One of the big decorating trends for 2023 is incorporating vintage or antique furnishings and heirloom accessories into our homes.
Thrift store finds add personality and bring a bit of the past into our homes while saving money and being friendlier to the planet. As a second-hand fanatic, I’m sharing my advice on where to shop, how to blend vintage pieces into your decor, and how to repurpose items that catch your eye but need some TLC or a complete rethinking for modern use. Happy hunting!
Where To Get It
With the help of technology, it’s easy to find decor items from the comfort of home through local online websites such as Facebook Marketplace and Etsy, and auction sites, such as MaxSold. Not only is reusing a lamp, sofa or rug a great way to personalize a room, you can feel good that you’re keeping good furnishings out of landfills. If you are a hands-on shopper and want to hunt in person, then charity, thrift and re-use-it stores are a great shopping resource. And just wait for the good weather — then the yard sales begin.
Help Them Feel at Home
Sometimes the things we fall in love with have an outdated finish or are scratched, torn or worn. Investing in replating, painting or reupholstering is an excellent way to freshen your find, update your decor, and blend your vintage pieces with existing on-trend items in your home. I recently found vintage bedding, worn hand-knotted rugs and a gaudily framed hand-painted landscape canvas through reuse-it stores.
I plan to dye the bedding pale blue to freshen up the original white (which has yellowed over time); trim the worn edges of the rug with faux suede banding; and reframe the painting with a modern square black frame — all of which will update my finds and co-ordinate them into my decor. Adding a new shade to a vintage lamp (ensure the wiring is up-to-date), topping a scratched and dented dresser with a slab of marble or stone, and re-plating old door hardware with an on-trend metallic finish are other easy ways to update a favourite find.
Repurpose Those Gems
If you’re an avid vintage shopper like myself, you often end up bringing home things without knowing how you’ll use them. I’ve learned that creating unique and individual looking spaces sometimes means using things for purposes other than what they were originally intended.
Here are some ideas: an antique Jenny Lind bed can make a fabulous daybed in a den; a four-foot by six-foot silk area rug can be cleaned and hung on the wall behind a bed in lieu of a headboard; a Victorian walnut dresser can get a quick lick of black matte paint and topped with a dramatic piece of marble to be used in the front foyer for mittens, scarves and storage; and a beautiful fireplace mantle can become a focal point in a room even without a wood-burning element — simply lean against the wall, paint the wall in the “firebox” and add beautiful candles or an electric fireplace insert.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? Follow and contact Karl on Instagram at @Karl_Lohnes