I have an idea that is not really all that new, but it is kinda rare to say the least. Living in the country with so much history, it is not a big stretch to get your hand on something that has a long history behind itself. Like old pub furniture, boats, metal works etc.
Now, I am not advocating breaking in and stealing things, but there are places completely abandoned for a number of years out there. Some boats are rotting on the shore, some buildings have no doors or windows and no living being has been there for decades. That could be a pace to find some treasures. Maybe not always in terms of solid furniture, but definitely building materials, pieces of wood, mouldings, some hardware, things of that nature that later can be incorporated into a wonderful masterpiece.
Even small things, like hooks, hardware, ropes etc. can be turned into a vintage looking piece that will bring a nice accent to your room or business and apart from that-it does have a story behind it. Imagine having a coffee table made out of a wood that came from a boat, that for decades had been sailing the oceans, that circled around the world and now is in your living room…cool stuff.