Antiques & Collectibles: Experts forecast '18 collecting trends

What will be hot for collectors in 2018? Among the expected trends, I see a return of boho collecting. Boho style — that is, hippie, Bohemian or gypsy looks that were popular in 2017 — has emerged, even in products in the big box stores. The demand and influence are even stronger in thrift and antique malls.

Here are some more trends identified by local experts:

Brad Sissel, of Picking in the Sun Antiques, Collectibles & Repurpose, and a vendor at Old River Valley Antique Mall, Stewartville: "Cast iron pans, wood duck decoys, knives, old toys, advertising signs, clocks, antlers, mounts, lanterns and stoves were purchased mostly by men. The best sellers except for the pans were sold to those in the 40-60 year age range. I don't predict that my buyers will change much in their taste or age range."

Chris Rand Kujath, of Old River Valley Antique Mall: "Galvanized metal sheets, pails and washtubs will be hot again in 2018 along with metal galvanized sheets that are great for using on the walls in your house, man cave, barn and shed. Also remaining hot — old metal galvanized sheets for making letters, numbers and signs."

Joan Thilges, of New Generations of Harmony: "2017 was another strong year. The ever-popular farm toys, cast iron pans, cartoon character soda glasses and beer glasses remained strong, constant sellers. Pyrex bowls and vintage kitchen remained strong, with Christmas collectibles like Dept. 56 houses and ornaments doing very well. This year, many younger customers were looking for anything farmhouse, including re-purposed furniture, signs and anything for use on porches, gardens and throughout the home. 2018, I think we'll see more interest in boho decor, anything bright and funky, reminiscent of hippie culture. The mid-century decor will strengthen with continued interest in farmhouse decor. Basically, our customers fall into two groups, collectors and decorators. Collectors are very focused and specific about what they want. Decorators, on the other hand, want the look. Authenticity is not nearly as important."

Renae Vinton, of Urban Shanty, Alma, Wis.: "Black and white was huge for us this past year! This coming year will be soft whites, and less is more. People are starting to purge more and more. Learning to value the precious items in the house will mean more. Raw natural wood with some metal items for storage will also be major go-to's for 2018. We all know farmhouse was huge in 2017, but 'Farmhouse Simple' is what is coming. The boho is pretty trendy for the Shanty. I think we stay more traditional with design for the sure sale. Minneapolis/St.Paul followers are very Pottery Barn and Cottage Style with a hint of boho in the materials such as medallion prints and soft grays. Yes, metals, painted metals and white enamel pots full of greens! That's hot! You will see more enamel ware!

Stacy McConnell, co-owner of Catch My Thrift, Stewartville: "Shabby chic was a big seller this year, rustic Americana still huge and going into 2018. Betty Butters, co-owner, added: "The boho (Bohemian) decor interest in 2018 will be bigger with colored baskets, granny square throws, jute hangers, and the return of of the bright colored fondue pots selling from $6-$8."

Laurie Rucker, of Vintage Treasures and Decor, St. Charles: "Big sellers in 2017, multi-purpose items such as egg baskets, tubs, wood and tin totes, scales-hanging and countertop, unique handcrafted ladders, benches and anything barn board or farmhouse related. For 2018, I see the same."

Sarah Kieffer, of Sarah's Uniques and Jim's "Man"tiques, St. Charles: "At the top for 2017 were our porcelain gas and oil signs, gas pumps, and anything related to collecting gas and oil such as old vintage gas clothing, shirts, jackets and coats, small gas station giveaways, and gas station toys. A big trend for 2018 seems to be collecting pop signs, train signs, club signs and any old advertising seems to be taking off. I would add for 2018 farm signs and farm collectibles."

Galen Lohrenz, of Pine Island, along with his daughter Angie Pehler, are Angie's Vintage Rust. Galen is also a vendor at Treasures Under Sugar Loaf, Winona: "We experienced our best year selling our antiques and primitives. Popular among our customers were license plates, especially plates prior to 1940. Beer memorabilia: tin beer signs, beer clocks, mirrors and lately beer taps and glasses. Scale model tractors are always popular, as is almost anything railroad-related. Small items continue to be fast sellers: advertising yardsticks, calendars, old coffee and candy tins. We also notice a growing trend in paper collectibles, especially with ephemera, old calendars and farm equipment literature. For 2018, we expect continued interest in crafting supply items, smaller distressed furniture items and beer memorabilia. We expect that older toys from the 1930s and '40s and older metal fans will continue to be big sellers in 2018."

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