Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vinnies, Hampton

one sentence review: The shop is an amazing place to go if you are looking to furnish a house ... I swooned over some old romantic pieces like an oak wardrobe with beautiful old door handles and a full-length mirror that possessed this rich, nutty aroma.

This week I took some advice from a friend and went to have a look at the St Vincent de Paul Op Shop on Hampton St, Hampton. It's a large warehouse style complex on the main rd and it is busy on a weekday afternoon

The shop is an amazing place to go if you are looking to furnish a house. There are full sets of tables and chairs (good quality if only for a couple of minor scratches) in the outside area in front of the op-shop and other miscellaneous items (including one of those deep, old baby bayonets.) The best items are concealed in this covered shed that runs along the side of the op-shop. I swooned over some old romantic pieces like a large mahogany dresser with oval shaped mirrors and an oak wardrobe with beautiful old door handles and a full-length mirror that possessed this rich, nutty aroma (it reminded me of when I used to hide in a similar one owned by Mum when I was little.) There was a newish computer desk and a couple of filing cabinets that would be great if you needed to furnish a small office space.

Inside the clothes seemed a little less impressive, though there was plenty to browse through. The shirts and tops were all beautifully colour-coded, one rack reminded me of a sunset or a tequila sunrise! The selection of warm knits and jumpers was excellent, but there was an alarming amount of ugly suede jackets with faux fur trimmings around the collar and sleeves. I found a pearly, sheer top with buttons down the front and big shoulder-pads and a sheer animal print top that could would match a high-waisted skirt. There was a good quality range of menswear towards the back of the shop, with a variety of slacks and jackets for a more mature-aged guy.

In the next room there were lots of squishy couches, cutlery, linen, quirky painted porcelain, rocking chairs and a bird cage. There were also some more (smaller) furniture pieces, a hat stand and toys for kids. For those nuts who like to ring talk back radio as soon as they see the first Christmas decorations in store, they are definitely out and proud in this op-shop. Big, fake plastic trees, decorations and thigh-high plastic Santa’s' filled the front window/area of the shop.

Operating this op-shop would be no small feat, there is a small army of volunteers working mainly out the back (and through-out the shop) sorting, pricing and selling all the donated goods. The front of house staff were also really helpful, especially one burly volunteer who helped me rope a wall-unit for a tv/dvd into the back of my sedan style car - even after he said it couldn't be done!

You could describe the layout of the shop as spacious, but neat, which really helps you get a good appreciation of all the furniture and other items. Big problem is the number of changing rooms, with the size and popularity of the store they could probably do with a couple more to cope with the demand.

I'd recommend visiting this op-shop, even if it is to wonder around, lie on the couches or hide in the cupboards for an hour.

address: 501 Hampton St, Hampton

changerooms: 2

music: Magic 1278

Getting there:

pt: Catch Sandringham train to Hampton St and walk back towards the intersection of South Rd and Hampton St

parking: plenty of parking down side streets, though be careful to watch for permit zones and small children at the end of school time

food: Alessandro's cafe is a lovely, old style Cafe and Cucina about 20 meters from Vinnies.

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