Wisconsin Antiquing Adventures

So, the husband and I are back from a lovely 3-day stay at Sundara Inn and Spa in the Wisconsin Dells to celebrate our second wedding anniversary. (To whoever had two years in the betting pool on how long the marriage would last: sorry!) This is our third time staying there and I highly recommend it. We stay in the villas, which have a full kitchen, so even though it’s a bit more expensive than staying in the main building, we save money by bringing our own food and eating in. I have to say, I love the Dells. There’s something so delightfully kitschy about the area, and I love that you can clearly see the line between the old Dells, with all of its fifties, neon charm, and the new Dells, with all of it’s corporate overkill. (Predictably, I prefer the old Dells.) I also love the kind of wistful nostalgia the place has in the off-season. There’s something winsome but lonely about deserted roller coasters. We still haven’t seen it in the summertime, but I can imagine we wouldn’t like it as much.

Because my husband is so incredibly awesome and allows me to do things that are appealing only to me, even though it’s his anniversary too, I did some thrift/antique shopping in the Dells area and also in Madison, where we spent Friday. Also LOVE Madison. I’m jealous of people that went to college there. It seems like the quintessential college town. I’m working on my photos from some of the stuff that I came back with, but in the meantime, allow me to tell you about the best antique mall in the entire world: Odana Antiques .

wi mall framed 2

Seriously: I go to every antique mall in every town I’ve ever been in, and this mall wins hands down. You know how even a good antique mall will have two or three booths that are just awful? This one has nothing but the best booths I’ve ever come across.  There’s such a huge variety of styles, periods, and items, but I love every single thing I see in here. And the prices are really, really good.

wi antique mall framed 1

I asked if I could take some photos, because a friend is looking for a cabinet and I found a few that were priced so well (specifically, that hoosier cabinet in the first set of photos — that’s only $295! It’s huge! And the colors are adorable). The prices are pretty good across the board — especially when compared to Chicago prices. Like, so good that I might take a quick trip to Madison just to shop here if I was looking for something specific.

I almost got that mirror in the first photo of the second set — it’s an old department store mirror, 2-sided, and has a nice size and heft to it. Only $65! I think it would be adorable sitting on top of a dresser but as I couldn’t figure out how to use it in my own home, I decided to let it go.

What I love so much about this mall is that every square inch — and it is a BIG mall (I kept getting lost) — is beautifully staged and marketed. Every corner and every wall is just lovely. There is no wasted space. I am assuming that they are very choosy about their vendors, and only take people who have proven track records. To sum up: get to 6201 Odana in Madison. Some fabulous Christmas present options await!

November 29, 2009 - 10:35 pm

janie hightower This seriously makes me sad not to live close enough to go there. The photos are amazing.

December 5, 2009 - 4:49 pm

Michelle I am envious of the corner cabinet- great display.