Our part of town has a distinct ambience, and its residents reflect that discriminating quality. Many current homeowners reside in the old family homesteads — dating back to the art-deco period of the 1920s and ’30s for some neighborhood areas.



These homes beg for a special treatment that doesn’t always fit current decorating trends or furniture styles. And even newer homes can take on added dimension with an older decorative providing character and history — or maybe just a conversation opener.



Perhaps you just need that unique accent piece to make a statement, but you don’t have the time to shop extensively and prefer to browse close to home for that one distinctive armoire, chair, table or art-deco piece.



Be aware: If it’s real, read “serious,” antiques you’re seeking — popularly perceived as those at least 100 years old — you are not likely to find a ready supply of those just around the corner at bargain prices.



Many neighborhood store stores and arcades stock a plethora of collectibles, many from the art-deco period, even if they don’t always have lots of antiques. In some, you can shop 40 or 50 stalls under one roof. If nothing else, it’s fun to poke through these stores on a lunch hour or weekend. And you just might uncover something fun that does fit your budget and your décor.



In a one block area on lower Greenville, there are two such malls and one individually owned store. The Lower Greenville Antique Mall, 2010 Greenville, is open daily and has space for 50 dealers. The merchandise, while mostly newer than true antiques, is collectible. The layout is clean and comfortable, and the service personnel are friendly and helpful. Eclectic items include furniture, accessories and jewelry.



Lula B’s Antique Mall, 2004 Greenville, has lots of space, but is more eclectically organized in terms of merchandise.



Another option. If time is no object but money is … you can sometimes find bargains at weekend garage sales, most of which are run by people who just want to “get rid” of stuff and salvage some money in the bargain. Beware of the professional garage sale operators — they are easy to spot. One tip: the homeowner running a legitimate garage sale doesn’t take credit cards and doesn’t charge tax. Also, the professional often will reduce prices generously when offered cash.



One “find” in our neighborhood is a funky shop called Linda’s Treasures and Affordable Antiques, 1929 Greenville. The shop features a fantastic array of 1920s and ’30s armoires at prices from $250-$1,000, with most somewhere in the $500 range.



For an additional $125, the owner’s husband will even convert these lovely wooden armoires into home entertainment centers and computer stations.



Also, Henderson Street is a good bet for serious antiquing (see sidebar).



So whether you’re looking for collectibles or fine antiques, you don’t have to venture far to discover that special accent piece to complete your home décor.