St. Louis may not have a Fifth Avenue's worth of high-end shops selling new items, but we simply can't be beat when it comes to repurposing. There are many places across the metro area to hunt for both vintage home goods and furniture or gently used treasures.
You probably want to start on Cherokee Street. The south city neighborhood's row of antique shops has long been a standby of vintage goodness, with gems such as Riverside Architectural Antiques (1947 Cherokee Street, 314-772-9177) and Ruth's Vintage (2001 Cherokee Street, 314-865-1091). The options are many; pick up a drink and treat from Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop (2201 Cherokee Street, 314-932-5166) to fuel your journey.
But while it's most concentrated, Cherokee is not the only shopping district for those looking for pre-used goods. Just south of Forest Park, Quintessential Antiques (5707 Manchester Avenue, 314-531-9701) has new treasures every month. The owners take a unique approach and are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. the first seven days of the month, then spend the rest of the month traveling across the U.S. in search of vintage finds for their store. Nearby, the Green Shag Market (5733 Manchester Avenue, 314-646-8687) blends antique and modern in its large store, which contains booths from various vendors, each with their own taste and specialty. There you might find decorative letters cut from vintage books and welcome signs painted on reclaimed wood in addition to mid-century modern furniture and 1970s bellbottoms. The Green Goose Resale and Consignment (5611 Hampton Avenue, 314-352-5000) takes a similar approach; you'll almost definitely find good antiques there, along with a wide range of slightly more modern furniture, dishes and home décor. If your home improvement projects are more on the renovation level, ReFab (3130 Gravois Avenue, 314-357-1392) offers a warehouse of reclaimed wood, cabinets, doors and more (plus some furniture and décor, too).
Richmond Heights is home to two large antique stores on Big Bend, the appropriately named Treasure Aisles Antique Mall (2317 S. Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-647-6875) and Big Bend Antique Gallery (2337 S. Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-645-3130).
Until recently, it was also home to Miriam Switching Post (292 Hanley Industrial Court, Brentwood; 314-646-7737), which has since relocated to Brentwood. Miriam only sells items that have been donated, and sells them tax-free to raise funds for the Miriam School. Another place you can shop and simultaneously feel good about giving back to the community is Revive Thrift Shop (2202 S. Vandeventer, 314-776-7520), where you'll surely find some vintage goods but also fresher items, too. The goal of Revive's nonprofit parent company, Mission St. Louis, is to break the cycle of poverty.
All of these stores require some energy and a discerning eye — it's necessary to enjoy the hunt for the perfect old leather chair or vintage picture frames. More curated antique stores offer a smaller number of finds and require far less sorting; a great one is the White Rabbit (9030 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-963-9784), which describes an "ever-changing assortment of painted vintage furniture, fun Pinterest-inspired décor, and great items from local artists." However, the prices reflect the work of styling the store; you're less likely to find a bargain here.
For the mid-century modern enthusiast, T.F.A. (6514 Chippewa Street, 314-865-1552) and MoModerne (8631 Watson Road, Webster Groves; 314-495-4095) both have large selections of Mad Men-era pieces, but are on the pricier side; if you head further out of the city to north county's Red Door Resale (408 St. Anthony Lane, Florissant; 314-488-5154) you'll find mid-century pieces without a stuffy atmosphere, and you can stop by Pirrone's Pizzeria (1775 Washington Street, 314-839-3633) afterwards.
Sorting through piles of dusty discards from the past is part of the fun. But nothing is better than someone complimenting the perfect piece you bought for your home and you getting to say, "Oh, I just found this at an antique store." So much more satisfying than saying it's from Target.