In some way or another, what’s old can always become new again. In Central Massachusetts, the emerging trend of consignment stores exemplifies this fact.
Consignment stores are a new breed of antique and used furniture stores offering much more variety than traditional antique stores of the past. In the old days, antique storeowners went to auctions and bought pieces to resell, having to dish out money in inventory.
Consignment shops, on the other hand, pay consigners when the items sell, allowing them to stock their stores with a multitude of items they believe will sell.
So, whether you’re seeking something new for the house or gift shopping during your stay in MA, here are some consignment antique stores across Central Mass worth checking out.
Crompton Collective – Worcester, MA
Photo: Crompton Collective interior
The Crompton Collective in Worcester’s Canal District is the perfect example of a more “new age” antique store, a hybrid of antiques, crafts and refurbished items. Located in the basement of the historic brick Crompton Building on trendy Green Street in the midst of restaurants and bars, this shop offers something for everyone.
The expansive space is leased out to vendors who sell antiques, unique crafts, refurbished furniture and vintage collectors items, such as sports memorabilia, dishes, lamps and random decor.
Each vendor takes time to stage his/her space, giving the place an over feel of design to inspire what buyers will purchase. It’s definitely worth heading over to The Collective to take a look around and see these beautiful displays!
HOT FINDS: painted vintage/shabby chic-style bureaus in many colors, along with an assortment of painted accent furniture.
For an inside look at what’s happening at Crompton Collective, take a peek at their Instagram feed.
Back to the Rack – Clinton, MA
This hidden gem is located in Clinton near the Lancaster line on Rte. 110, and when you go there to browse, you might end up browsing awhile.
Back to the Rack has a wide variety of large pieces of furniture, such as couches, bureaus and dining sets. The inventory changes quite frequently, so if you are looking for something specific, you may want to visit weekly or let the owners know what you are looking for.
This is a great spot to find antiques or vintage pieces you can paint or restore. Because of its location near towns where antiques furniture shops were once a booming business with many historic homes, your chances of finding spectacular pieces here are pretty high.
HOT FINDS: fixer-upper furniture, bureaus for repainting, sofas that could use some reupolstering, vintage bedroom and dining sets.
Photo: Back to the Rack interior
Gallery 56 – Clinton MA
Gallery 56 is located in downtown Clinton, just about a mile away from Back to the Rack. Gallery 56 is by far the largest store I have visited in the area and offers a huge selection of antiques. Because the Gallery is so spacious, there are many larger, stately pieces available for purchase.
Located in an old brick warehouse, the product displays look gorgeous with the exposed brick backdrop. Full room displays are set up so you imagine yourself in a living room or dining room.
You can spend a fair amount of time in this store looking at the huge variety of items they offer, so plan accordingly. There is easily enough variety here to furnish your entire home.
There are many new items as well, such as dining room sets, living room sets and rugs. The owners are choosy about what they bring into their store, with a selection process that brings in items from 47 states. If you are thinking about purchasing new furniture from a chain store or expensive furniture store, go here first, as you will likely find better quality items at a much lower price.
HOT FINDS: gorgeous one-of-a-kind antique bureaus and buffets, upscale used furnishings at a great price
Still Life Home Gallery – Hudson, MA
Photo: Still Life Home Gallery entrance
Still Life Home is located just up the hill from downtown Hudson, and like Gallery 56, is housed in a beautiful brick Warehouse which made me really excited as I drove up to it. Plenty of parking, too!
Still Life Home is a mix between Gallery 56 and Back to the Rack. It is a huge space with a lot of variety, and the items are similar to what I found at Back to the Rack: less expensive pieces that could use a little TLC.
Still Life Home had really unique pieces of furniture, newer vintage pieces as opposed to stately antiques. Here I found many items that could be picked up and restored, such as Victorian-styled bureaus, dining room sets with character, couches and chairs.
Whatever your style, Still Life Home has something for you, from traditional antiques, shabby chic to modern vintage.
HOT FINDS: fixer-upper furniture, bureaus for repainting, sofas that could use some re-upholstering, vintage bedroom and dining sets.
Lysa Miller is a Massachusetts-based writer whose work covers notable local businesses around the state. Follow her on Twitter @ladybugzinc.