For my 8th birthday, I asked my Grandma Becky for a trip to an antique store. I brushed my fingers across the assorted furniture, stood eye-level with the glass case full of fine jewelry and dreamed of being the kind of woman that carries beautiful, vintage handbags. With my birthday budget, I chose elbow-length gloves that made me feel oh-so-fancy and an intricate floral hat I thought would be just perfect for having tea.
What, don’t all 8-year-olds dream of having and hosting high tea?
I did, apparently. And when my grandma and I stopped at a nearby café, you better believe I insisted on wearing both.
With that story in mind, it should come as no surprise that I was awed by the Lauritzen Gardens Antiques Show when I attended for the first time last year. It was the antithesis to the musty, dusty, dimly-lit shops I think many from my generation associate with antiques. Instead, soft, natural light flooded the space from the skylights above (Ideal for photo taking. Influencers, take note.) and that gentle garden scent wafted in the air. Each vendor was a diorama of impeccable design, class and personality – like stepping into a carefully curated but accessible art exhibit. And personally, I couldn’t quite decide where to look first, convinced that everything needed and deserved my undivided attention.
True to form, however, I found myself gravitating toward a vendor specializing in vintage handbags and shamelessly swooned over the collection before forcing myself to keep browsing. What’s available is frankly incredible. Local, regional and global vendors represented an impressive range of design eras and wares, from Persian rugs to fine art to midcentury modern dressers. I honestly think it would be hard not to find the perfect piece.
Will I attend again? Absolutely. Only this time, I hope to explore a bit more of what the show has to offer. First of all, I’d love to attend a Designer Walk and see the show through a professional lens, as I’m sure I completely overlooked countless beautiful pieces. And as a self-diagnosed travel addict, I also have my eye on Lori Cohen’s Antique Academy “Collecting Antique Maps.” Yes, I already have the perfect spot on my living room wall for said antique map should I be so lucky to find it.
And not only will I attend, but I hope to bring my grandma along this year, too. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the day than antiquing and exploring with her again. And with such an inspired variety of vendors and things to do, there’s something for everyone – especially newcomers – to enjoy.