I am SO EXCITED about this series of Milwaukee Guides we have been working on for 2020, and I could not wait to kick it off with My Top Ten Thrifting & Antique Shops in Milwaukee!!! You all have watched me decorate our Barnhouse and Airbnb’s with second-hand goods (Check out this thrifted room makeover and this one too) and I always get asked about my GO-TO spots. Now you have my faves in one handy guide! Are there more than 10 great ones here in the city of Milwaukee? YES! But I wanted to narrow it down to my favorites I currently have on high rotation. I also wanted to stay within the city limits, but if you have a place I MUST check out, let me know in the comments. I see some thrifting roadtrips in my future.
Before we jump in to the list, may I offer a suggestion? I might be a little biased, but I believe the perfect weekend in Milwaukee would be to stay at one of our Airbnbs in Walker’s Point, The DIY Duplex or I SPY Abode, (All the listings here ) and check a bunch of the antique stores off the list! Six of the ten are in the Walker’s Point neighborhood!
Jenni Yolo Presents: My 10 Favorite Thrift and Antiques Shops in Milwaukee – 2020
Antiques on Pierce
1512 W. Pierce St., Milwaukee
Antiques on Pierce is by far the antiquing mecca in Milwaukee. It is a three-story giant warehouse with a bunch of vendors — hundreds of vendors, actually! You’ll find a little of everything. The vendors have everything from jewelry to furniture to art. There are many booths with different styles. If you can only go to ONE antique store when visiting Milwaukee, this is it.
835 W. National Ave., Milwaukee
Serpentine Salvage was formerly Antique Addicts, and now run by a super chic woman who has a great eye for vintage clothing and home decor. I have purchased some beautiful accessories for myself and my home here! Keep up with their Instagram for new items @SerpentineSalvage.
Good Land Antiques
3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee
Good Land Antiques is a hidden gem that’s SO GOOD, and the owner is the sweetest! If she wasn’t so sweet, I would have kept this one for myself, because I never leave there empty handed. This is definitely one of my go-to places. Prices are low so things will move quickly, which makes for constant turnover. I’m often swinging into Good Land Antiques just to see what’s new (and if you see something you love, you have to buy it because it won’t be there next time)!
Goodwill on Oklahoma Ave.
153 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee
I love Goodwill. Period. Their mission is wonderful and I love supporting them. For home decor, each store can be hit or miss. But at this specific location in Milwaukee, I have had more hits than misses. The Goodwill on Oklahoma Ave. is my fav, but try to hit up ones all over the city. The key to Goodwill is stopping by often. Goodwill, unlike a lot of the antique stores, you get into the nitty-gritty of thrifting. This means you really have to dig and imagine the pieces in your space. Here in Milwaukee, the rows of tchotchkes are color-coded which is amazing, but often paintings are just piled on a shelf and you’ll need to pull things out and take them out of the chaotic context that they’re in. A lot of the antique stores will curate and set them up in a way that you can visualize them in your house. Goodwill offers great value, but you have to visualize it on your own. You can do it!
Habitat for Humanity Restore Walker’s Point
420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
If furniture is what you’re seeking, the giant Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Wauwatosa is what you’ll want. But if you want to stay within the city limits, check out the Restore in Walker’s Point. The Walker’s Point location carries mostly furniture, doors, and kitchen cabinets from renovated homes. The Walker’s Point Restore has a small section of knick-knacks, but I’ve had the most success with furniture. My favorite scores have been a kitchen table and chairs I refinished for the Barnhouse, fireplace mantel (project TBD!), vintage trunk, and an old dresser I restored for a guest room. Restores also have live-edge wood (LOVE!). This is how I made the Barnwood ledge and Live Edge coffee table. The live edge wood can range from $40-$400.
Third Point of View/Antique Center-Walker’s Point
1134 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
Third Point of View and Antique Center-Walker’s Point are two stores in one building. The space has multiple levels and both stores carry a ton of hidden gems. There is A LOT of stuff in a tight space. They. Are. Packed. But, if you zero in on your vision, you can find a lot of good items. In particular, Third Point of View has been a place I’ve found fabulous art pieces.
5020 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee
Vliet St. is an up and coming area in Milwaukee where you’ll find Dandy. A husband and wife bought this warehouse that they use as an antique store and venue for weddings, comedy shows, etc. They carry mid-century modern antiques and have an impeccable eye for style. You’ll find great treasures at Dandy. And they even have an Airstream inside!
Clinton Street Antiques
1110 S. 1st St., Milwaukee
Clinton Street Antiques is only a recent find of mine. The guy who runs it has a great eye for curated, unique pieces like antlers, pennants, glassware, and nostalgic items. I’d say Clinton’s pieces have a more masculine vibe. It’s a smaller shop that’s definitely worth a stop. And, it’s right next to Third Point of View!
Farm Girl Art and Antiques
803 S. 5th St., Milwaukee
Farm Girl Art and Antiques is a must visit. If you are into the farmhouse style, you will likely find the perfect decor items. Because it’s a consignment store you get varying aesthetics from the different vendors, which I love. It’s an amazing place to shop for art and small furniture like benches and stools. I’ve lost count of how many benches I’ve bought from here. And all my antlers come from here to. During holidays, they have seasonal decor that’s constantly changing.
Riverview Antique Market
2045 W. St. Paul Ave., Milwaukee
Riverview Antique Market is a multi-level store that has a ton of gems in it! Riverview Antique Market has a bunch of vendors with a little bit of everything, which is amazing for browsing without purpose. In the past, I have had success with lighting, and found some great chandeliers for the Barnhouse!
OUTSITE THE CITY LIMITS
2520 E Capitol Dr, Shorewood, WI 53211
Chattel Changers is technically not in Milwaukee, but it’s worth heading right outside the city limits to visit this 40 year Antique Store. The walls are covered with art, and I leave with at least 3 painting every time I go!
I am working on a big ‘ol post with Thrifting Tips and Tricks, but here are a few answers to Frequently Asked Thifting Questions!
How often do you go thrifting?
It really ebbs and flows. If I’m decorating a house, I’ll go every few days. Otherwise, I try to avoid it if I’m not currently working on a project so that I don’t pick up things I don’t need. Sometimes I set aside hours and make it a full-day adventure, but not always. Sometimes I pop in and out in 15-minutes, oftentimes walking out with at least one thing I love. My advice is don’t be afraid to make a quick lap and decide there’s nothing there for you that day. The joy of thrifting is going often and seeing what’s new.
What are your top thrifting tips?
It sounds crazy, but thrifting involves some strategy! My tips include:
– If you’re looking to find something specific, go to a larger store with multiple booths so you have more options to find what you like.
-The best way to thrift is to not have a gameplan because finding exactly what you’re looking for can be challenging. The more you go, the more likely you’ll find pieces that fit your needs.
-It’s totally acceptable to ask for a better price. Just see if there’s any wiggle room.
-If you love something, you should get it because there’s a good chance it won’t be there the next time you go back. There are still a few things that haunt me that I wish I had purchased. Ugh, the regret!
-When you walk into a store and see something you like, put it in your cart or have it marked sold before someone else scoops it up.
Enjoy finding the diamonds in the rough! Happy Thrifting!! And let me know in the comments if there are any other guides you would like to see on I SPY DIY!
Map by: Good Land Creative