more like you.
When you snag a vintage piece, you’ve brought something home that is unique. And knowing that you’re not going to see the same print on someone else’s wall or the same trendy vase helps you to see your home for what it is: yours.
“Every inch of this apartment is me and who I see myself as. It definitely feels like home because of that,” shares Ali in her home tour.
One way she made it her own? By surrounding herself with one-of-a-kind art, from paintings completed by her friends to prints dug up from the aisles of Value Village.
2. We all need to reduce our carbon footprint where we can—and buying vintage is a downright enjoyable way to do that.
It’s important to remember that “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism.” This means that in a capitalistic society (hey, that’s us!), the cycle of production and consumption creates inevitable harm to the environment, labourers, and even consumers—regardless of whether you buy “green” or not.
According to research by Corvinus University of Budapest, there is “no significant difference” between the carbon footprints of consumers who consider themselves “ethical” shoppers and those who don’t. At an individual level, then, it isn’t so much about where or how you participate in the cycle of consumption, but the extent to which you participate.
By shopping for used or vintage furniture & decor first before turning to new items, you’re actively stepping outside of a broken system while creating a home that is more unique, sustainable, and affordable. It’s a win-win.
3. Vintage items are higher quality.
On the note of whiplash cycles of production (🙃)… the items you’ll snag from most large corporations aren’t designed to be your lifelong companions.
Vintage items, though, are made to last and love for a lifetime. Unlike their modern counterparts, they came from a time where it wasn’t expected that you’d throw your kitchen chairs out in favour of a new set every few years. The craftsmanship, detail, and reliability of vintage items can far outperform today’s furniture.
Bonus reason: you meet awesome people.
I have met the coolest human beings running vintage stores online. For lots of folks, their accounts are kept as side hustles, fuelled by a sense of passion and excitement for all things vintage. Sarah Fraser, for example, is a teacher by day and vintage curator by night. In each of her posts, she writes the most beautiful commentaries on life as a small business owner and teacher, the importance of decorating with antiques, the bittersweet nature of nostalgia, and so much more.
Instagram can be an exhausting place, but ever since following people like Sarah, I’ve felt so much lighter & reinvigorated by this platform. Ready to explore some of my favourite accounts?
The Best Local Vintage Instagram Accounts
These are the spots I turn to again and again for high-quality, vintage design—all based in or near Vancouver, BC.
“I have loved vintage and exploring for old treasures ever since I was a kid,” Chrystal Placsko shares with me. “Exploring my grandparents’ basement and the boxes of old goodies, frequenting garage sales with my mom, going to Value Village to shop for clothes and having lots of laughs with my sister… I love shopping vintage and preloved.”
Chrystal’s Instagram features timeless decor, like intricate glass vases and mirrors, and high-quality midcentury modern furniture. I was lucky enough to snag the marble candle holders below (or we could use them as wine glasses) and she packaged them up in the sweetest brown paper bag with eucalyptus stems. It felt like I picked them up from a cute boutique on Main.
This is one of the first Instagram accounts I turned the notifications on for when I started searching for decor that would make my home feel more inspiring. When I found Alma Home Vintage, I fell in love with the elegant brass bookshelves, charming wicker chairs, and quirky ceramic pieces. I also quickly learned that Founder Alisa Stephenson’s stuff goes fast—hence the notifications alert.
I recently picked up this solidly optimistic hand when I popped into Alisa’s newly opened brick & mortar shop in Dunbar (4315 Dunbar Street). First off, she is a genuine delight to chat with. There’s nothing like meeting the face behind an Instagram account that you’ve been stalking for months and learning that they just radiate warmth.
“Alma Home & Vintage began in a beautiful 100-year-old home located on Alma Street in Vancouver, BC. This home is where I draw my inspiration and joy, and I hope my pieces bring you the same feelings of creativity and bliss.Alisa Stephenson, Founder of Alma Home & Vintage
Second, I was blown away by how beautiful her storefront is! It’s like her Instagram feed has come to life—full of fun, unique pieces everywhere you look. The next time you’re racking your brain for a birthday gift, I fully suggest stopping by her store. I guarantee you’ll leave smiling. Plus, there are a few other vintage shops on the same block, so you can always make a day of it.
Of all my favourites, STORI Home Vintage definitely serves the most Scandinavian vibes. Minimalism has a tendency to come off cold, but Founder Cheryl has curated a virtual shopfront that feels like a breezy afternoon with your most elegant friend.
STORI Home Vintage features soft, monochromatic pieces that would work with any space, especially if you’re looking to add a dash of romantic minimalism.
If anyone asks me where to find midcentury or 80’s furniture, I point them to Vintage by Tereza first. Here you will find Cesca chairs, travertine dining tables, classic MCM desks, and I-don’t-even-know-what-era-but-it-looks-cool lounge sets.
“Vintage by Tereza started out very organically,” Tereza says. “I bought a little table that didn’t end up working for my space, so I sold it on Facebook Marketplace and had more than 50 people wanting it. I then recognized that I have an eye for this stuff! Now, I’m obsessed with finding pieces that will create that same excitement for others.“
Founder Veria Laemmle is drawn to soft neutrals, unexpected shapes, and earthy materials. As she shares with interiors site, Marguerite Street, this neutral colour palette makes designing your home even easier: “I would say when selecting the main pieces for a home—for example furniture, window treatments, wall coverings and rugs etc—always choose neutral timeless pieces. This allows an easy transition through seasons, as you only need to add or subtract the accessories.”
Her store features some seriously rare items, too. Take this lamp, for example. You’re not going to see this level of quality in many stores.
Now, I’m just waiting for her to open up a brick & mortar sop, too. 😉
If you’re looking to add a touch of Paris to your dining sets, gorgeous brass decorative pitchers, or the sweetest glass plates, Fraser & Willow has you covered. It’s like you’ve stepped into a thrift store hidden in Paris’ side streets.
I was immediately taken by how carefully Founder Sarah Fraser has curated her Instagram feed, too. While you can check out the full selection of her finds on her Etsy store, her Instagram is one of my favourites for inspiration.
“I started Fraser & Willow in the midst of the pandemic when the desire to have a comfortable and expressive home was more pronounced than ever,” Sarah shares with me. “Being stuck indoors helped me see how important (and what a privilege!) it is to surround ourselves with a physical environment that feels both safe and inspiring.“
Where are your favourite vintage stores online?
Share with us in the comments. ❤️
Feature image credit: Erica Marsland