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Sara’s House, Hamilton

Sara Vallandingham’s store gives vintage items a second life with its showroom of creative home decor and accessories.

Something old is always new at Sara’s House in Hamilton, a boutique featuring repurposed vintage furniture and accessories made by local artists. Interesting finds include a surveyor’s tripod and a megaphone that have found new life as a floor lamp, and a Victorian carpet bag that’s been transformed into a gnome hat fit for an infant.

“I love vintage pieces. I love antiques, but I really want to showcase them in fresh new ways,” says Sara Vallandingham, who five years ago moved her home decor and gift shop to a Colonial Revival building that had previously housed a dance school, dentist’s office and cigar store.

“Pretty much all the character hadn’t been stripped, which is great, but it had all been covered over by siding,” Vallandingham says. “Since we’re especially focused on repurposing [items], it made sense for us to be in a space that truly represents that.”

The store occupies the first level of the three-story building, while Vallandingham, her husband Dave and their two children, Drew, 17, and Maria, 20, live on the second and third floors. The basement, once a pool hall, is Dave’s domain. The space serves as a workshop where he crafts the store’s signature Nine Lives lamps from materials that include discarded blenders, steam engines, cameras and musical instruments.

When she’s not arranging products or assisting customers, Vallandingham enjoys painting end tables and shelves for the store in her favorite color palette of pinks and blues and designing seasonal items such as spring floral dioramas.

Drew started making bottle openers from vintage golf clubs four years ago, and they remain a best-seller. Maria helps with social media and is spearheading the launch of an online store. The boutique also carries products from Hamilton artists, including earrings by Jenn Acus Smith and needlepoint purses and bags by Melody Elizabeth.

“The best way for me to find unique items is to [seek out] local artists,” says Vallandingham. “I would put their work up against anyone.”

254 High St., Hamilton 45011, 513/668-6789, sarashousehamilton.com

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