Friday, September 11, 2015

Vendor Spotlight: Down Home Antiques

For our second installation of our Vendor Spotlight series, we highlight the story of Don and Peggy Arbenz of Down Home Antiques and how their little antiques business (and family) has grown over the years.

Peggy shares how the semi-retired couple adapted their passion to fit their lifestyle, her philosophy on antiquing, and how she gets to share one of her greatest joys with her daughters.

Tell us the story behind Down Home Antiques.
My husband and I love the antique business and collecting antiques! I have collected antiques since I was a kid, and we have been in business for over 25 years. I always wanted my own store, and it was a dream come true when we opened Down Home Antiques in 1999. We opened our little Yorba Linda store and then moved to Old Towne Orange a year and half later. After 17 years of operating a store, a year ago we closed our storefront in an effort to semi-retire.

How has the shop adapted to fit your “semi-retired” lifestyle?
We still love buying and selling antiques, but we wanted to spend more time pursuing other interests and enjoying our family, especially our 5 grandchildren! So while we still own Down Home Antiques, it is a business without walls. We enjoy doing shows and flea markets, especially Three Speckled Hens! We also hold an event at our home twice a year when we get back from buying trips. It is a chance for our customers to view and buy fresh merchandise right off the container.

What types of antiques do you specialize in?
We have always specialized in primitives, architectural pieces, garden antiques, and farmhouse style. We search the country for one of kind antiques and try our best to offer pieces that are 100% old! 

Do you ever find pieces that you just can’t part with?
I know it’s been a good buying trip when I have a hard time parting with everything I bought. I love selling, but believe me I keep my fair share! 

Describe your home decorating style. 
Our home is filled with American primitives and farmhouse pieces. I love primitive cupboards and farmhouse tables. The only new pieces of furniture in our home are our couches. I also love incorporating nature, so it’s not unusual to see a nest or mossy covered branch in my home. I have collected for many years and have been to many flea markets and shows around the country. I have pieces that I have had in my home for 30 years and pieces I recently found, so my home is constantly changing and evolving. I can get just as excited about a tiny $5 item as I can about a large cupboard. My rule for decorating is that there are no rules. If you love it, it goes!

We heard you have an antiquing philosophy. Can you share?
My philosophy on antiquing is that it is as important as eating and sleeping. If you love antiques and the thrill of the hunt, it is a lifelong passion. I often hear customers say that they don’t really NEED a particular piece or I hear their spouse say, “you don’t NEED that!” I disagree! I guess they think it’s materialistic and a matter of want, rather than need. While I love my junk, I am not materialistic at all. People and family are my top priority. However, I believe that surrounding yourself with the things you love and creating an atmosphere that you love being in is good for the soul and has to be good for a person’s deepest emotional needs. Investing in your home and creating a beautiful environment is never a wrong move. 

You have three daughters. Do any of them share your passion for antiquing?
One of my greatest excitements is when one of our three daughters wants one of my treasures for their own home! I feel like my three precious girls who were dragged to every flea market as children and worked in the family business have embraced this wonderful passion of antiquing. It’s something we share and how great is that!

For more information on Down Home Antiques, please visit and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can contact them by email at or by phone at 951-202-9599.

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