Richmond has long been considered a great city for antiquing. Recently, thrift and design stores have been popping up all over the city, but antique stores have been thriving in Richmond for years. Whether its West End Antique Mall or RVA Antiques, there are opportunities all over the city to shop for vintage clothing, collectibles, and antiques. In preparation for some antiquing I will be doing in Williamsburg and along Route 81 later this month, I stopped at 5 of Richmond’s best antique stores.
1. West End Antique Mall, 2004 Staples Mill Rd, Richmond, VA 23230
West End Antiques has been a Richmond favorite for antiquing for more than 20 years. The mall is 50,000 square feet and boasts over 250 booths. As you walk in, after deciding which building to start at, rows of booths stretch as far a you can see. Each vendor has their own unique style and you may find yourself so fascinated by the long corridors of furniture and accessories that you forget which aisles you have already been down. My personal favorite finds are the interesting and quirky vintage decor items, like the large Eiffel Tower replica or the pile of vintage college and souvenir pennants I found in one seller’s booth.
West End Antique Mall has been voted the best antique store in Richmond for several years by Style Weekly and they cater to nearly every design style. Booths range from old books to mid-century furniture to collectible toys to fine art.
During this particular trip, I found and purchased a pair of mid-century modern wooden candlestick holders and a small original oil painting. Together I spent less than $30 on the two items, which I thought was a very reasonable price considering the uniqueness and quality of the items I purchased. Although I was unable to afford them, I also was able to find a pair of gorgeous brass camel bookends and a woven pink and white chair.
I could spend, and have spent, an entire day exploring West End Antiques. Around every corner is a new, interesting find and I always enjoy stopping in to see what new treasures are for sale.
2. Sheppard Street Antiques, 103 S Sheppard St, Richmond, VA 23221
Sheppard Street Antiques is located right off of Cary Street and has a selection of vintage and antique furniture, chandeliers, locally made items, and much more. Sheppard Street Antiques has been in Richmond for nearly 20 years.
Sheppard Street carries the best of the best, carefully picked items in a small, but bright and beautiful space. Its convenient location in Carytown offers constant foot traffic and the care that goes into selecting the items is immeadiately evident upon entering the store. Pieces range from garden decorations to silverware to large dressers. Prices are perhaps slightly higher than other antique stores on this list, but they are still very reasonable and the shopping experience is much more enjoyable than at some other stores because there is very little rummaging to do and every piece is displayed nicely. My favorite find was an antique cocoa extract tin (pictured on the right) that had a beautiful Egyptian style design on it which I, of course, now regret not purchasing.
3. RVA Antiques, 6102 Lakeside Ave, Richmond, VA 23228
RVA Antiques was one of my favorite stores to visit on this list. I had never been to the shop before and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of items for sale and I found it to be well worth the drive. RVA Antiques has a fun blend of old and new with their funky up-cycled pieces and quirky antique finds. RVA Antiques describes themselves as “not your grandma’s antique mall” and they live up to that claim! Although they are named RVA Antiques, the 10,000 square foot store offers much more. Here you’ll find gifts, furniture, and even paint classes.
Many of the items are quirky vintage pieces; a large Mickey Mouse from a Disney window display, a 1950’s diner booth, a room full of Peanuts collectibles, and telephones from the 70’s. RVA Antiques also specializes in bright, cheerful up-cycled pieces. In the store you’ll find many freshly painted and restored dressers, picture frames, stools, and chairs. I especially was drawn to a pair of theater chairs and a large salmon colored ceramic teapot. Both pieces were reasonably priced. I enjoyed the layout of the store and even though I was there early in the morning, the store still had a buzz of energy and there were several other customers browsed through the aisles. This made the shopping experience more enjoyable as I didn’t feel like I was the only customer in a stuffy antique store.
5. Nest Antiques, 3404 Semmes Ave, Richmond, VA 23225
At Nest Antiques, every inch of the building is covered in items for sale. From the front porch to the bathroom, the small store still manages to offer a large variety of items. Nest Antiques is a great place to find small accessories like the hand painted tiles and flower pots, small wooden vases, and plates I saw for sale. Items range in price and Nest Antiques carries a nice mix of old and new items. Admittedly, I was a bit underwhelmed by Nest Antiques. The store was not as inviting as others I visited and Nest Antiques was more a destination shopping trip as opposed to the convenience of browsing several store in one location like Carytown. The items for sale were very nice but not unique and I missed the sense of exploration that large antique stores and malls offer.
5. Anthill Antiques, 3439 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
When you walk in, you will see many feline collectibles and maybe even a real cat lounging on the displays cases. The door is open and the noise of Cary Street disappears as you walk into the dazzling store. Chandeliers and jewellery sparkle all around and walk ways are narrow and twist around large towering display cases.
Run by a mother and daughter team, Anthill Antiques is located in Carytown. Anthill Antiques offers beautiful jewelry, chandeliers, and a great selection of eclectic antiques. Although Anthill has a small room dedicated to antiques in the top floor of their shop, the majority of their business is dedicated to the many cases of necklaces, rings, brooches, and more.
The verdict: Richmond is full of fun, quirky, and unique antique stores and his list only includes a small portion of them! I am looking forward to some more shopping next week at some of the state’s biggest antique malls.