The Question You Should be Asking Instead is – What is My Vintage Style
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, especially since the definition of vintage is constantly evolving – here is the Merriam-Webster definition of vintage: adj. 2: of old, recognized, and enduring interest, importance, or quality | 3: a: dating from the past : OLD b : OUTMODED, OLD-FASHIONED. In general, vintage décor is a style that evokes a feeling of nostalgia and history. It often includes pieces of old fashioned styles from the 1800’s to the mid 1900’s (like Victorian or Edwardian era style, all the way to mid century modern- and as the years go on, slamming right into the 90’s) you’ll often times find old fashion furniture pieces or appliances, such as a claw foot tub or a gas stove incorporated into a homes design. It can also include items that were once popular , but are no longer in production, like a type writer or a rotary phone. When decorating vintage, it is important to find your style – make sure you go with what you like and not what’s trendy. The key to vintage, is finding pieces that you love and it is a great way to add character to your space and make it feel like an extension of your personality.
My partner and I love vintage (obviously, right?) our big draw is vintage kitchenware – Fiesta, Denby, Corning Ware and Pyrex, we even have a decent collection of vintage and antique Cousances pieces. For me though – my one true vintage love is milk glass! It is so stunning and versatile. Since colored milk glass is so rare, it makes finding it that much more exciting! My favorite piece is a small 3 legged triangle shaped bowl – black hobnail milk glass, that we found at a Value Village in Charlotte North Carolina on a buying trip- as soon as I saw it I knew exactly where it was going when we got home. He know lives on the corner of my desk, and that’s where my sunglasses, wallet and keys go. Just a small vintage touch, but the perfect detail for trying to capture the vintage vibe that we are going for in our own home.
Vintage décor is all about going back to the basics – using materials that have withstood the test of time to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Capturing the essence of a bygone era(s) with furniture and accessories. It is often times seen as more of a personal and individual style – allowing you to mix and match pieces, eras and design aesthetics.
Vintage style is characterized by things that are old and outdated and creating an old fashioned atmosphere. Vintage style isn’t so much a definition as it is an idea. It doesnt have to be old looking, but it should be reminiscent of the past.
Take a look around your home, and ask yourself these questions:
- What pieces do you envision for your vintage inspired room?
- What accessories are on your coffee table?
- How about furniture?
- What accent colors do you use – are they bright? Or are more on the muted side? How about a bold colored accent wall?
- What decorative pieces or furniture do you currently have, what will be staying as part of your vintage style?
Now that you have an idea of what your vintage style is, you’re asking yourself, where do I even start?
A great jumping off point is to find an anchor piece of furniture (a statement piece if you will) – maybe that is an old dresser that you will repurpose into an entertainment center for your living room (it may be hiding under 60 years of paint, so be sure to focus on the size, shape and style of the piece, as opposed to seeing only the aesthetic dirty dingy look of it) – or perhaps you found an amazing vintage yellow leather arm chair at your local secondhand store. Let this piece help set the tone for your vintage space.
Another great thing to do is to start collecting items that catch your eye and give you the vibe of something old. Go to your local flea market, thrift and consignment stores, spend a Saturday at a neighborhood or church yard sale. If you’re not one for thrift shopping, get online – there are tons of options – you’ve got independent vintages shops that sell online (a quick google search will turn up lots of results) and then you have your marketplace platforms; Etsy, eBay, Mercari, Ruby Lane, Chairish and even the likes of Facebook Marketplace, and local area apps available for your smart phone like OfferUp and the Nextdoor App.
Some pieces to keep in mind when adding vintage flair to your home could include, old lamps, pillows or vases. You could decorate a wall with framed prints of old photographs or paintings. Maybe you have some old souvenirs from your youth, or even your own family photos. Look to fabrics, lace curtains, or some pillows or an area rug that is more retro, in a mustard yellow, or dusty rose. How about an old typewriter on a desk in your study? Or a rotary phone on your entryway table? You could even get a record player (and records) and really live the vintage vibe. The best way to go vintage is to buy vintage. That means buying old furniture, artwork and others items from the past.
Whether you’ve decided to redecorate your entire home, or you are just starting with one room, remember – vintage style is what it is to you! Pickup that old chair that you saw on the side of the road and paint it canary yellow. Put that vintage wallpaper up in your powder room that you found on Facebook Marketplace. Set your dining room table with that mismatched set of china you’ve been collecting, and only bought because you liked the patterns and colors.
Vintage style is finding pieces that speak to you personally. If you love it, then it’s worth buying. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s in style right now. Vintage décor is all the rage right now, but if you’re going to invest in vintage items, don’t just buy what everyone else is buying. Think about what you like and what speaks to you. You don’t want your home to feel like a showroom or museum. So, if you love something buy it!
Remember, its all about the details, and making sure that you are present in your vintage style decor. Your home should feel both cozy and timeless, and you should love every single treasure that you have found.
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On your way out, leave a comment and let us know, what is your favorite vintage item in your home? We would also love your input on vintage shopping online – when you are vintage shopping online – are you more inclined to shop with an independent site, or a marketplace (eBay, Esty, Ruby Lane, etc.)
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend everyone!