Twenty-some odd years ago, my mother and I drove the family cars down from the Chicago suburbs to southwest Florida as part of their big move south. It was a sweltering June day and an otherwise fun road-trip. The otherwise part, though? One of the cars- the one I was driving- overheated in Chattanooga, Tennessee…and I had to drive with the heat cranked on in 90°F weather.
I realize I should have blamed Ford, but instead I blamed Chattanooga…and I hadn’t returned since. But I’ve lived half my life since that sweaty day, and decided to lift the ban and take a long, junkin’ weekend to Chatt-town. I’m happy to say that we had a fantastic time…and in true Chattanooga form, the past is quite literally water (from the Tennessee River) under the Bridge.
So let me share my favorite shops and treasures with you…
This was the first shop we hit on our adventure, which set the bar awfully high for the shops that followed. The Refindery is equal parts architectural salvage and retro/vintage home goods…so you really get the best of both worlds! I oohed and ahhed over salvaged bits, but found treasures throughout the store. I didn’t snap a pic, but I finally found an awesome vintage plaid thermos to add to my holiday décor- huzzah!
Vinterest has been on my radar for a number of years now, and was one of the “hooks” that spurred my return to Chattanooga. And I was NOT disappointed! This is a fun shop if your aesthetic is shabby/cottage with a touch of farmhouse thrown in for good measure. Lots of painted furniture and vintage elements throughout the store- as well as décor inspiration, which is always a good thing.
Friends, what’s a junkin’ journey without an animal-based charity shop?? Y’all know I seek them out wherever I go- and Chattanooga was no exception! So, we checked out this local humane society shop and I’m happy to report that it’s a winner! A nice mix of housewares and clothing for sure, but it was the wall of handbags that made me most excited.
This store was probably the “October Surprise” of the trip- I didn’t have any expectations for it but it seriously BLEW ME AWAY. It is definitely for furniture shopping- which we aren’t in the market for right now, booo!- and the prices are absolutely phenomenal. Mr. Seasongoods has already stated that this shop was worth the trip alone and when we ARE in the market for furniture, he says we’ll be coming here first.
Gosh, I just love the name of this store…and it describes it perfectly. This is hardcore architectural salvage- and by that I mean, watch your step! I think it was the selection of metal elements that was most intriguing for me- trellises, gates, etc. Definitely an interesting adventure in and of itself if you’re ever near downtown Chattanooga.
A last-minute addition to our itinerary, I spotted this shop while we headed to a different destination. The name and wares set up outside told me this was a shop I’d enjoy, and boy was I right! It’s small but packed- and full of authentically vintage or retro treasures. There was a good collection of mid-century accessories (for home or wearing) and was overall an eclectic wonderland for a picker like me.
So, which shop spoke to you the most? I think I found a little bit of everything for everyone here…and there are a few shops that I would DEFINITELY return to again.
Where to next?? I’ll let you know soon enough, I promise!
A few things to take with you on YOUR next junkin’ journey (affiliate links)!