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For young married couple, Sarah D’ Andrea and Lawrence Melilli, weekend hunts for furniture are almost an extension of their honeymoon. They pick interesting destinations (to ensure they have a great time even if no purchases are made) and hit the road. Sometimes they come back empty handed and sometimes they fill their car to the brim with dusty typewriters and armchairs that sell on Park Slope Vintage. In the end, it’s more about the journey then the secondhand treasures for these lovebirds.
Tell us a bit about yourselves. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Sarah: I am from Atlanta, Georgia and came to NYC after college. Lawrence is from Long Island and went to college in the city. We met through friends at Union Hall in Park Slope, and 5 years later we’re married and still live here.
List the top 5 places you go locally to discover hidden treasures?
We don’t really go local to find vintage items. Vintage stores in New York City have already unearthed and curated their pieces. For us, the fun is finding something amazing where you’d least expect it. Vintage stores have taken the fun out of it.
Did you go to garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores as a kid?
Sarah: I LOVED garage sales as a kid. When my sister and I saw a sign in our neighborhood, we’d go home and dig around in the couch to find change, then go buy presents for our parents. Mostly, they got cat figurines and old shoes.
How did you begin collecting mid-century furniture?
We first bought a mid-century credenza, and it didn’t match any of our other furniture. So we slowly began collecting pieces to create a cohesive room. It turned out to be so much fun, we just kept going.
How often do you go to garage sales, flea markets, etc.? Any personal tips you’d like to share?
We always stop when we pass one. Never count any place out when looking for vintage things. You never know what you are going to find.
Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?
I am a minimalist, and Lawrence is a hoarder. We always have to find a balance.
What is your most cherished handcrafted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled object you possess? What’s the story behind it?
Lawrence: I went camping one summer, and, on the drive up, we passed a garage sale. We stopped and I bought a bust of a sea captain. It was $1. I also bought a Supertramp 8-track, but that’s not nearly as cherished.
Sarah: My most cherished vintage item is silver bracelet given to me by my great grandmother. It’s so unique and I think about her every time I wear it.
Tell us about one of your recent fruitful trips.
Last summer we went to Providence, and, on the way, found so many great things. The whole time our car was packed to the max. Our hotel valeted and we passed off our car not only full of furniture, but full of dusty, old furniture. Imagine, first a Porsche, then our car full of 50 year-old chairs and typewriters.
Thanks Sarah and Lawrence!
The Short List
Prospect Park Bandshell
Find Sarah & Lawrence