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How Vintage Décor Can Add Character to Your Home

30 Aug 2018

When it comes to antiques, you may think that sifting through an antique shop or your local flea market might be a tedious task. And from polishing old silverware to refurbishing damaged furniture and everything in between, you may be asking the question: why bother with vintage finds?

Well, we invite you to imagine walking into a room that reminds you of your childhood, your grandmother’s house, or transports you to a simpler time in history. With vintage décor, that feeling is possible.

Incorporating vintage items into your home can help you to capture cherished memories, and if done wisely, can be an affordable way to introduce character, texture, and whimsy to your home.

Antique shopping is all about picking up items that catch your eye, using larger items as statement pieces, and smaller items as accessory pieces.

Below is a list of items your home could greatly benefit from:

1. Suitcases / Trunks

An old suitcase or trunk can act as the perfect vintage coffee table and/or storage unit for throw pillows, blankets, or books! Beautiful and functional!

An old fashioned leather suitcase

2. Elaborate Picture Frames

Ornate picture frames can be found at garage sales, antique malls, on Varagesale, and even for free by the side of the road. By mix and matching some unique frames, your family photo wall can become next-level chic!

3. Furniture

Adding antique furniture to a room can make your home feel layered and personal. You can also mix elements from different timelines, creating conversation starters that make guests feel welcome and enthusiastic about your space. 

4. Art

Vintage art can get expensive, but luckily for you, you can purchase cheaper poster prints that can be framed for your walls! Whether you’re drawn to old NYC cityscapes, French signage, or iconic Marilyn Monroe photography, you can have it all!

5. Books

There’s nothing like holding an old book in your hands. With a broken seam, a little dust, and a history of scribbling’s and notes inside, there’s magic in not knowing where a novel traveled before landing in your home.

Old well worn books with yellowed pages

6. Typewriters

Know a book lover? Someone who loves scrabble? Crosswords? Writing? Then they’ll be instantly drawn to your antique typewriter.

7. Vintage Electronics

Home telephones, record players, jukeboxes, and TVs – vintage electronics can turn a boring room into a ‘blast from the past’ museum.  

A black rotary phone

8. Comic Books

Ready to release your inner nerd? Vintage Spiderman, Batman, Archie, or Hulk – search your local antique mall for some great comic artwork, pick out a frame, and put it on display!

9. Childhood Toys

No, we don’t mean Beanie Babies. We’re talking about beautiful, antique train sets, lunch boxes, starter sewing kits, planes, cars, boats, and rocking horses. 

Vintage wooden toys. On the left is a red man on a rolling platform and on the right is a duck on wheels.

10. Lamps

Vintage lighting can take a room from modern to magical. With a new bulb, some new electrical, and a little polishing, an old lamp can add the perfect amount of character in any room. 

Tips for Refurbishing Vintage Furniture

Need insight into how you can refurbish old furniture, and other various vintage finds? Here are a few:

  • Do your research! Determine your piece’s value before restoring it. This can be done easily by looking for any marks or labels that may indicate its origin.

  • Establish a budget. Some pieces may wind up costing you more than you thought.

  • Clean, clean, clean. Before you pull out your varnish or sandpaper, make sure you give the piece a good cleaning. Maybe that’s all it needs after years of neglect.

  • Determine if washing or striping the finish will improve the condition. Perhaps a coat of varnish will rejuvenate the piece and bring back its original radiance.

  • Make sure you’re not removing the gloss or sheen on wooden furniture. This may have been produced by age or polishing, and you don’t want to devalue the worth of the piece.

  • Sanding always comes in handy when you need to remove light scratches. Finer sandpaper is key – it may take longer to remove the scratches, but you don’t want to risk a costly mistake.   

Happy antique hunting!