Monday, 24 November 2014

Nicking Stuff from Nana's - Vintage Finds

I can't imagine decorating a room without it including some vintage finds. There is something about integrating old stuff in with your stuff that gives your decor a feeling of depth, of history, hmm, maybe even of a little mystery.

No one wants to be boring, right?

Now if that old stuff once belonged to someone you know, like say a family member, well all the better! Not only do the vintage pieces represent history, but it might be a history that directly relates to you. It's the sort of feeling and vibe that you won't find in a flat pack. Trust me.

So what are we talking here? Big pieces or small?
Well that's the great thing - it doesn't matter. Big pieces are great if you can fit them in, have access to them and want to make a statement. If you don't have any de-cluttering relatives (and there's no harm in asking, or paying them something!) then check out your local op shops, garage sales and online.

This Art Deco dresser, which came from a friend of mine who needed some more practical family-friendly furniture in her small house, had been passed down by her grandmother. Having used it for a time, she no longer felt emotional attachment to it. I however, took one look at it and felt instantly emotionally attached. We had just moved in to our Art Deco era house, and had a back room extension that was entirely empty.

This dresser, for me, has presence. It made a new room look instantly cosy, lived in and kind of grounded with the rest of the house. It has also become a mega-decorating centre - I change the displays regularly and we even managed to fit our stereo system into the centre cupboard (drilling a small hole in the masonite back for the cords). Perfect!


I have posted previously about the starburst mirror here.

Painting old furniture can be a great way of reusing old pieces and making them your own. I love following this talented lady, Fiona - who paints and restores old furniture for a living. Take a look at her blog if you're interested, she also holds classes and has many how-tos on her blog site: http://www.lilyfieldlife.com

Another piece of vintage furniture I love is this chair I picked up from beside the road (go to post here). I could have got the matching set if I'd been faster. But one chair was realistically all I could fit in, so I don't lay awake gnashing my teeth about what I missed. Well, not much anyway…


So many people told me after I blogged about this chair last time, that their grandparents had had a similar set. I see them in op shops regularly. They are super comfortable to sit in - and if you want to give them a modern update, here's a fabulous example I came across in a South Coast quilting shop. Isn't it superb?!!


If smaller vintage or retro pieces suit your space or style better, then there's no limit to what you can find/do. Old kitchen ware is easily integrated into existing collections - and can be as practical or decorative as you want it to be.

Tins on open shelving add instant flair and can lead to other pieces of a similar time, colour or style grouping together. Before you know it you'll have a cool display that others will be wanting to copy!


Floral china is timeless and sometimes under appreciated in this age of modern white crockery (although I am seeing more patterned china in the shops of late. Thank goodness). Mix it all up I say - add some fancy pieces to your plain set and see what kind of look you end up with. It may not be dishwasher proof, but pieces like these below are, quite frankly, a joy to wash up.

If you don't believe me, just try it. Yes it will take longer to clean up. But sometimes we need an excuse not to rush about.



You might find yourself taken with the idea of adding a little bit of vintage to your life.
It doesn't have to mean you'll suddenly be putting doilies under your teacups and serving jam rolls for afternoon tea.
But then again it might.
And that could be a good thing!

Oh YUM!!! This was NOT a supermarket bought jam roll. 
The real thing with real cream weighs a tonne and is so yummy you will be in raptures. 
WARNING: Weight gain is likely after consumption!


Tell me about your vintage pieces - big or small? Where have they come from and what do they mean to you? Have you modernised an old piece or successfully integrated something with a history into a more modern setting?

I have started writing for HOUZZ Australia! This is a fabulous website on everything to do with architecture, design, renovating and decorating your home. 

You can read my article by clicking on this link:
http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/34018939/list/shopping-for-vintage-finds-at-grandmas-house


Join the site and download the app for all inspiration, advice, products and ideas - you won't be sorry!

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