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Decorating with Vintage Finds

If you been following our blog for a while you know that we both love vintage finds. Always keeping an eye out for vintage treasures we want to bring into our homes. We love the thrill of the hunt! Clearly, decorating with vintage finds not only adds character to your home, but also can be a great conversation starter.

It should be noted, these don’t need to be family heirlooms. In fact, purchasing second hand pieces on Facebook Marketplace or at thrift stores can be just as rewarding and create a home that’s uniquely you.

Whether you’ve inherited a collection from your grandmother, or you discovered a must-have flea market find, decorating with vintage items lets you express your personality.

Keep on scrolling as we share our tips for how to decorate with vintage finds in your home.

What is Vintage?

Have you every wondered what’s the difference between an antique and vintage? Often you’ll hear the terms interchanged, however to be a true antique if must be more than 100 years old. Whereas, an item that is vintage only needs to be at least 20 years old. 

Maybe it’s my age, but in my mind vintage is a little older than 20 years. By golly, 20 years ago my kids were in high school. I’m not sure I would consider items from 2000 as vintage, but that’s the definition! So now you know!

The beauty of decorating  with vintage or antiques items in a room along with contemporary pieces adds layers of interest and makes the space come alive.

The goal should be to create a room that’s comfortable and interesting, not a museum. A curated look with loads of character will never go out of style.

Decorating with Vintage Mirrors

For example, everything in this bathroom remodel is new and contemporary, except for the well-worn vintage mirror. 

The imperfections in the glass along with the worn frame add character to this room. Not only do I get more compliments on this bathroom, but also I hear “I would have never thought of adding that” and yet they love it!

Where can you find Vintage items for Decorating?

Are you convinced you want to add vintage finds to your decor? Yes, I hope so, but where do you look?

The answer may be closer than you think. Start with your own family and friends, they may be looking to get rid of some vintage items.

Particularly vintage items that may work in your home.

Decorating with Vintage Lighting

For instance, this lamp was in my grandma’s basement for as long as I can remember. She hung her clothing that needed ironing on it.

So one day, I asked grandma if I could have it when she was gone. She quickly replied, that I could have it right now!

Best of all there was a story about that lamp that I had never heard. Come to find out, it was a wedding gift from her poor, immigrant in-laws.

To grandma it was out dated and she no longer had a use for it, but it had sentimental meaning. She was happy to give it to me and see it get a new life.

With a new coat of paint, a new lampshade and new wiring, it’s now a a piece that I treasure and I love the history and story it tells.

Some of our favorite places to discover vintage finds for decorating:

  • thrift stores
  • yard sales
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • online classifieds
  • vintage stores
  • flea markets
  • vintage markets
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Poshmark

Decorating with Vintage Finds | where to start

If adding vintage finds for your decor is new to you, start slow. Begin by roaming your local thrift store or flea market, and look for items that speak to you, items you love. Start with a couple of items and add them into your decor. 

For instance, if you are drawn to milk glass, start with a couple of pieces and begin your collection. Add your new found treasure into your decor in your bookcase, or on the coffee table. 

Decorating with Vintage Finds

Take a look at Steph’s fun travel collage wall. She loves to collect vintage coastal items. Not only is this collage wall creative, but with the vintage life preserver for Saltair as well as the oar definitely take this gallery wall to another level.

The only rules to finding the perfect vintage finds for your home are to simply follow your gut and keep an open mind on how a piece can be used in a space. If you love it, you will always find a place for it.

Vintage items for decorating

Decorating Your Home with Vintage Finds

We believe that every room needs a little vintage decor. In fact, decorating with vintage finds creates the look that your home has evolved over time, a curated look that never goes out of style.

Just take a look Aiden’s car theme gallery wall.  Steph used genuine vintage auto parts which really make this wall stand out. 

Decorating with Vintage Auto Parts

Without a doubt, this bedroom is full of character!

Decorating with vintage boxes

Have you every considered adding an old wooden box to your decor?  Clearly, when I saw this vintage box I fell in love with the patina of the wood.

I had no idea that case goods used to be transported in wooden boxes. Isn’t that an interesting find?

Decorating with vintage boxes

Along with the amazing patina of the boxes, I think it’s the perfect container for my orchids.

When decorating with vintage finds, it so much more enjoyable if they are useful. 

For instance, a collection of vintage bowls, not only look beautiful displayed, but also using them for a dinner party or to hold jewelry or coins make them so much more enjoyable.

Decorate with Vintage Books

One of our favorite vintage decorating items are old books. Not only can you decorate with a stack of vintage books on their own, but also using them to add height to a grouping as well. 

It’s so fun to search for old books too. One of my favorite set of books I picked up at a local vintage store. Later, as I was inspecting the books, I saw that it was inscribed from a mother to her son, dated 1870.

How can I decorate with vintage finds and keep my home looking on trend?

No doubt old, chippy paint finishes can add a lot of character to a piece. However, too much of a good thing and your room may begin to look like a thrift store.

I believe the key is to decorating with vintage items is to be sure it is clean and is well styled. Along with don’t go overboard with the vintage items, keep some contemporary pieces in the space as well.

Decorating with Vintage furniture

In my family room for instance, the sectional, rug and pillows are new and are paired with this old table.

To freshen up this table, I painted the lower section with white chalk paint. I kept the natural wood patina on the table top.

It still retains the charm and character of the old table and yet feels fresh with the paint.

Forgive me for sharing a little about this table. I think it’s so unique. This table originally was a small library or dining table. It has a drawer and a mechanism that raised the table and it expands to a square table.

It had been in the garage of my grandparents house. Grandpa was using it as a workbench. He found the table in an old house he was demolishing. 

I rescued it, knowing it would be a great coffee table. The legs were cut down as well as I refinished the wood with a wax finish.

Using Vintage finds in DIY Projects

As you know by now, we LOVE to get our hands dirty with a good DIY project!  At the same time if we can incorporate some of our vintage finds, it’s just that much better. 

Decorating with Vintage Finds as a DIY Project

This is one of my favorite DIY projects! Incorporating vintage croquet mallet handles as the rungs on my blanket ladder. Creating a unique piece for my room, that’s full of character.

Decorating with Vintage Corbels

Repurposing vintage corbels from the porch of an old house on Steph’s fireplace mantle, truly make it unique. Decorating with vintage finds adds tons of character to a new home.

This simple DIY project incorporates a vintage door plate, brooch and a chandelier crystal into a beautiful piece of home decor.

Actually I made several of these last year as a Christmas gift for my sisters. The brooches belonged to my grandma and creating these ornaments was a way to preserve memories of her.

What to look for...

Are you excited to start collecting vintage items to decorate your home? Are you wondering what to look for?

Here is a list of our favorite vintage items to look for:

  • mirrors
  • frames
  • art
  • windows
  • silver-plated items
  • vintage games
  • books
  • clocks
  • chairs
  • tables
  • teapots
  • luggage
  • candlesticks
  • milk glass
  • plates/bowls
  • crocks
  • trophies 

Are you ready to decorate with vintage items? Or do you already decorate with vintage items? Please share with us what you like to decorate with! We are always looking for more creative ideas.

We hope you have found these tips helpful, but no matter what you do, make your home you, a home that you love!

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Say hi in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you. You can also learn more about us here.

Thanks for spending some time with us today!

And as always here at Sunny Side Design


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