Guide to Vintage Furniture Shops in North Miami: Affordable Finds

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When you need a dresser, don't march like a boring bourgeois zombie toward the nearest IKEA or Target. Why bring home another lame piece of furniture when you can score one with character and history, sometimes for the same lump of loot?

North Miami is a neighborhood brimming with troves of antique treasures. Better yet, many of the neighborhood's shops are clustered together, making it easy to stroll from store to store in search of your missing piece. 

In this guide, we'll explore some of the more affordable antique shops: the shops near Biscayne on NE 123rd Street. (Lookout for the next installment for information on the more exclusive set of shops known as "20th Century Row.")

ITS Antiques, 1660 NE 123rd St., 305-893-2009 
Price Range: $40 to $2,000
Eras Represented: Victorian to '50s
Friendliness Factor: 5/5

Owner Francine Peltz has been bringing rare and collectible antiques to Miami for 15 years. Unlike most other shops on the strip, her specialty is home accessories, not large pieces of furniture. Among her favorite in-stock items are a '60s plexi-glass "hand chair" ($600) she has on display on the walkway outside, and a Murano glass mirror ($650) that radiates golden light from the wall inside.

Aubery, 1646 NE 123rd St., 305-893-7661
Price Range: $100 to $4,000
Eras Represented: '50s to '70s
Friendliness Factor: 5/5

This shop has beautiful, sleek French furniture from the '50s through '70s. The showroom is clean and neatly organized compared to some of the neighboring ones. The average price is also a little higher than some of the others on the strip. Whether the owner intended it or not, the primary hues in the store are warm oranges and umbers. In addition to well preserved or restored antique furnishings and interesting light fixtures, the shop also carries some remarkable modernist paintings (see photos below).  

C Lamb
Cutrone sculpture, $150 at April
​April Antiques and Vintage Furniture, 1654 NE 123rd St., 305-891-0041
Price Range: $50 to $2,000
Eras Represented: 1810 to '70s
Friendliness Factor: 5/5

​Amicable owner Jim Hodgdon sold his first antique when he was 10 years old. A wealthy businessman asked young Hodgdon to chop wood. As a reward, the man gave the boy a few pieces of old furniture. Hodgdon gave his mother a table, but sold the rest and hasn't stopped since. Not surprisingly, his expertise is in wood furniture. His current favorite item is a Victorian-era "high boy" chest ($1,200). 

His shop is somewhat cluttered, but contains a few hidden gems. Among them is a bulbous purplish light fixture that looks like kind of like a mulberry made out of tinted Ball glass. 

C Lamb
Possibly a C. Jere sculpture
Yesterday Once More, 1650 NE 123rd St., 305-891-7838
Price Range: Did not wish to disclose
Era Represented: Victorian 
Friendliness Factor: 0/5

​Okay, pulling into the parking lot, we used the wrong entrance. Consequently, we had an awkward time getting into an angled spot. Some old-timers laughed at us from the rockers in front of their shops, but one long-haired man shouted rudely to "Park better!" and grumbled something under his breath. That man was the owner of Yesterday Once More, a shop that stocks mainly Victorian-era furnishings, but has some items from the late 20th century as well. He and a colleague were also cold once we walked in the door. Nevertheless, the shop had a remarkable birdcage-covered mirror ($450) on the wall, one the owners "believe" comes from famous sculpture duo Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels, together known as "Curtis Jere."

Antiques & Collectibles & More, 1650 NE 123rd St.305-891-7838
Price Range: From $30
Eras Represented: 1900-1970
Friendliness Factor: 5/5

This shop shares an address and phone number with "Yesterday," but has a completely different vibe. Inside, you'll find more China and dishware than any of the others shops in the row. We also spotted a number of Native American-themed items. Make sure to bring a cracker for Cassidy, the talkative store parrot (see photos at bottom).

Golden Era Antiques, 1640 NE 123rd St., 305-891-1006
Price Range: $80 to $25,000
Friendliness Factor: 5/5

The antique business is "fair to middlin'" these days, says Golden Era Owner Cliff Sneed, who's been dealing in Miami for 20 years. But lukewarm sales won't stop him from carrying some big ticket items. The most valuable he's got around today is a painting by Haitian artist Wiltzid Daleus, which carries a $25,000 price tag, but is inexplicably just sitting on the floor in the middle of a knot of other objects. Some more practically priced options include a set of Rococo-style dressers, made in India and priced at $750 each (see photos below).

There are a few other shops on the strip, but they were closed during our visit. Phone numbers are posted on the doors in case you see something special through the glass and would like to make an appointment. 

If you're in the market for some vintage goods, there's no time like the present to bring home a piece of the past. A number of shop owners told us they slash prices through the fall, but bring them back up in time for the influx of snowbirds. So bring a discerning eye, a brawny friend (for heavy lifting), and a Smartphone (for Googling artist or brand names) and get started down the antique trail to a more interesting living room.

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