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While Charlotte is full of fantastic antiques stores, there are two that stand out the most. The first is Sleepy Poet Antiques Mall. Though this massive, 55,000-square-foot warehouse full of antiques and collectibles ranging from as early as the 18th Century to the 1980s can be a bit overwhelming at first, one pass through with a good eye will land you some great pieces. Collectibles such as vintage children’s books (which go for $250+ on shopping sites such as Gilt) can be found for just $9 for a set of six while slightly-weathered wingback chairs (perfect for recovering in a designer fabric), crystal chandeliers and Tiffany-like lamps, milk glass dishware, and collections of old records and vintage clothing can be found throughout. The best part is that no price is set in stone—each seller is open to negotiating the price so scoring a deal on an antique is likely.
Nearby in South End is LaDonna Antiques and Interiors. One of the best-kept secrets among interior designers in Charlotte, this small, off-the-beaten path antiques shop is chockfull of classic 18th- and 19th-century antiques as well as Midcentury pieces, and an eclectic mix of Scandanvaian, French, Italian, and other European finds and prints. The unassuming store is so carefully edited—thanks to the eye of proprietor and designer LaDonna Harris—that famed designer Charlotte Moss shops there when in town.
Whether you love hunting for a bargain or searching among historic pieces, Charlotte offers a variety of antique shopping experiences. Here are the three top spots around town to dig into vintage wares:
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
This 55,000-square-foot space is the kind of thing that will hook you in for hours, wandering down its aisles and checking out each booth. There's no place in town that offers this wide of an array of selection. From booths filled with shabby chic painted furniture to those with well restored and elegant antiques, literally everyone will find some form of home decor here that fits their style. But there's much more than that. At Sleepy Poet you'll find vintage clothing, old records, antique cameras, and costume jewelry. This is the kind of place where you'll want to set aside hours to peruse the booths and pick your favorites. Plus, food trucks park outside most Saturdays and are perfect for taking a snack break from your shopping.
Metrolina Expo Marketplace
The first weekend of every month, this expo sets up shop just north of Charlotte. Packed with antique dealers from across the country, you'll find everything from Persian rugs to vintage magazines. While there are some outside vendors (look for the ones selling the gorgeous antique ceiling tiles), most of the booths are inside, which means a visit is possible rain or shine. Want to visit when the most dealers are in town? Plan on going to the Spring Spectacular (April) or Fall Extravaganza (November) shows when the marketplace is packed with sellers.
Plaza Midwood's Central Avenue
In the fun and funky Plaza Midwood, you'll find a stretch of shops between Pecan Avenue and Thomas Street offering crafts, antique furniture, vintage clothing, and jewelry. Stop in to 1510 Antiques for furniture and paintings, in Century Vintage for retro clothing and home goods, Clark's Antiques for knick knacks and eclectic antiques, and Hong Kong Vintage for clothing, shoes, and accessories.