Antiques Galore in an Unexpected Place: Florence, Colorado

 

Vintage Pewter Teapots and Silverware Vintage Dress Forms from Florence, CO

Favorite Colorado Town for Vintage & Antiques

Listen closely. I’m about to share one of my favorite Colorado locations to shop for vintage and antique treasures! You’ll need to head south on I-25 and commit to driving about ninety minutes outside the greater Denver metro area. But don’t worry—even if you have to endure construction delays between Castle Rock and Colorado Springs, I promise it will be worth it. Put on your favorite playlist or podcast and prepare to be amazed.

Florence is in eastern Fremont County, sitting on the southern banks of the Arkansas River.  Measuring just over four square miles, the former railroad town features a quaint two-block Main Street, where you’ll find over a dozen antique shops with a wide variety of merchandise to tempt you.

Photo of Vintage Market Window Display in Florence, Colorado Christmas Vintage Terrarium

Vintage Winter Charm

I love going there on a warm summer day and meandering between shops with a cold drink in hand. But my recent November visit was just as relaxing and filled with Holiday cheer. Beautifully decorated shop windows featured winter vignettes overflowing with antique sleds, skates, tree ornaments, yard décor, and seasonal tableware. Some shops glittered with silver and gold accents, while others featured a clean, mid-century style. Colorado Rustic is a favorite look, of course, and the warm feel of vintage wool blankets, plaid shirts, and cozy cabin décor wraps you up like a warm fire on a dark winter night.

Where to Eat in Florence

And I’m happy to report that Florence also boasts plenty of places to eat and drink when you need a break from shopping. You’ll find several coffee shops, Mexican food, steak, sushi, Indian cuisine, and a great little café called Aspen Leaf Café and Bakery. We stopped in for a late lunch of veggie burgers and giant homemade brownies, which gave us the stamina to continue exploring. I came home with several great finds: an oversized antique jar that’s perfect as a vase, a rustic wooden doll bed I’ll use as a display piece, and some perfectly tattered black and white photos to add to my collection.

It’s truly an authentic Colorado experience, and there’s still plenty of time to head south and do some holiday shopping in Florence. As all intrepid antique geeks know, you can’t guarantee.

 


SHOP VINTAGE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

We’re hosting seven Denver Vintage and Antique Sellers bring you a special Collectors Holiday Market pop-up shop. Each vendor has a special collection of antique treasures. Including Vintage Holiday Decor, Antique Furniture, Fine Art, Antiques, Native American Collectibles, Glassware, and Gifts

Collectors Holiday Market

Friday & Saturday | 11am-3pm
December 6-7 | December 13-14  |  December 20-21
8800 W 14th Avenue in Lakewood

GET DIRECTIONS

How to Create a Spooky Vintage Vignette

Using vintage in your Halloween pumpkin themed party display. Created by Denver Prop Stylist at Plank & Pearl. Halloween party display using vintage candle holders, branches, a crystal cake stand, pumpkins and a creepy old doll head for a whimsically spooky look. Party design styled by Plank & Pearl Denver, CO.

 

Holidays are an especially wonderful time to create a vintage display in your home. An artfully arranged collection of themed items can make the plainest corner come alive with a spirit of nostalgia, whimsy, and humor. And part of the fun is that the vignette is temporary—you gather your supplies, spend an hour (or three!) bringing your vision to life, and then quickly pack it away when the day or season passes.

VINTAGE INSPIRED DISPLAYS ELEVATE THE PRESENTATION

The two Halloween vignettes I’m sharing combine things you might already own—such as a pedestal cake plate, low wooden bowl, etc.—with a few vintage elements you might find at a Denver antique mall or local thrift shop. The first is a larger, more intricate display, spanning the top of an antique wooden buffet. When using a large piece of furniture, it helps to vary the height of your objects to create visual interest.  You can use a few old books, a wooden box, and tall candle holders as elevation “tools.”

 

Halloween Party Buffet Style by Plank & Pearl of Denver, CO.

 

SPOOKY ODDITIES

The vintage tin with a ceramic hand, black cat figurine, and doll’s head come from my personal collection of spooky oddities, gathered over time. It’s always smart to begin searching for unusual pieces several months before you need them since the curating process always takes far more time than anticipated. And don’t forget to add a few natural elements to your design, such as the pumpkins and fruit I grabbed at the grocery store, and the small branches scattered around my backyard. These small touches really ground your vignette in a particular season and time of year.

 

Vintage inspired Halloween cocktail display using vintage barware, faux fur, hand molds, a brass vase and pumpkins on top of a vintage table. Prop styling by Plank & Pearl Denver, CO.

 

The second vignette is the direct result of a lucky find I happened upon as I glanced down at the floor of the crowded furniture area in my local thrift store.  The vintage cement glove mold hands seemed to reach up to me for a big Halloween hug! I love it when a single object inspires a display because it makes the process so much easier. Rather than rearranging your materials a hundred times to discover the focal point, you only need to add a few “appetizers” to your “main dish.”

CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE TO CHECK FOR DEAD SPACE

As you can see, I reused the pumpkins from the first vignette and swapped the large buffet for a small desk tossed with a faux fur for texture. On the base of the glove mold, I placed a decanter of wine, two vintage goblets, and then strung some spider web gauze between the hands. When I think I’m finished, I always walk around the vignette and look at it from different angles. The change in perspective helps me decide if the design is cohesive, tells a story, and creates the desired effect. Be open change: remove a few objects if it seems a bit messy or add something new if you notice a dead space. In this case, I felt I needed the cow skull and container of dried cotton blossoms to further the spooky mood.

If you’re an old hand at designing holiday vignettes, you already know some short-cuts that make the process easier. If you’re just starting out, please know it’s more about trial and error than a special skill handed out at birth. Be willing to play. Trust your eyes. And it always helps to have more materials on hand than you think you’ll use. Put on some great music and free yourself from any limiting expectations. Don’t forget to take a few photos to keep for reference. You’ll love looking at them next year, to help inspire a fresh new vision.

 

Looking to add some vintage style to your next party or event in the Denver area?

HIRE COLEEN

 

Embracing a Small Thanksgiving

 

If you’re like me, you have a certain image of Thanksgiving dinner stuck in your mind, playing on a loop each and every day of November. It’s basically this: a large, happy group of family and friends crowded around a really long table, groaning under enormous plates of traditional food.

I’ve hosted this kind of Thanksgiving more times than I can count–needing to rent tables, borrow chairs from the neighbors, and fervently pray there’s enough cheese ball appetizer to go around. Besides the massive prep work and cleanup, big gatherings can be fun and exciting–and boisterous and silly. You get caught up in the sheer abundance of energy and celebration, and count yourself lucky to be in such good company.

But how do you feel about a small Thanksgiving gathering? Does it make you feel sad if you have to host or attend one? Do you feel pity for the friend who mentions that her Thanksgiving will be tiny when yours will likely be forty if the second cousins stay home?

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Setting the Table for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is the one holiday where a majority of Americans prepare and eat the very same meal on the very same day. Sure, there are endless variations on the stuffing, gravy, vegetables, and sides, but 88% of us will have a turkey, a pumpkin pie, and other traditional foods.

To add to that “sameness,” the media tends to use images of Thanksgiving tables dressed with plates, glassware, and napkins in orange, brown, and other harvest colors. You can almost smell the pumpkin spice latte candle burning in the center, surrounded by faux autumn leaves. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. This brand of décor is appealing, comfortable, and seasonal.

But from a styling point of view, there are so many other options to consider—ones that reflect your personality and design vibe, and a willingness to mix tradition with some bolder choices. Here, we use our blue and white vintage plates with a very proud (and very alive!) turkey in the center. But we add the surprise of pale pink goblets, because there isn’t a rulebook that banishes pastels from a Thanksgiving table.

Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table Decor

If your style is more clean and modern, you might like the retro look of vintage stoneware, retro wine goblets, wood-handled flatware, and a few wooden accent pieces. The great thing about this design is that you can shop your local thrift store for great bargains on these 1970’s pieces and use them throughout the year. And because we’re a boutique rental company, we can’t resist mentioning that renting from collections like ours can be an easy and affordable way to try new styles for your holiday, without having to own, clean, or store all the “stuff!”

Finally, we wanted to showcase a favorite style of ours—mixing formal place settings with an unexpected rustic element. We started with elegant vintage china, silver flatware, and fancy gold-rimmed glassware. To take the predictable style to another level, we placed a porcelain bird on a rusty old food scale and draped it with a metallic gold garland. The result is unexpected and (in our opinion!) quite beautiful.

This year, don’t be shy about setting your table. If you have tableware, linens, or personal objects that are sentimental, quirky, and brimming with your unique personality, bring them to the table for everyone to see!

Want to customize your Thanksgiving table this year? Contact us today or select from our collection to complete your unique holiday tabletop design.

A Very Vintage 4th

Here are some photos from our Fourth of July styled shoot! We gave ourselves a challenge: to create a patriotic vintage vignette using select items from our inventory enhanced by household objects easily found in the average garage, attic, or basement. No plastic windsocks or tempting merchandise from the Target dollar bins! You’ll see in the photos that we started with a rusty red wagon from the garage as our focal point, added some blue-covered history books from our shelf, a stray brass eagle bookend, some blue-and-white plates, white goblets, and a red cake stand from the pantry and (last but not least) our adorable mutt Otis! Taking a shortcut, we picked up some festive desserts, but otherwise spent nothing on this easy-to-recreate backyard celebration.

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