Junkin’ Journey: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Junkin’ Journey: Chattanooga, Tennessee

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…

***

The Refindery

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!

The Refindery Architectural Salvage, Antiques, and Vintage store in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Doors and Windows and Posts, oh my!

The Refindery Architectural Salvage, Antiques, and Vintage store in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Yes? Yes.

The Refindery Architectural Salvage, Antiques, and Vintage store in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I’ll take a handful of these, thank you very much!

Vinterest Antiques

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.

Vinterest Vintage and Antiques in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Think they’d mind if I curled up with a book here?

Vinterest Vintage and Antiques in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Another cozy spot…

Second Chance Thrift Store

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.

HES Second Chance Humane Society Thrift Store in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Project inspiration over here…

HES Second Chance Humane Society Thrift Store in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

…and handbags over there!

The Insyde Outsyde Shop

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.

The Insyde Outsyde Shop Antiques Vintage Furniture in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Furniture for miles and miles…

The Insyde Outsyde Shop Antiques Vintage Furniture in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

$15 each! Hard to pick a favorite…

Estate of Confusion

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.

Estate of Confusion architectural salvage in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A wooden wonderland…

Estate of Confusion architectural salvage in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Metal bits, anyone?

Estate of Confusion architectural salvage in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Oh, but then I found this wall of goodies…

Estate of Confusion architectural salvage in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A friendly flutterby in a sea of rust.

Finders Keepers – St. Elmo

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.

Finders Keepers Antiques Retro Vintage shop in St. Elmo Chattanooga, Tennessee by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

ANOTHER cozy spot to curl up with a book! Ha-ha…

***

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!

Explore on!

S

A few things to take with you on YOUR next junkin’ journey (affiliate links)!

Comments

  1. Wow, that looked like a fun trip!! Glad you didn’t have to have your car heater on high, lol!

  2. Fun! Estate of Confusion – love the name – I think that’s what my basement inventory storage is.

  3. I am bookmarking ANOTHER of your trips, such fun! You can add travel agent to your resume.
    Thanks!

  4. O,K, What a lovely trip I so wish I lived closer…….thanks for sharing with a person who literally loves the hunt…….

  5. I’m liking Finders Keepers, just for the sign on the wall that says Pearl – that’s what we named out tiny house – Pearls Place, after hubby’s aunt who left him a bit of money in her will – we used it to build the house! I love your road trips.

  6. Fonda Rush says:

    What’s a 8+ hour trip for? Love to go, so I’ll book mark it!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Eight hours is nothin’ if there’s good junk to be had, right?? 😉

      • Fonda Rush says:

        Hmmm…It’s funny…I was looking at a map wondering how we could wiggle up to Columbus, Ohio, via Chattanooga. That would be kind of fun… We’ll see!

  7. I’m so glad you came our way! I live near Chattanooga, and Vinterest has become a second home to me! Made many purchases from Insyde Outside as well!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      I had no idea that’s where you live- very cool area!! We had THE BEST meal at Embargo 62. And we lived in South Florida for a long time, so we know good Cuban food. Delish!

  8. You found some great shops to explore!

  9. Those little round things in a bowl. Are they rosettes? Are they made of metal and have a place to screw in a handle. If they are rosettes, you dip them in a thin cookie mix (pourable) and deep fry them. Pry off gently with a fork and sprinkle powdered sugar on them. Yum!

  10. Looks like I need to head back to Chattanooga! Thanks for sharing all of your great adventures.

  11. Thank you so much for including my shop, The Insyde Outsyde Shop.

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      It was truly amazing and I’m so envious of the folks in Chattanooga to have access to it all the time. Would be dangerous for me if y’all were here in Greenville, SC. 😉

  12. I live in Chattanooga now! It’s not NYC but then again…..enjoying everything here!

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Ha! I can see it being a HUGE cultural shift from NYC. 🙂 I’m from Chicago but live in Greenville, SC…so I get it. But we do get to live in a gorgeous part of the country now, don’t we?

  13. Thanks for a great review of MY town. One you missed was Hunt & Burrow. Not all junk but great handmade and antiques.

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you, Rosemary!!! If we ever get a chance to return, I’ll be sure to check out Hunt & Burrow- appreciate the recommendation!!

  14. You have absolutely named several of my favorites here! The Refindery has enough diversity to make any stop a winner….and Vinterest is a newcomer who has become hugely popular too….but come back to Chattanooga and the surrounding area….there are 5-6 places that you haven’t mentioned like Joy’s United Antiques and Ringgold Feed and Seed Antiques both in Ringgold and a slew of antique shops on Ringgold Road by I-75. Many great great options in this area with super prices and varieties.

    • sarahwpb@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you, Margie!!! Love the recommendations, too- hopefully we’ll get a chance to come back. 🙂

  15. Thanks for visiting Chattanooga and giving such a fun review of some of my favorite places!

  16. Wow…how fun! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  17. Yes, I have been to Chattanooga several times. My sister used to have an antique shop there, Dayton and Pikeville, TN. I am so glad that you went back and enjoyed it. I love to go there and to some of the auctions there also. You had some places that I haven’t been and enjoyed reading about them. Will have to visit. I love to follow you around on your trips. Thanks so much for sharing them with us.
    Betty Whatley
    bjwhatley@yahoo.com

  18. I love Chattanooga! We just made a trip for Fall Break. I’m definitely going to have to make another trip to do some junkin!

  19. I’ve been to Chattanooga but never thrifted and antiqued there but it is going on my list of places to go. Thank you for sharing at Snickerdoodle.

  20. JaneEllen says:

    Let me say first, Grand Junction, CO is not into antiques as much as other places we’ve lived. There are maybe few shops downtown, that’s it, as far as I know. They do not have antique shows, total bummer. Have lots of thrift stores but prices are outrageous compared to other places we’ve lived. Sorry, but it’s true, as far as I know.
    Reading about all those incredible shops in Chattanooga made me pine for KY where we lived for 5 yrs. before CO, talk about plethora of incredible thrift and antique stores. Plus other states are so close to get to from KY. Still miss our house and land there, plus prices of real estate. Prices here are like southern CA. where we lived for 21 yrs.Too bad weather was so bad for me in KY, is why we left to move here. Just can’t please everybody lol. If I’d had my druthers we’d have moved back to MT where we lived before KY, before KY, MT., before MT, San Diego areas. Before S.D.,Tucson.
    Hope you’re having great Fall weather. Enjoy your Sunday

  21. Amanda Kolb says:

    I LOVE Chattanooga! I lived there for 5 years and still miss it. If you are ever back in the area, check out The Knitting Mill, its on the north side of the river from downtown. Has a mix of junk, antiques and handmade items.

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