The Coast News Group
Sergio Contreras and Jen Zoutendyk, Sea Hive Marketplace floor manager and store manager respectively, stand in front of a large collection of used CDs and records. Courtesy photo.
Home and GardenNews

North County’s hidden gems offer off-the-beaten path décor.

Nothing could be truer than that old saying: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

And as we approach the holiday season, you might be thinking about redoing, revamping or remodeling your humble home. But if you’re on a budget, or maybe you’re just not into buying new furnishings and accessories at expensive home stores, there is another answer: resale, vintage markets and do-it-yourself shops.

These hidden gems can be wonderful places where homeowners can find just about anything from small knickknacks to entire bedroom sets for a lot less money than traditional stores. Such shops, often found off the beaten path, can offer a wide range of interesting items that one might never find in a traditional store. For example, how about a great cabinet from the 1920s that can be updated, or a beautiful vase that someone decided to get rid of and it landed in one of these shops?

Luckily, North County has a few of these special places for unique home décor. So, if you open your mind while strolling through one of these shops, you could very well unearth a treasure that works perfectly in your home.

Sea Hive Marketplace

A fun place to start your hunt for the unusual is at the 13,000-square-foot Sea Hive Marketplace located at 1555 S. Coast Highway in Oceanside, where all kinds of goodies await those willing to put in the time to look.

According to store manager Jen Zoutendyk, the store is a “multi-vendor market place specializing in vintage, antique, handcrafted and hand-curated goods.”

“Our store is home to more than 100 different dealers who specialize in a wide variety of items,” she said. “You can find anything from records to antique paintings, fine jewelry, vintage Levi’s or a mid-century credenza.”

Today, the latest trends for home décor is anything Bohemian because it’s interesting and it’s affordable, Zoutendyk said.

“People are buying lots of wicker and using it for storage, planters, wall décor and furniture,” Zoutendyk said. “Indoor plants, vintage rugs and art go well with this look, too. Dusty rose, peach and green are colors that are fashionable now.”

An eclectic mix of vintage clothing, art and decorations at Sea Hive Marketplace in Oceanside. Photo via Facebook.

Shopping at a place such as Sea Hive is easy also on the wallet, she said: “Oh, my goodness, thousands can be saved. And it would be far more unique and stylish than a room outfitted by a chain store. Many affluent people choose to shop here for this reason alone.”

In addition to saving money, it’s also about the sheer adventure of going up and down the aisles searching for a one-of-the-kind piece to claim.

Zoutendyk added by shopping at Sea Hive: “You are supporting dozens of local, small businesses. Each of our vendors puts their heart and soul into their work, and we get to see firsthand people working hard to support their passions. Sea Hive specifically is not only run but owned by hardworking local individuals who all come together to bring Oceanside a different shopping experience.”

One of the biggest draws of shopping at this gigantic marketplace is because you can literally spend an entire day there.

“It is like a treasure hunt, and you never know what sort of gem you’ll stumble on, and when you do it’s most often one-of-a-kind,” Zoutendyk said. “I like to tell people that we sell items that you can’t find at the mall, and that makes us an anti-mall.

“Additionally, vintage items are almost always much higher in quality than the items being made today. The workmanship and hours spent making items in the past usually far exceeds what is being made today.”

Zoutendyk added another plus is that when you shop vintage/antique/pre-owned, it’s better for the planet and the environment because it creates less waste, and lowers the demand for low-quality, disposable items.

And while consignment/vintage sometimes gets a bad rap, Zoutendyk thinks otherwise.

“I think some people think that vintage/consignment has a stigma because it seems weird to some people to buy something that’s been pre-owned. There is sometimes an emphasis in our society on having the newest, shiniest thing on the market, but I think the popularity will only continue to rise when people realize all the advantages,” she continued.

“With the younger generations, it’s seen as more environmentally responsible and artistically interesting to buy unique, pre-owned, high quality items rather than buying common, throw- away, mass-produced things from the big chain stores. It’s decidedly cool to shop vintage!”

Also, Sea Hive Marketplace gets new items in the store daily because of its wide number of vendors. Every day multiple dealers are on site replenishing their inventory, so you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Eclectic Vintage Design

If you are someone who finds a great piece of furniture that you want to re-do yourself but haven’t a clue as to where to begin, there is a place that can help.

At Eclectic Vintage Design, which will be moving from its current location at 3320 Mission Ave, Oceanside, soon, you can learn exactly how to do just this thanks to owners, Rick Maxey and Kim Jacklin.

One of the many refurbishing projects that take place at Eclectic Vintage Design. Photo via Facebook.

“Eclectic is a boutique store and workshop for furniture paint enthusiasts and customers wanting unique home furnishings and décor. We carry paints and supplies that are designed to refurbish furniture and cabinets,” Jacklin said. “We offer a variety of workshops for the do-it-yourselfers and crafters. Our products are low-to no-VOC (volatile organic compounds), safe for the environment, and safe for you. We also book parties for crafters and enjoy helping our customers have fun decorating their homes.”

The products the store offers to makeover your furniture and cabinets with allow for a very affordable alternative to purchasing new furniture or remodeling kitchens and baths.

“Kitchens and baths sell homes, and are very easy to update with the store’s paint line,” Jacklin said. “We see a lot of requests for grays and soft, off-whites, beachy themes, light and bright. Lots of organic materials, such as driftwood finishes, things found in nature brought inside. People are seeking comfortable, casual living spaces. Less match-matchy; pieces that multi-task in functionality as space is limited in our homes,” she said.

Jacklin said homeowners are buying up older items because of the great quality they offer.

“The old ‘stuff’ is solidly built and meant to last. It’s mostly made of real wood, and those classic pieces have so much more character than most of what is on the market today,” she said.

Rustic farm soap dishes are just one of the many eclectic household decor items available at Eclectic Vintage Design in Oceanside. Photo via Facebook.

Jacklin said the shop’s customers are into giving the old a new, refurbished appearance, and having fun while doing it.

“While we obviously refurbish antique and vintage furniture, the idea is to give it a fresh look and feel for your home. Oftentimes, we have customers wanting new furniture but can’t find anything that meets the functionality of their current furniture,” she said. “A makeover is the best of both worlds. They keep the functionality and fall in love with their furniture again.”

Many of the shop’s DIY’ers are furniture flippers and bring in pieces they’ve picked up at garage sales and thrift shops (as well as roadkill pieces, items abandoned by trash bins) to paint and resell, she said.

“We love helping these small business owners with booths, or online sales, find the perfect color/techniques to overhaul their finds,” Jacklin said.

Clients at Eclectic Vintage Design are “people who want quality home decor and furnishings.”

“They are customers desiring a change, either by having our professional team provide painting services, or by doing it themselves with the products we sell,” she said. “We have clients of all ages, well into their 90s, loving what they own but wanting a fresh change.”

Also, by redoing the furnishings themselves homeowners can certainly save a bundle versus going and buying something new, Jacklin said.

“They can save literally thousands,” she said. “On a do-it-yourself medium kitchen cabinet rehab, for example, the average cost would be $300 to $400, versus thousands to have someone repaint, or several thousand to remodel and replace the cabinets. For a modest investment, you get a healthy return on resale value.”