Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lil' Red Schoolhouse Antiques, Part I

This is a new kind of post I would like to do every now and then. I will feature a local shop I adore (and possibly non-local if I ever leave my little nest) . I am going to try to stick to small businesses. These will be photo heavy posts. I just couldn't decide which to use! :)

Mind you, I am not a photographer, just a photo junky trying to learn how to use my DSLR.

The first store on my list was Lil' Red Schoolhouse Antiques located at 108 State Avenue in downtown St. Charles, Illinois. This little yellow house (yellow, not red) is situated on a hill, so over time you can see the character gravity and my tilted camera has bestowed upon this adorable shop's historic home. 

The lovely proprietor, Pat Arnott, previously was located in Warrenville, IL in - you guessed it - 
a lil' red schoolhouse. She recently made the move to St. Charles, and I'm so glad she did! 
The owner and her husband, Bill, are warm and welcoming each and every time I pop in to browse.

Even the entrance has a wonderful variety of goods for sale. Hello, rusty bicycle!
Why, oh why, did I not notice that scale by the door until I was looking at my photos at home!?

This yellow chippy chair has been repurposed into a planter with a burlap liner. 
So clever and versatile. I envision poinsettias during Christmastime on a wraparound porch.

Love primitive, rustic finds? Just walk up to the brick patio entrance. 
{Maybe it's more accurately described as a courtyard? Either way - charming!}
I'm finding all kinds of ideas in my head for that well-worn wooden tray, by the way.

I happened upon this store searching for another antique shop nearby. I was instantly 
drawn to its home-like appearance. And I'm talking about the inside of the store, too! 
The shop is set up in little vignettes everywhere, the likes I've see only on blogs - 
a la Miss Mustard Seed's retail location The Old Lucketts Store.

A very old farm hutch showcasing a local vendor's tasty gourmet goods. 
{Note the small holes worn into the corners of the two drawers? Those are mice holes!}

Now I knew shops like this existed, but in my limited time to visit antique stores, most were arranged 
in tiny booths with all the items grouped in categories. Such as, this vendor sells antique crystal, 
this vendor specializes in linens. But these other stores often felt claustrophobic, and had an overwhelming mustiness which disagrees with my sinuses. And since my time is limited, I am 
always concerned that it will take hours to sift through one vendor for potential finds. 
Flea markets are better, but the spaces are usually small - and hot! 

Not at this store - which is why I can spend 2 hours there and feel like time flies! 
And my allergies do not bother me a bit. An added bonus, indeed!

A chippy, shabby old ladder with a lot of stories to tell has linens draped on it and nearby.

An oil lamp in fabulous condition and candle stick holder sit on a large console table 
with a bust of a child. Hang on, now that deserves a close-up!

Vintage silver flatware tied up with string...these are a few of my favorite things. Cue the music :)

A great rotary phone sits on a desk with "Life" Magazines. The display case nearby holds crystal and other shiny collectibles. The shelves in the background hold poker chips and various "manly" goods.

I love the occasional mix of old and new. Look at this fabulous red radio cabinet! 
Talk about character. It is filled and topped with a hand-painted china set.
 The navy, floral purse hangs from the open door and coordinates beautifully.

Newly sewn purses are found around the shop from Sassy Sparrow, one of several local vendors that Lil' Red Schoolhouse Antiques adds to the mix. They intermingle gracefully with the vintage wares.

In the right photo is a perfect example of mixing modern accessories with vintage items. 
This mid-century nightstand is painted black with a pop of yellow on the inside of the drawers - 
and they are lined in damask patterned paper. Atop the stand is a vintage silver candlestick holder, 
a small vintage glass jar (with new lid liner) and a new clutch purse in a trendy yellow and grey.

I adore the wall displays throughout the shop! They spark my own creative ideas.
This ornate frame with a small oval-framed mother and child portrait - just makes it so special. 
And her use of a vintage hanger to display old advertisements makes it feel current.

Hmmm... I'm still contemplating if we NEED the embroidered alphabet in the play room.
The cheery little "Bless this house" tin matchstick holder might find a perfect place in my kitchen. 

A great old stove is helping to show milk glass collections, mason jars, enamelware and 
a pair of giant, old ice tongs. Notice the peak of a folding chair - it almost came home with me! 
Rats, I was too busy taking pics! Not to mention the red striped towels.

Love feminine and fancy? {"fancy" must be said with an accent - fahn-see}
I spotted a lovely tea service - and pearl & rhinestone shoe clips! Worthy of a vintage-inspired bride.

A small, black accent table with great lines holds a vintage sewing machine and linens. 
Knitting needles, thread and buttons are on show on the shelf below.

The shop has a great assortment of furniture for sale, as well (unless otherwise marked). 
I love this curvy dresser with harp mirror. 
New and vintage jewelry cover the top, cleverly sorted into a cast iron cornbread mold. 

I am loving old tins with plants inside. So colorful!
This great red tobacco tin reminds me of a post by Stacey from A Sort of Fairytale.

A little birdcage that was begging to come home with me. 
{But my husband keeps wondering what I'm going to do with the ones I have already!}

That concludes my part one of this featured shop! Check back soon for part 2, where I will include more photos and some of my favorite finds from Lil' Red Schoolhouse Antiques that now live with me!

~ All photos are my own. ~

Please note that store inventory is constantly changing, 
but if you would like to inquire about availability and pricing, give Pat a call! 

Here is the store information: 

108 State Avenue ~ St. Charles, IL 60174
phone: 630-393-1040
Pat Arnott, Proprietor
Store hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM and Sunday Noon - 4 PM

If you stop by, tell them I sent you - and make sure you leave some finds for me!


  1. Thank you soooo much for posting these photos of my dear friends shop. I have yet been able to see it in person as we live in different cities and I love getting a chance to see wonderful pics of her fabulous shop.

    1. Thank you for dropping by! I will be posting a follow-up with more photos very soon! :)

  2. Hi! i finally got over here...sorry it took so long. love your blog :)
    i've got to go to this shop! thanks so much for the mention too {about my planter tin}.

  3. So glad I found your blog! Loving it. : ) I love, love, love, that little yellow chair!

    Sammy ~ Renew Redo


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