The Best Vintage Salvage and Antique Shop in Minnesota

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The good news is that I had found the best vintage salvage shop ever! It was a treasure trove of rust, dirt, and all-things-nostalgic.

The bad news is that I couldn’t lug everything home with me because it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I was there for a Duluth Trading Company modeling shoot (I’m from Maryland).

This awesome salvage show is called Art & Architecture and if you’re ever passing through Minnesota and love junk, antiques, and treasures, you’ve got to stop!

Remember I told you some time ago that I was one of nine winners in Duluth’s 2015 Model Search? Yes–I know…I’m shocked that my “mom gut” didn’t disqualify me. HA! But yep–I was one of the winners, and am now officially a Duluth model!

Anyhow, I squealed with delight when I saw this was one of our shot locations! Just watch this behind-the-scenes short clip (1:25 seconds) of one of the rooms in the store. We were like kids in a candy store!!

My makeup artist, Fatima, and I were taking a break and scoping out the goodies and we couldn’t believe the stuff we were finding. She was so funny! She kept saying, “I want allll this stuff.

How to Shop Salvage Shops

Before I share with you some tips on how to shop your next salvage shop (and before I gush about this amazing vintage shop), let me tell you about the other amazing sets on which we shot!

You see, Duluth Trading actually uses real women in their catalog. They find women who are tough-as-nails farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, DIYers…(me!)… and they shoot us in locations that are natural to our authentic selves.

For me, Mrs. I-Love-Junk-and-Power-Tools-and-Blogging, they scouted out the perfect location that was one part Amazing Workshop, one part Awesome Vintage Salvage Shop, and another part Delicious Cafe.

I felt like I was at Disney World or something when I walked in and saw this workshop!!

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The dust!

The tools!

The vintage!

The organization!

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Even the way they had scraps of wood mounted on the wall, it looks perfectly placed, full of character and intrigue! I felt inspired to do something like that to my workshop, too!

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I marveled at the skill it must have taken to put together furniture from scratch like this…. And the fact that they clearly had a sense of humor. 😉

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And the stockpile of wood! The materials! I couldn’t close my mouth.

I wanted to move into this workshop. I wanted the professionals there to teach me everything they knew.

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Remnants of their projects were scattered about and showed the level of detail and pride in their handmade pieces.

Best Vintage Salvage Shop - Thrift Diving


I wish I could tell you where this workshop is located (they offer classes, too), but since the catalog isn’t coming out until last winter/early spring, I can’t say yet.

But man… I was so in love with that workshop that I was serious when I asked the owner if I could come back to become and apprentice for a few days!

I’m totally serious. 🙂

#1 Salvage Shop Tip1: Look for Boxes…and Lots of Them!

As if it couldn’t get any better…. nearby to the workshop was the.most.amazing vintage salvage shop I had ever seen.

Maybe I’m just used to the thrift store, where great finds are far and few between, but this place….

….there were just so many amazing treasures!!

One of the best things to buy from salvage shops is vintage wooden and metal baskets. My favorite are the ones with card catalog labels on them. These can be used for storage on shelves!

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#2 Salvage Shop Tip: Vintage Letters Are Hot Buys

Art & Architecture had tons of signs and letters! Just be forewarned that vintage letters like these are usually pretty pricey. I don’t recall how much these were, but there were expensive (but very cool!). I actually happened to find some letters one day while at the organic store, so keep your eyes open for these popular letters.


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#3 Salvage Shop Tip: Ask If They’ll Ship To Your Home!

I fell in love with these lockers and cabinets.

See the little gray one on top of the blue one, next to the green? I had to have it.

It wasn’t cheap. (Don’t ask!).

But when you compare the cost to what I would pay retail in Maryland….well…I bought it and paid to have them ship it to me. I considered it a gift to myself for a job well done on set. A souvenir, if you will…

Most businesses can ship things via Greyhound and it actually is super affordable. Shipping for one of these cabinets was only about $50!


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#4 Salvage Shop Tip: What Can You Frame?

I also fell in love with these vintage comics!! I bought 4 of them!

I plan to frame them.

Look for old photographs…comics…anything that can easily be framed, to create instant wall art. 🙂


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Vintage finds 1


#5 Salvage Shop Tip: Invest In Nostalgia

Who knew that those old phones we all remember from our childhood would become so valuable? While I think $65 is expensive, I like the idea of investing in those items that bring back a sense of nostalgia.

Look for those things that you can bring into your life that remind you of your childhood, even something as mundane as an old phone. 😉


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And it’s hard to see, but I wanted that long table!!!! I think it was $750. EEK…but worth every penny. If only I lived closer.

Watch the short video clip HERE of the behind-the-scenes of this room.

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Finishing Up Our Adventure at the Salvage Shop

It took us about 5-6 hours to shoot about seven scenes with different wardrobe changes at the salvage shop.

Then later that night, Fatima, the makeup artist, invited me out with her husband and niece and we hit up an Aveda party and a local bar. She and I really clicked! She was so awesome! Don’t you love making new friends??

serena and fatima


So if you’re ever in Minnesota, you’ve got to check out Art & Architecture! And they will ship to you. Awesome, right??

So have you ever found that perfect salvage shop that makes you drool?? Tell me all about it below!





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  1. Anna Ibarra says:

    I’ve posted before the choose a great model as an every day “real” woman of today who is not afraid to get dirty and look dirty for us. LOL You are a natural beauty and can relate to us gals. ;-D All my best to you on this Duluth Modeling. LOL The real models of today. LOL

  2. Sharon G. says:

    I was driving through a neighborhood a few months ago and there was a young lady waving a sign that said “Last day Moving Sale Everything Must Go! It was a sad story to hear about why they were selling everything so I had to do my part and buy something.(lol) It was obvious when I walked in, the owner was a DIY’er and she definitely loved to thrift dive. The house was amazing and it was filled with all that antique furniture that I drool over. I bought an old Lane cedar trunk for 40.00 and there was an old wardrobe that was on wheels that had been painted white that fell in love with. That was on a Saturday afternoon, unfortunately, the banks locked the house that following Monday with all that gorgeous stuff still left in there.
    Can’t wait to see the catalog.

  3. Can you tell us where this shop is yet??? 🙂

    1. Hey, Vickie! LOL! I’m glad you remembered that I had never told you! Plus, I don’t think they used ANY of my pictures that we did for this shop (grrrrr….) because I haven’t seen them in the catalog or anything, so I’ll assume it’s safe to share. The place is called Art & Architecture. You can find them here on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Art-and-Architecture-Minneapolis-175899328494/.

      Enjoy! They have a LOT of great stuff!

  4. Janice Farnsworth says:

    Wow!!! I’m salivating looking at al the cool stuff!!! I can’t wait to see your pics and am so happy for you!

  5. that is one cool shop, glad you found it! I was also happy to hear your idea on framing the comic books. I just found some of my old ones and I think I will frame them now! thanks for the idea!

  6. I wish I could find some good stores like this local to me here on the Eastern Shore. I may have found one in Selbyville, Delaware (outside of Fenwick). I’m going to have to head over and check it out.

  7. I could spend an entire day in a place like this! Lucky You, Serena! And btw, congrats on being selected as a model!
    Thanks for all of the pictures. Really enjoyed looking at them even though it would be so much better in person!!

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the pics! I would have taken a bunch more but since I was technically there working, there were only so much time I had. But yes, it was awesome. And thanks!! I was so happy to be working with Duluth again! I saw some of the shots and they looked really good! Can’t wait to see them in print! 🙂

  8. Debbie Ruester says:

    You must have thought you’d died and gone to Junk Heaven!!!!!!

    1. Hm mmmm! I could have used a couple more hours to look around! 🙂 I think it’s a place I will definitely go back for a road trip!

      1. Debbie Ruester says:

        Absolutely!!!! And bring a U-Haul!!!!

  9. I’ve having a sneaking suspension that I am just back from that particular area you were in…. and shed many tears that some awesome things at a ReStore could NOT fit in my little overpacked car.

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