One of my favorite things to do is vintage shop for home decor and furniture. But it took me a little bit of time to learn how to incorporate these items into my designs in a fresh, modern way. It turns out, it just takes a little practice. Here are my tips for incorporating vintage items in your home, and a list of some the items I'm always on the lookout for.
Design: Hackett House Studio
Can you spot the vintage item in the above photo? Hint: it might not be what you think! The nightstand is Ikea, the sconces are from Home Depot, the vase is Anthropologie, and the peonies are faux. Any other guesses...!?! No?? Okay, I'll tell you.... it's the little framed sketch on the far side of the bed! Okay, technically the leaning mirror on the side table is vintage too, but since you can't see it well I wouldn't have expected you to guess that. A small sketch on a large empty wall is one of my favorite moments every time I see it, and it's why I tend to hoard small, framed pieces of vintage art.
Tip #1: Small vintage pieces can make a big impact in empty spaces
Design: Hackett House Studio
Vintage furniture is arguably much harder to shop for. Not only does it tend to be exponentially pricier than decor, it's also much harder to find good-looking pieces. If you do find a good piece, don't pass it up or you'll regret it. I have this piece styled with a number of other vintage items including an alabaster lamp, vintage demijohn, and small framed oil painting. Even though I loaded the top with vintage decor, it still looks modern because of the sleek linen couch and linen curtains. A few colorful pillows nearby allow the deep wood tones to pop and voila -- the piece looks good as new.
Tip #2: Surround your vintage furniture with newer, modern pieces that have sleek and simple profiles to keep the room looking fresh and contemporary.
Photo: Hackett House Studio
When it comes to vintage shopping, there are a few things I always keep my eyes peeled for and will snatch up at will. I'm not kidding, I actually make a list in my phone before I go vintage shopping of items that I want or need to source! This gets me in a mental head space that allows my eye to look past some of the clutter and zone in on what I need. I'll also do some vintage recon work before I go, occasionally. By this I mean that I'll hop on Pinterest and look at other vintage lovers (Lisa Stanton, Moorehouse Design, Jake Arnold, and Sarah Solis are some of my vintage spirit animals) to see what kinds of items they are using in their designs so that I can get inspired. Here is what's been on my list lately:
Almost anything rustic wood that's in good condition - This includes decor (such as pedestals, bowls, vases or candle holders) as well as small and large furniture (chairs benches, dressers, cabinets, etc).
Vintage art - This one is more subjective because you need to buy what you like. I tend to like oil paintings of landscapes and portraits and sketches of any kind.
Crocks, pitchers and interesting pottery - Crocks can be SUPER expensive (like $60+) so if I ever see one for under $20, I'll snag it right away. There are tons of amazing pitchers out there so I try to just grab a hold of ones I can't live without. Same goes with pottery, except it can be pricey too. Basically the name-of-the-game with these items is buying things you can't live without, as long as they're at the right price.
Mirrors - True story, I have about 7 mirrors in my house that are just sitting in my basement not being used (oops). I LOVE vintage mirrors! They are so hard to pass up. I'm not suggesting you hoard them like me, but keep yours peeled and you're bound to find some cute ones a long the way.
Tip #3: Make a list of vintage items you want to source before you go, and look at Pinterest images of these items if you can. This gets you in the right mindset and allows your eye to zone-in on the pieces you actually need!
Before I go, I'll share some of the images I've been inspired by lately, as well as a few of my favorite vintage items I've sourced from the web. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to leave any questions you have in the comments!
Design: Moore House Design | Photography: Erin McGinn
Hackett House Studio is a boutique interior design firm located in Columbus, Ohio offering full-service and virtual design services, as well as concierge styling and interior photography. Please visit the services page of our website to learn more about us, and to inquire about working with us.
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