Decorating Elsewhere

Perennial Antiques, in Wisconsin’s North Woods

Perennial Antiques

We went to Perennial Antiques last Saturday, per this suggestion. (Thank you, Tina!) It’s an antique shop about halfway between Rhinelander and Minocqua, in Northern Wisconsin, and only open Thursday through Saturday, Memorial Day weekend through early October.

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

The owner, Mary, has a good thing going, and I think she knows it. Expect gorgeous finds, but don’t expect extreme bargains. Brandon and I were both in love with a huge work table (4’x7′, maple top, double-sided, generous sized drawers), but besides it being ridiculously heavy and difficult to transport, it was more than we could spend. It was fairly priced, but it was a price I would expect back home in Chicago. (It’s pictured below, with a blue pot of flowers on top.)

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

I did buy a vintage road grader toy for August. He loves it.

Perennial Antiques

I bought an owl lamp too. (I know. It wasn’t expensive, but I’m not sure what I was thinking either! Brandon wants to spray paint the whole thing, and I vote for leaving it as-is.)

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

There were so many great pieces that I wanted, but one can only have so many side tables and random chairs before it starts getting weird. I fully intend to return after I have a better idea of where certain things will go in the new house though! If you find yourself up this way in Northern Wisconsin, be sure to check this place out. It’s tucked away off of the main roads, but it’s worth the trip.

Perennial Antiques

Perennial Antiques

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  • Tory
    August 14, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’m with Brandon, spray the whole lamp a fun color!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:41 am

      But I think it will lose its owly-ness* without dark part around the faces! (*Totally a word, by the way.)

  • Laurie
    August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Oh my gosh. I get into so much trouble in places like that. I start looking around and think, “why don’t I hang old phones on the walls like that? Why don’t I have old tables with names carved in them? Why don’t I fill my window sills with old jars?”

    It’s like a sickness while you are in there. But what a way to kill an afternoon!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:39 am

      The best way to kill an afternoon!

  • Tina
    August 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I’m so glad you had a chance to check it out. They were actually closed when we were there, so I didn’t get to look around much. I eyed that owl lamp too! Great photos.

    Boulder Junction (about 30 minutes north of Paul Bunyan) has some good shopping for rainy days too. Moondeer Design ( has pricey, nature-themed art, but I’ve gotten some cute prints for $25-30 that don’t look out of place in my apartment. And there is a really nice pottery shop with reasonable prices right around the corner from Moondeer, Firemouth Pottery (

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thank you for more recommendations!

  • Kelly
    August 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Fun! We are at the family lake house about an hour from Rhinelander. Road trip!

  • Tori
    August 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    The textures in these photos are amazing. I’m especially loving the wall made out of cemented tree stumps. Looks like a wonderful place to discover hidden gems!

  • Mia
    August 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I can’t believe the lamp! Lol. DEFINITELY spray paint it — at least all white, but perhaps a fun color.

    (You should also decorate the owls seasonally. Get them little Santa hats, party hats for birthdays…)

  • Caroline
    August 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you so much for being from the Midwest so I can do things that you recommend!

  • AnnW
    August 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Leave the lamp as it is. You can always paint it later. I really covet that spool table. I think I want to visit this place. I don’t live even remotely near there, but I want to go. Perhaps you could trade some PR for that table. We need more pictures! Ann

  • louize
    August 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    oh, I love that red clock… I have been dreaming of something like that for so long… but I can hardly justify travelling to another continent for a clock! I am so envious of the American thrift shops, you seem to have some fabulous stuff, I don’t see anything like that over here.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:44 am

      You could call and see if they’ll ship it overseas for you! That clock is great.

  • Nikki
    August 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    @louize, I loved the red clock too! I saw so many lovely things here. Thanks for sharing, Nicole!

  • susan
    August 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    oh, those cubbies full of vintage fabric! I’m dying…
    I want to go to there.

  • Caroline
    August 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Heading up to Eagle River tomorrow – crazy to read a blog with the references from the North Woods of WI! Will have to check this out!

  • Bonnie Cramer
    August 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    One of the things I have admired about your style and your home is the clean, modern lines in furnishings mixed with beautiful colors and clever use of space. Please don’t lose this modern touch.

    • Jill
      August 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I was thinking the very same thing. It was your modern decorating style that I found so refreshing and unique.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I’m not doing an about-face, don’t worry! I think it will be fun to grow and stretch my design skills, and the new house will call for different furniture than the last (not entirely, but mixed in with what we already have). But I’m not interested in decorating solely in north woods style, or Victorian, or industrial, or what-have-you. I have a pretty clear sense of my style, and the new house will still reflect that.

  • Stephanie
    August 14, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Oh don’t paint it! What a great lamp … it is going to look great with (what I assume will be) all that wood in your new place. (Long-time reader, first-time commenter … really looking forward to seeing what you do with the house. From your posts I feel like you are moving towards a Tenenbaums-esque look, but maybe crisper, with a French influence? Regardless, can’t wait to see what you do.)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

      A little Tenenbaums-esque sounds right. Just a little though! I have tons of ideas for the new place — can’t wait to get in there so I can start sharing them.

  • Art Deco
    August 15, 2013 at 2:58 am

    lots of awesome stuffs!! impressive!

  • Amy
    August 15, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I love antiquing! I actually went last week. So much fun!

  • Linzy
    August 16, 2013 at 8:36 am

    All I can think is that bear looks like he is humping whatever is in front of him. That’s inappropriate right? Just delete this if it is. I just hope it makes you laugh like it did me.

  • Jan
    August 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    love the canoe for an awning! looks like a great place!

  • Kayli Schattner
    August 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I’m originally from Wisconsin and wish I would have had the chance to go while still living up there! It’s truly such a beautiful state and their antique shopping is pretty much unbeatable. Looks like next time I visit I’ll have a fun place to stop!

  • Keshet Starr
    August 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Would love to go one day, love!

  • Melissa
    August 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    How fun you found this place! It’s one of my favorites in that area. They have an amazing collection… My husband’s family has a cottage near there. Wish I could get there more often. Thanks for sharing all the photos :)