How do you decorate with Vintage?

How do you decorate with Vintage?

Published On: 11-14-2011 06:19pm

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Category: Design & Home Decor


 Vintage Hummel chimney sweep with vintage candlesticks,fall berries and vintage Indiana Glass covered candy dish.

(Originally posted on April 1,2011- revised Nov.14,2011)

It's easier than you think; look for vintage items that you love! I will be focusing on using vintage accessories, the little extra touch that adds so much.  It helps to go through decorating magazines or blogs to see what inspires you. Find rooms that you like. Why did you pick these? Is it the colors, the furniture, or the accessories? Most often it is a combination of all three, but you may see a pattern emerge that will help you to define what style you really like best.585


But how you decorate using vintage?  Vintage accessories for your home do exactly what accessories for your wardrobe do. They complete the look and take it from boring to wow!


This Art Deco chrome basket adds sparkle to any room, notice it is a grouping of 3. (Note: this photo was taken to showcase the basket so I apologize that the other items are less visible).

  It is always a good rule to arrange items in odd numbers and to vary the height. For a pleasing arrangement the eye needs to travel up, down & across. All the same size does not give this needed punch. You will notice that the vignettes you are attracted to share this formula.

 For example on a table next to your sofa you have a lamp, next to that you have stacked 2 vintage books,because the spines are so interesting, on the books you have placed a small framed photo, in front of these you have a medium tall vintage ceramic vase filled with lilacs. This vignette takes your eye from the height of the lamp to the items beside it in varying heights. 


Use colors that coordinate well, this is a great place to use the accent color in your room. Maybe the vase is a soft mossy green which matches the green paisley in your pillows, and trim on your window treatments. The vintage books may even have some moss green. The photo above from my sisters living room illustrates this concept, The lamp is accented by three items, vintage books with a framed photo, a vintage green vase filled with daffodils and a decorative box placed in front. (Note: I rearranged some of her items for a new look)

Pinned Image

Simple symmetry: 2 matching lamps, a vase of flowers in center &  a large mirror to ground the arrangement.Photo from 

via my Pinterest boards.

Another way to design is using symmetry, for example on a table in your foyer you may place 2 matching vintage black & gold lamps on each end and in the center a carved stone bowl filled with mounds of green moss, above this hangs a painting. The painting has the same colors you have in your home,the moss in the bowl blends with the accent color in the adjoining living room.The use of symmetry here creates balance; this is a tried and true formula that you can always use with confidence.

 In the the above Photo soft neutrals of grey, white & natural pine are punched up with a blue painted buffet & Crystal and metallic accents. This is classic example of Symmetry in design.


A bit more about using vintage, it is perfect for those that like history, Maybe this  pretty vintage Lenox vase you are considering was a wedding gift? (Note: the vase pictured was actually a wedding present of mine!)  Sometimes you will be lucky enough to find out the actual history from the previous owner, other times it is up to your imagination. But the vintage Lenox vase looks perfect on top of the stacked books in your book shelf; it adds just the right color and shape to  break up those very similar looking books and it works as a book end!  


Using vintage is recycling, why buy another newly manufactured item when you can buy a vintage item that has been made to last?  I have found that vintage items that are collectible are the ones that have great lines & design, because just as in fashion classic design never goes out of style. Like this Great Italian Art Glass Compote


Vintage Stetson Platter,Swiss Chalet

Vintage accessories are affordable; you can buy similar items at stores like Anthropology and Pottery Barn but the prices for new are at least double what you would pay for vintage. Vintage is an investment. Many vintage items for sale today at reasonable prices will go up in value over time. The most collectible items will be worth even more! Something for you to think about when considering buying a new serving dish from Target. 


Holiday Silk Floral arrangement pictured on refinished Mid Century Phone Bench. 

  I hope that I have helped guide you to adding some interest to your own rooms. If you have questions or comments, please leave your feedback I would love to hear from you! Please visit my studio Refined Vintage at Artfire for many unique vintage home decor items.


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