Out of the Ordinary
These colorful antique shopping districts and artsy markets offer home décor ideas and a bounty of unique finds.
Ivanhoe Village, on the north end of downtown, was once dubbed Orlando’s “Antique District” because of the area’s abundance of antique stores. Today, this eclectic dining and shopping destination is still home to many of the city’s oldest antique shops, with treasures of past eras just waiting to be discovered.
The Carousel Emporium is a collective of dealers in 6,500 square feet of space offering everything from Oriental rugs and antique furniture to fine art and vintage jewelry.
This Ivanhoe Village mainstay hosts a vintage flea market in its parking lot on the second Saturday of the month, except during the summer.
Treasure hunters with a penchant for mid-20th century collectibles—think TV’s Mad Men—can step into their favorite era at 1618 Something Different. The shop specializes in retro, vintage, Danish and mid-20th century furniture. A jog down the street is Rock & Roll Heaven, where you can dive into stacks of vinyl records, as well as collectors’ items and memorabilia from decades past.
Vintage fashion is the bread and butter of nearby Deja Vu Vintage Clothing, which boasts one of the area’s best selections of clothing, plus accessories such as hats, purses and costume jewelry from yesteryear. Shoppers looking for a respite from rummaging can reboot at White Wolf Café, a popular neighborhood eatery that was once an antique shop and now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two of the district’s can’t-miss gems include Golden Phoenix, a quaint treasure trove, and A & T Furniture & Antiques, an immense store that sells and repairs antique furniture. Nearby, Washburn Imports offers colorful furniture imported from such faraway exotic destinations as Indonesia, Laos and Thailand.
Adjectives Market on State Road 436 has become a favorite among savvy shoppers looking for chic items at a great price. Inside this 12,000-square-foot vintage marketplace, 85 purveyors showcase an array of items that can be defined as antique, vintage and upcycled.
“We go for a more curated style than most antique stores,” says owner Jeremy Thompson. “We wanted to take the antique-mall concept and elevate it, but also make it more accessible for people who don’t typically antique shop. We’re always working to have an eclectic mix of vintage, antiques and art.”
Adjectives Market could be described as a bricks-and-mortar version of the online marketplace Etsy, owing to its vast collection of handmade and repurposed items, many with a vintage or nostalgic twist. “There’s an emphasis on ‘useful,’ ” Thompson says. “These items are not meant to sit on a shelf to collect dust. We really are a home-décor store with a niche of having a vintage or antique feel. Our dealers are talented artists who are great at turning junk into beautiful things.”
This Orlando suburb has done a great job revitalizing its downtown center anchored on First Street, where shoppers can find lots of unusual shops, art galleries, sidewalk cafés and independent eateries. A good time to visit is during the Alive After 5 event, which takes place on the second Thursday of each month. The street is closed to car traffic so that crafters, food vendors and musicians can set up shop along First Street for a block party that runs from 5 to 8 p.m. There’s also a handful of antique stores—including The Tree House, home to seven dealers—in a small mall setting that’s packed with antique furniture, linens, glassware, jewelry, vintage clothing and vinyl records. Inside Bailey’s Upscale Resale are lots of olden home-décor items and clothing. Down the street, Antiques & Dustibles’ shelves are lined with small decorative items and tchotchkes.
Forty minutes northwest of Orlando, this quaint Lake County town was once known as the “antiques capital of Florida.” Filled with cozy bed-and-breakfast inns, this 100-year old town is historic in its own right, and the antiquing options here are endless. Aside from a smattering of unique antique shops downtown, such as Oliver’s Twist Antiques & Appraisers, Mount Dora is home to Renninger’s Twin Markets, where an antique center and flea market sits on 117 acres of picturesque rolling hills along U.S. Highway 441. On Saturdays and Sundays, more than 150 individual antique dealers fill the space with furniture, household items and jewelry. Throughout the year, Renninger’s hosts antique fairs, collectible shows and swap meets, but its largest events are the “extravaganzas” in January, February and November that attract more than 1,000 antique dealers and 20,000 shoppers.