How to Incorporate Vintage Items Into Your Home

Design Tips

The easiest posts for me to write are ones in which I share a way I’ve changed or grown over the years. The formula of “I used to X, then I did Y, now I Z” makes for such a fun and natural story for me to share. So with that in mind, I bring up the topic of vintage pieces.

runabout-48.jpeg

Here is a brief history of my experience with antiques: grandma’s house (no touch), antique store visits as a child with an adult (again, no touch!), forced hand-me-downs (thanks?), family heirlooms inherited (okay this is actually special), revisit antique stores (I get it now, but this is expensive), my kind of antique stores are found (officially obsessed).

I had it in my head at an early age – and I think this is quite common – that vintage pieces were to be merely observed, were fragile, came part-and-parcel with stuffy and strict behavior. The thought of them being actually used and truly enjoyed was just beyond me. Thankfully, I now know better, and have become quite the vintage advocate. I wanted to share a very simple framework for how to incorporate these items into your home.

sfhome-160.jpeg
  1. If anything, rugs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: vintage rugs transform spaces. A dingy bathroom somehow becomes chic when you throw down a colorful Oushak. A kitchen you don’t love (but can’t afford to renovate) is suddenly ten times more stylish with a vintage runner in the kitchen. I promise you: the depth and refinement these pieces bring to a space are worth every penny.

  2. Start with small objects. Decorative accents, bowls, and vases are great introductory items to invest in, and you really can’t have too many. They’ll add texture and warmth to your bookshelves, tabletops, and vignettes throughout your home.

  3. ART. Sure, you can download a print online and frame it yourself (I’ve done it and highly recommend!). But there’s nothing that competes with bringing in a truly vintage piece of art. The texture of an oil painting, the natural sepia of an old photograph – you’re instantly adding depth and charm to your home with these pieces.

  4. Kitchenware. I’m currently on the hunt for some antique coup glasses (just some dreamy cut crystal, no big deal!). But delft plates, stoneware serving bowls and crocks, or even antique coffee mugs with hilariously outdated slogans printed on them (embracing humor is a big part of enjoying vintage pieces) – bring them all in!

  5. Accent furniture. I love a vintage side table (maybe one with beautifully carved legs) or an architecturally interesting accent chair in an entry or corner (there are insanely cool single chairs out there for the taking!).

  6. Lighting. Vin. Tage. Lamps. I purchased my first one last year (see below) and I’m officially hooked. Lamp craftsmanship is a bit of a lost art. The care and creativity that was put into lamps (especially from the 60s-80s) is unparalleled – seek it out.

  7. Do it on vacation. (pause for giggles) Every time I travel, I make it a point to visit a local thrift or antique store. Bringing back a piece of history from wherever we are traveling is just so very special. Plus, how great does it feel to say, “Oh, I picked it up on our trip to {wherever}” when someone asks where you got a piece. Total power move 😉

IMG_2832.jpegTo take a bit of the guesswork out for you, I’ve even created a specific “Vintage” section to my shop page! Be sure to check it out, and let me know if any pieces sell out! 
 
What about you? What’s been your history with antiques? Do you have any hesitancy/fears around bringing them into your home now? Comment below – I’d love to hear from you!!
xo,

sarah

read or leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Kate says:

    This is so great! I think I’ve done each of the categories you mentioned and you’re so right!
    I started shopping at antique and thrift stores probably in college, but got really into it about six years ago. Dallas has some great shops, but I have my best luck at estate sales. I’d say my house is currently half vintage, half new items. As the new items (which are of lower quality than the vintage items) begin to wear out, I will replace them with unique, well-made vintage pieces. I really enjoy looking for vintage items…it’s like a treasure hunt every time! Having so many in my home definitely makes it feel more soulful and unique. For anyone having doubts, I’d recommend starting with the small accessories and working your way up to furniture and bigger investment pieces. The only items I stay away from are things that might be hard to wash or clean, or items that I couldn’t easily reupholster myself. Everything else is fair game!