How to use vintage decor in a modern space

Posted in Blog, Home Decor, Tips, Projects & DIYs
on June 30, 2016
How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

I’m so excited to be linking up with some talented bloggers today! We’re here to show you how we all use vintage decor in modern spaces of our home. Each blogger has something special to offer, so make sure you take a peak!

What does “Vintage” mean to you?

It could means so many things! You could interpret it as, kitchy, victorian, retro, theme-y…. vintage could mean 1800, 1920, 1980… What comes to mind when someone says “Vintage Decor”?

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor   How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

If you ask me, authentic vintage decor is something to be treasured.

These are pieces of history. Little time capsules. If you’re lucky enough to live in an old house that has much of it’s vintage style intact, I say, embrace it! Our home was chock-full of vintage and retro charm. We wanted to keep all the lovely bones and some of the cosmetic details, but to update plenty as well to make it feel like us. I think the mix of the original and the new creates a beautiful, current style that is truly ‘us’.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
Here are a few of those elements we decided to keep. First off is this beautiful push-plate that was left behind (thank God!) by the family who once lived here. One of the daughters made it by hand and it brings me such joy to see it everyday. Perhaps the little pressed flowers were even from my yard? 😉

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

This wallpaper covered the walls of our kitchen when we bought it. It’s sweet and country and felt welcoming to us, but it wasn’t really our style. We painted all the walls of our home a light neutral shade, because, as I mentioned, it created the perfect palette to grow from. I insisted on keeping the wallpaper inside the built-in cabinet in the kitchen. I wanted the reminder of where this house began. It was the perfect solution! How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Here’s the photo of the house when it was built.
[You may have read the story behind it in this post.]

 

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
This little valence was also still hanging when we moved in. It’s the only hint left of the style this room once was. When it was combined with the floral wallpaper and the brass light fixtures and the dark wood vanity, it felt a little dated. Is anyone confused about vintage vs. dated? I say go with your gut when making these decisions. I decided that the ivory fabric and the sweet details of the valence would easily translate to a vintage inspired bathroom. (And if it didn’t end up working out, that would have been fine too! But I thought it was worth trying) The lights and the wallpaper had to go, however. (See these before photos if you want the full picture!)

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Embrace imperfection

I fell in love with this house immediately because of the beautiful old doors and windows that were still in tact. They are by no means in mint condition, as they’re about 70 years old, BUT that does not detract from their beauty. In fact, to me it enhances it. The draw of vintage is the story, the history and life it had before you. So don’t expect perfection. Instead, fall in love with the nicks and chips.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Ah, knotty pine.

My husband won this battle, as you can see. I’m okay because it IS limited to just one wall. It certainly adds character. And it’s a nod to the not-too-distant version of “vintage”. It’s been growing on me over the past year. I just try to keep the mantel decor light and fresh–and there’s always a mirror present to help bounce light.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
I even love the scuffs and marks as a reminder that imperfection is truly beautiful!   How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor      How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
Here’s a photo from our honey moon in Hawaii paired with another new item–the flower pot. Right next to a really old and beat up mirror (that weighs about 20 lbs.), a vintage shoe mold and a new etched glass votive holder. I love these combos.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

 



Neutral colors make it easier

If you have a new-build home but you love the look of vintage, timeless homes–just fake it! Draw inspiration from the craftsmanship and the styles of the decades you love. I find that if you neutralize your palette, it’s easier to bring in vintage pieces. A quiet background lets treasures really shine.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
If you’re not a ‘neutrals’ type of person, then keep things in harmony; muted tones or of a like color work well.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Don’t be afraid to buy vintage inspired items.

Not everything has to actually BE from 1950 (or whenever)! I, for one, don’t have the budget. I like hunting for bargains of authentic pieces with history, but I’ve also found plenty of things that are inspired by another era but are brand new. For example, this canvas art of the cow and the tiny gold picture frame. The wood trim on the art has been artificially weathered, but it looks beautiful and blends seamlessly above my actually weathered trunk. The tiny oval frame is a great nod to history and felt very appropriate to hold a photo of my husband’s beloved grandfather.


How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

The pillows in the living room are all new. Two of the slip covers were bought at an estate sale and the others are all from big box stores. I think that mix of patterns and fabrics give off a shabby chic feel. The red one on the bottom is from the estate sale and the top one is velvet. To me, it’s the mix that makes it feel thoughtful and interesting.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Here’s another one of the estate sale pillow covers. It’s sweet, feminine and definitely vintage-inspired. But paired with the masculine charcoal plaid arm chair, it feels cool and current.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

This black fan has a retro feel to it, but it’s brand new from HomeGoods (of course) and it’s sitting on top of an wooden stool that belonged to my great grandfather. A perfect example of mixing old and new.How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

The only old item in this photo is the crock that holds the dried flowers. But the whole corner, to me, feels vintage-inspired. Think outside the box–do you have a vintage scarf, or shoes, or jewelry? Any of those items could be displayed as decor if you love them. Show off grandma’s old earrings in a shadow box, or frame a beautiful vintage scarf. These items can be loved even when you’re not wearing them! The hat hanging on the wall isn’t old, in fact I bought it two weeks ago. But its classic style fit right into the decor of our home. So, when I’m not wearing it, I still show it off by hanging it simply on a nail in the wall.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

I wish I could give you a real formula for a successful mix

…but there isn’t one. Just let pieces speak to you. If you absolutely fall in love with something, even as tiny as this shoe mold, take it home. Those are the pieces that will eventually define your style.


IF you’re trying to achieve a look similar to this room, I’d say keep the following things in the forefront of your mind:
  • Texture over color
  • Wood grain over painted
  • Reflect light whenever possible
  • Timeless over trends
  • Mix old with new
  • Mix feminine with masculine
  •  Only show off what you love
  • Use plants to bring it all together

 

 


How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor
Shop Soft Surroundings Now!

 

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

 

Get your feet wet

A great way to start mixing old and new is by looking for vintage (or vintage-inspired) pieces taht serve a function in  your life. The first thing that comes to mind is containers. We all need places to put ‘stuff’. Whether it’s a cute tray to hold your mail and keys, a wooden box to hide away remotes, or pretty vases to hold flowers, if you look for items that serve a purpose, it may be easier to focus on what to buy AND to make it worth it to you.

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Start small by decorating with timeless florals. Roses and lavender can certainly give off vintage vibes, especially when displayed simply.How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Especially if do find some vintage pieces to display them in. You can use anything–get creative! This old teapot makes such a cute centerpiece for parties or everyday.
How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

 


As always, thank you so much for stopping by the blog today!
Your support means the world to me. Have a beautiful day!

Brittany of Indigo & Honey


 

Here are the rest of our talented group! These ladies are each so creative and unique, you must check them out. I put all their links below the photo grid, scroll on down! And let them know I sent you 🙂

How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor

Farmhouse for Five          |          A Blue Nest     |          The Belmont Ranch

Birdie Farm         |          My Sunset Avenue         |          Indigo & Honey

Little Home Reloved          |          New England Nesters          |          Miss DIY

 

This post may contain affiliate links. All of the opinions expressed are truly all my own.

 

If you’re a vintage-loving-blogger, like us, link your posts up below!

Like Indigo & Honey on Facebook!  Follow Indigo & Honey on Pinterest!  Follow @indigoandhoney on Instagram!Love, Brittany


Click to subscribeDid you like these decorating ideas? Check out my other home decor posts by clicking the image below:

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13 Comments

  • How I Use Vintage Pieces in Modern Decor – Birdie Farm

    […] Birdie Farm      My Sunset Avenue      Indigo & Honey […]

    June 30, 2016 at 10:09 am Reply
  • How to Use Vintage Pieces with Modern Decor - A Blue Nest

    […] Birdie Farm  |  My Sunset Avenue  |  Indigo & Honey […]

    June 30, 2016 at 10:16 am Reply
  • How To Use Vintage Pieces With Modern Decor | Little Home Reloved

    […] Indigo & Honey […]

    June 30, 2016 at 11:10 am Reply
  • Layla

    Brittany, I LOVE this! Not only is your home filled with such beautiful charm, you have a way with words and photos to perfectly describe it all! I love how much of the original character of your home you guys kept. You’re so lucky to have these little pieces of history and memories. The original home owners must be so happy to see how much you appreciate that! xoxo

    June 30, 2016 at 1:18 pm Reply
    • Brittany

      Hi Lay! Thank you for sweet words. Writing has never been my strong point so that especially means a lot to me! I actually am lucky enough to write letters with one of the daughters who lived here! I’ll have to share a couple stories when we get together 🙂 (Notice I said WHEN!) xoxo

      June 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm Reply
  • Jordan

    Brittany! This is just so lovely. I love all of the details that y’all left in your home, so charming! Everything came together beautifully.

    June 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm Reply
  • Sarah Melito | The Belmont Ranch

    Britt, love how your post just flows. The pictures, your words, and the overall flow made is so wonderful to read! I love the pillows, and that cute fan you stuck on your grandfather’s stool. Seeing your beautiful face at the end of the post also made me smile!

    July 1, 2016 at 3:34 pm Reply
    • Brittany

      You are the sweetest! Thank you Sarah, for your kind words and for reading through my post 🙂 Have a wonderful day friend!

      July 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm Reply
  • Kellie

    Brittany!!! This is my favorite so far of all your posts! it is so well written and the photography is gorgeous! This could be passed out to design students getting a degree!! it is that good!!!

    July 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm Reply
    • Brittany

      Oh my gosh Kellie, you just made my whole week! <3 Thank you friend

      July 15, 2016 at 9:51 am Reply
  • Stacey

    Hi there! Just came over from the Home & Garden group on Facebook. Your home is wonderful! I love the way you mixed old and new and the fact that you kept things that came with the house. Great job! Pinned.

    July 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm Reply
    • Brittany

      Stacey, thank you! Your kind words mean so much 🙂 I really appreciate you pinning this too–yay!

      July 15, 2016 at 9:52 am Reply
  • Sam @ Raggedy Bits

    Love all of your Vintage finds and how you have used them around your home!

    Thank you so much for hosting over at Waste Not Wednesday!

    August 1, 2016 at 12:10 am Reply
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