Bradenton Antiques

At the beginning of December James and I headed to a little town south of Sarasota, FL called Bradenton.  We had spent some time near there in Siesta Key where our friends live a few years ago for a Memorial day weekend and it felt great to be back.  The couples' wedding was during the day on Saturday, full of love and on the beach.  The weather was gorgeous!  All of our friends headed out of town early Sunday morning but James and I didn't have a return flight till Monday evening so we had some serious time on our hands.  By Sunday a cold front had come in so it was too chilly to beach it so of course the first thing I did was scout out all the little markets and antique shops. 

This was the first shop we found while exploring on our drive.  A local Antique shop that has many dealers...
They encourage people on the weekends to set up shop outside on the sidewalk in front of the store and in the parking lot too.  I was in heaven, you know what a sucker I am for outdoor flea markets!

I thought these benches were really great and would look perfect pulled up along either side of a farm-style table.  This is a great example of sometimes just having to look beyond the junk in order to uncover the treasures below.

Man, if I lived in FL I would most definitely take part in this!  Being immersed in antiques and sitting in your lounge chair getting some sun all day sounds just about perfect!

And inside the store, of course I found an endless amount of goodies.  All of which wouldn't fit in my suitcase so instead I took some snapshots for inspiration.  These small brass snails are adorable.  I love the use of nature in decorating, and these guys on a shelf I thought would be charming!  If you're not a fan of the brass, another neat idea would be to use primer to paint them white and give them a bisque-like pottery look.

I also am a huge fan of almost anything ethnic & tribal looking.  This basket would be great as a magazine bin or even small waste basket.

These are vintage mirrored buttons I could kick myself for not buying.  Especially at $0.25 each!  And I'm sure had I bought a ton I could have negotiated a little too.  I can't stop thinking about them and how much I would have loved to string them in a clustered effect on a necklace or bracelet.  The coolest part is the story behind them too...they were purchased  from a circus family in Sarasota!

Check out how different and fun is this vintage cow creamer is below.  I love when dishes are mis-matched and thought this would be a fun addition to anyone's china collection.

This is a vintage piece of luggage but what I loved was it's size.  It's a bit bigger than a sewing or cosmetic case, and taller than a hat box but it's smaller than an actual suitcase.  I wish I could remember what it's real purpose was now.  I think it's so great when beautiful vintage luggage is stacked in a room, on the side of a sofa or underneath an open-base entry way table.  This guy is really the perfect size for the top of the stack.  And also more than anything I love that it's covered in a tartan plaid wool (something different to mix with leather) and has those super industrial brass hinges.  I really should have used it as a toiletry case just to bring it back on the plane with me ;).

As you can see, I never lack finding something while antiquing.  So there's still lots more finds to go ;). 

I recently decorated an apartment and the concept the owner and I came up with was a chic nautical vibe.  The next few pieces would have totally worked, too bad that project's complete!  This was a beautiful large piece of natural coral in a really nice dusty purple hue. 

These are brass anchor book ends.  Again, painted in a bisque white they would read super modern on a book shelf!

I love these fireplace end irons.  I would either leave these as-is in the brass color for a vintage look or paint a high-gloss blue or red for a great modern lacquer effect. 

I'm a huge sucker for conversation pieces.  This hoof I believe was from a water buffalo.  Actually I may be making that up, it's been almost a month since I first saw this thing, but hey that'll do, right?! ;).  So this vintage water buffalo hoof was turned into an ash tray but easily could be used as a catchall on your entryway for keys, a match book holder, etc.  It's so neat!

This picture doesn't quite resemble a typical FL house these days, but seeing the whole block of homes was much more telling. What a state of disarray the whole housing market is in there.  I saw it worse than ever this trip and during my time home for Xmas last week and really can't get over it.  Isn't there a saying like "with hardship comes creativity"?  Actually here's one I just found, "Creativity- like human life itself- begins in darkness."  Hoping that'll start to take shape for people there sooner than later.  Anyway, with my immense love for distressed and vintage finishes came my yelling at James to turn around and go back to this house as we drove by.  I had to get a close up of this homes' door.   

I do believe these homeowners were actually in the process of refinishing the door, probably getting it stripped and just hadn't let it go (which is what I initially thought ;). I loved how castle-like and old this crackling and chipping effect made the door feel and would absolutely love to recreate this look on a more modern home or even a barn.  This is definitely one to add to my archives for the future!

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip and the local market we came across.  I'm hoping this puts warm thoughts in your head...thinking about the beach and the sun wherever you are.  I know even Florida's cold right now!


  1. fantastic finds!!!

  2. KILLER doors!...and yes, you should've bought buttons. I bet they will ship, if you remember the name of the shop.