They bring vintage back to life.
Jacob Willard Home
Proprietor Karl Hackett has an eye for midcentury marvels worthy of his impeccable wood restoration. He does them in-house at a Tukwila workshop before transporting them to the Hillman City store named after his first son, Jacob Willard (whose middle name is a nod to Hackett’s late father). “Furniture nerds” with a specific look in mind—say, white bouclé lounge chairs—should stay apprised of the Jacob Willard Instagram page, where he frequently offers up items pre-revamp so buyers can pick custom finishes.
Tucked away on a Ballard side street since 2002, Todd Werny’s shop is a fixture disguised as a discovery. Modern pieces—Herman Miller credenzas, Steelcase desks—frequently get a mod or Memphis-style makeover, refinished with bright colors that recall Werny’s time making postmodern jewelry. “Yes, running a vintage business is an art, and taste does matter, but I am a junk dealer,” he says, “tried and true.”
With a landlord like the National Nordic Museum, expect Scandinavian treasures aplenty, though owner and longtime local Shane Bastian welcomes any vintage furniture with a story worth telling in the shop he serendipitously opened just down the street from his house (less serendipitously, in February 2020). An open workshop in the back invites sneak peeks, conversation, and maybe some wine if art walk plans pan out. In addition to furniture, Bastian displays a rotating selection of local installations.
They save what’s worth saving.
Ballard Reuse celebrated its seventh anniversary this year, but co-owners Pat Finn Coven and Joel Blaschke have been in the business even longer: When RE Store closed up shop in the Ballard of yore, these former employees took over. “It was by far the best decision we’ve ever made,” says Finn Coven. Skipping Home Depot and heading here for a project (the shop’s especially well-known for its lighting selection) might be yours.
Second Use Building Materials
What happens to iconic vintage interiors when old buildings face demolition or renovation? With any luck, they wind up here. In addition to some seriously well-priced furniture (and the occasional suit of armor), Second Use carries unique reclaimed fixtures: lavender bathtubs, old library floor tiles, art deco light fixtures. The aim? To make salvage the norm for construction projects. Which means Seattle’s not quite disappearing—it’s just finding a new home.
They stock treasures worth searching for.
Ballard Consignment/The Furniture Guy
Tracking down truly old-school finds requires a bit of a dig through the frequently modern offerings at this pair of expansive consignment stores (don’t be fooled by the convincingly midcentury Article chairs). The payoff is well worth it for eclectic finds, like parlor games and secretary desks.
For those who dream of getting lost in a sea of vintage furniture, this literal warehouse near SoDo picks up where Pacific Galleries left off—though you need only wander a few minutes to find something worth taking home. A slew of vendors, including co-owners Tom Gorz and Mathew Culbert, carry a century’s worth of styles, from rustic to designer.
Fremont Vintage Mall
Decor is the name of the game at this two-story labyrinth, where kitschy cocktail pitchers, ornate lamps, and (beautifully? hilariously?) dated coffee table books hide among 1950s party gowns and Seahawks jerseys. Certain sellers provide a revolving door of larger pieces from sophisticated teak dressers to showy 1980s dining sets.
They cull a collection
Big Whale Consignment
Diem-My Tran collects furniture prolifically, despite getting into the game just four years ago. Literal stacks of “things that make me do a double take” line every spare inch of this Aurora storefront. That amounts to a mix curated less by era or style and more by a sixth sense for stunning furniture. “What’s good is good,” Tran says. Bonus for out-of-towners: This shop ships nationally.
This unassuming Central District showroom schedules viewing appointments by request, and handily makes up for any lack of face time with one of the best online shopping experiences in the city. Shop exceptionally high-quality boho finds plus a variety of complementary handmade goods.
Kirk Albert Vintage Furnishings
It leans a bit more rustic than most vintage shops in Seattle—here, items aren’t afraid to artfully show their age, from worn steel tables to paintings that look a little rough around the edges. Eccentric sculptures and practical old objects turned sculptural, like old wig stands and 1940s embryo models, could be yanked from an art gallery. So could the store itself. Those afraid of making a statement need not apply.