Like Antique Malls? Get In the Business.

As the title of this post suggests, my aunt and uncle did just that. And with a last name like Master, what better name than Master Pieces Antiques?

Aunt Mary Pat and Uncle Doug have always had a passion for antiques. It’s been obvious in their choices of hundred-year-old houses, vintage British sports cars and rooms furnished with more timeless pieces of furniture than you could utilize in a lifetime. That said, it was no real surprise to anyone when they walked away from the recycling station they owned and opened an antique mall.

The first mall started in the front section of a former department store, but after continually expanding into more and more of the space, the owner of the building decided he had different plans for the property. This set off a light bulb in their collective heads: Why not buy the building half a mile down the road and lay down some permanent roots? Sure, it required a lot of hard work and TLC to bring it up to code, but the Art Deco style would be the perfect compliment to the vintage wares that would soon spill over inside.

On a recent trip to Cincinnati to visit the family, we worked a trip to the new digs into the plans and soaked up the classic, colorful vibes that had already begun filling the space floor to ceiling. We’re incredibly excited to share with you, our loyal readers, some of the ways you could throw some vintage vibes into your own homes to mix thing up a bit and step away from the big-box norm. So here’s a little glimpse of what we saw.

The mall is divided into many sections, with a few small rooms arranged around the perimeter, and a large space, divided into many vendor booths in the main area. Up a couple stairs and the first room on the left revealed this amazing vintage penny-farthing bicycle and some awesome vintage prints. There’s so much to look at, and we’ve only been inside no more than a minute.


Inside the next room, we snatched a clean copy of Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, along with a classic Temptations record from this gentleman who happened to be in his space handling a bit of inventory. We chatted about classic rock and roll albums for a few minutes and we were on our way.


Down a small flight of stairs, we were greeted by this awesome octagonal mirror for only seventeen bones (which we wished we had wall space for) and these cool brass chandeliers. We have a little chandelier refinish project up our sleeve already, so we took note of some of the detail work on these and forced ourselves to walk away empty-handed.


Around the next bend, we were greeted by this well-worn lion, which made us wish we had enough outdoor space to grant him the regal home he deserves. Again, we had to convince ourselves we didn’t have space for these unique porcelain teacups, but you should probably go pick them up for yourself, shouldn’t you? They would look amazing on display in your kitchen, right? You could even use them as tiny dishes for candies when you invite your crew over. Next to the teacups was this funky green shelf, chock full of vintage pots and pans. My lovely wife could not get over the way that all of the colors worked with one another to create one big pile of shabby-chic kaleidoscopic goodness. But alas, the green shelf was for display only, and our cupboards are already overflowing with one too many pots and pans as it is. There’s always next time.


Next up, we bumped into this simple dresser, which Kim nearly convinced me to strap to the roof of our trusty Corolla and bring back to Chicago. Our dresser is just right for our current space, so it wasn’t really an option for us. Although, with a quick coat of colorful paint you’d have yourself a bright vintage piece that cost you fifty bucks and is surely far sturdier than anything you’d pick up from Ikea or Target. You could even grab some new drawer pulls to make this piece one to call your own. You just have to see the potential…


Wait, did someone mention drawer pulls? I must say, the amazing selection of pulls, knobs, and do-dads to aid in all of your furniture restoration projects made us salivate. We picked up a cool, minty green knob for ourselves with a project already in mind.  Remember, try to think of antique malls and vintage shops as nice alternatives to a quick run to Target. You’ll more than likely find a few unique and well-made items for your space, instead of the same mass-produced boring retreads that every other person in your neighborhood already owns.


Just when we thought we were on our way out, we found an awesome project idea: Use a classic iron griddle of any size as a magnet board. Hang it by the handle or use some sturdy picture hanging hardware and you’ve got yourself a unique way to display your honey-do list, grocery reminders, or even some treasured photos.  What a simple way to add some pizazz to your kitchen decor.


All in all, we couldn’t even begin to photograph, let alone describe all of the truly wonderful things we saw at our visit to Master Pieces. I guess you’ll just have to stop by and check it out for yourself. If you’re not in the Cincinnati area, don’t let that stop you from checking out your local Antique mall. You never know what’ll be lurking around the corner, begging to lend a unique touch to your home. Enjoy!

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  • Dave9.16.09 - 3:16 PM

    We’ve been to Master Pieces on numerous occasions. It is a great place to hang out. Doug can talk about almost every item in the shop. Many times, I have casually asked about an item and received a history lesson. MP and Doug are truly passionate about this great place. You didn’t mention the art work. Did you guys see the Peter Max stuff? Another great post. Keep the stories coming.

    P.S. There was a great article about Master Pieces in the paper a few weeks ago. MP may have saved it. Next time you are in town you need to check it out.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle9.17.09 - 9:59 AM

    Love the tips they give you with decorating with the pan! Great way to show off different ideas for items!ReplyCancel

  • Scott9.17.09 - 2:41 PM

    Thanks, Dad. For those of you who hadn’t put together the pieces yet, Dave is my Dad and Kim’s Father-in-Law. Scary people, those in-laws! We didn’t have a chance to check out the Peter Max art, but that just gives us another reason to go back next time we’re in town.ReplyCancel

  • Scott9.17.09 - 4:39 PM

    Thanks, Danielle. it’s such a simple little idea, but has SO much potential. Show us what you come up with!ReplyCancel

  • Michael9.23.09 - 11:32 AM

    That is fantastic. Tell them to open one up in chicago. And I need that bike.ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.24.09 - 7:41 AM

      Michael, I bet you could find some amazing things in this place for your new home! Another option, check out the Rosemont flea market on Sunday mornings! Wow, have we found some neat things there. Last time, we saw a gorgeous Danish Modern dresser go for $50. So beautiful, it didn’t even need a lick of work.ReplyCancel


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