Vintage treasures are still wonderfully popular items with which to decorate especially in this age of upcycling and rejection of conspicuous consumerism.
So if you’re looking to add a touch of unique elegance or quirkiness to your home – vintage treasures are the way to go. You don’t have to fill up your whole house with them, but a few vintage and retro pieces mixed with modern decor will completely change the look of a room.
For example, an antique folding screen in the bedroom can turn your nighttime haven from plain to chic in a matter of seconds. They were originally used when a woman got changed as a way of protecting her modesty, but their intricate design work in the wood is so stunning that people still enjoy having them in the bedroom to this day.
Another stylish way to mix vintage treasures with modern decor is by using a hall table or console as your display base.
Hang a decorative mirror, large vintage picture, or very modern artwork above the table. Then create a vignette, or display, using vintage and modern items that have a theme – a colour, a texture, or a material (such as wood or glass). Use ‘coffee table books’ to give some height variances and add a tall lamp or vase of flowers. Perfection.
Of course you can’t buy vintage treasures just anywhere – it’s the year 2017; everything is new, shiny, and modern. So if you want to take a walk back in time, you’ll need to know the right places to look.
Find your new-to-you vintage treasures at two popular places
General auction houses like Philips Auctions are great for bargains and vintage treasures. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so you often find furniture, for example, that just needs a little TLC – even a coat of chalk paint (no sanding, no primer) will completely change the look of wooden furniture.
As a buyer, the trick is to get there early so you have time to inspect everything and work out beforehand if you’re interested in bidding.
You will also be able to make sure that the item is authentic and still in decent enough condition (depending on what it is and how you plan on using it).
Jot down some notes and come up with a budget in advance so you don’t end up going higher than you can afford.
Also, if you didn’t get the chance to inspect an item and the bids are very low on it – there is most likely a reason for this, and auctioneers tend to only talk about the positives so don’t rely on them for answers.
Most auctions in your area will be advertised in the newspaper and online, so keep your eyes peeled.
The average thrift store is an amazing place to go on a rainy day. It’s essentially just a store, but filled with the old, the used, and the “please take me home’s”. And have you noticed how many thrift stores now style themselves like more upmarket homewares and fashion stores?
Thrift stores sell a whole array of things from clothes and furniture to appliances and decor items. The trick is to find out which day the store stocks new merchandise and then get first dibs on all the great pieces.
I buy a lot of table items, especially cut glass and cut crystal serving bowls, because I love an eclectic party table. Mix your unique vintage treasures in with modern crockery and cutlery, plus nappery, and you’ll lay a fun and highly personal table.
Don’t forget offcuts of fabric make fabulous cushions, table cloths, nappery, and even wrapping ‘paper’ for gifts.
It’s also a good idea to get friendly with the employees and share your love of the vintage life, as they may even let you know about a certain item when it comes in that they know you’d love.
So tell them what you’re into and then leave them your number or email just in case.
You should also look at any local carboot sales that are going on in your area as they’re cheap and you may find something rather interesting that you never considered, plus they make a great day out with the family.
And of course – the internet. Sites like eBay are a quick and easy way of finding exactly what you want.