Learning how to shop vintage furniture is a real skill. And we’d argue that it’s one worth cultivating! The right pieces can bring warmth to your home like nothing else, and there are few more sustainable ways to shop.
Tricia Benitez Beanum is the founder of Pop Up Home, an exclusive vintage pop-up in the Melrose Hill District of LA. that’s become so popular she’s taking it full-time this summer. After years gathering elevated pieces for exclusive clients like Ryan Reynolds and Zendaya, Beanum now offers a fascinating range of home goods and furniture for in-the-know vintage lovers and professional designers alike.
We caught up with the Pop Up Home pro to ask her all the questions we have on how to shop vintage furniture and which eras and style she’s loving best lately…
How To Shop Vintage Furniture With Tricia Benitez Beanum of Pop Up Home
My love for vintage started when… I was growing up, as I am a second generation antiques dealer so I don’t know anything else. I have been around antiques and vintage my entire life. I have only ever valued things that were old and had an unique point of view.
Best tips for caring for vintage: When it comes to leather, I recommend snagging Blackrock Leather N’Rich—it conditions and cleans leather pieces and buffs out scuff marks well.
For wood, Howard’s Restore-A-Finsh works great, and olive oil for wooden kitchen accessories and small pieces can do the trick. However, for repairs, hiring a professional or researching DIYs on YouTube can be just what you need.
You can use indoor furniture outdoors if you clear coat it matte once a year, as well!
A few of my favorite personal home/design scores include… A 300 year African Drum Top that hangs above my fireplace, an Arne Norrell Loveseat in burgundy leather, woven early 80’s ottomans in linen and leather, a Murano crystal ball, and all my art!
Trend I’m loving currently… I’m not one to follow ‘trends’, but I would like to start a trend of jewel-toned velvet sofas.
Trend I can’t wait to see go…. Synthetic boucle.
What to expect from the Pop Up Home experience… You can expect to feel good upon entering Pop Up Home. I created and curated the space so that people can see how to design with vintage. They can expect to want to stay a long time and enjoy pieces and design that is inspiring, and flow throughout the space.
A few pieces I have now that I can’t wait to find homes for… Monk chairs by Tobia Scarpa, Ying Yang coffee table, rosewood and leather sling strap sofa.
3 tips for shopping vintage furniture discerningly: 01 Don’t buy to match, buy what you love; 02 When you buy vintage, it’s already designed! 03 Don’t wait if you love it, because it will get snatched up and that heartbreak is awful! If you like the shape and design, grab it, you can always change the fabric.
How to start vintage shopping for the inexperienced… It’s either in you or it’s not, and the only way to find out is immersing yourself in it. It’s a full creative process when it comes to vintage shopping, and you have to let the pieces speak for themselves and value them for what they are. Once you start collecting what you love, that’s when the process really begins and you’ll continue to keep an eye out for pieces that feel right for you. Sometimes this may mean reaching out of your comfort zone to find the vintage conversation piece your space needed all along.
Negotiations for dummies: 3 things you wish everyone knew… 01 Never give them a price. Let them give the price to you; 02 In a store, you can negotiate 10-20% off usually if the piece has been there for a while. Flea markets you can usually haggle low and walk away and get what you want; 03 Always tell vintage stores your budget, usually people will find things for you!
Fave ways to vintage shop when you can’t make it to Pop Up Home: Flea markets, thrift shops, estate sales, garage sales, etc.