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”?
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’.
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? 😉
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!
Here’s the photo of the house when it was built.
[You may have read the story behind it in this post.]
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!)
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.
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.
I even love the scuffs and marks as a reminder that imperfection is truly beautiful!
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.
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.
If you’re not a ‘neutrals’ type of person, then keep things in harmony; muted tones or of a like color work well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Start small by decorating with timeless florals. Roses and lavender can certainly give off vintage vibes, especially when displayed simply.
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.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by the blog today!
Your support means the world to me. Have a beautiful day!
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 🙂
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!