Ever since I decided on a vintage themed wedding last, my love for all things vintage has skyrocketed. I went from a humble admirer of vintage pieces to an all out collector. Granted, a lot of my recent purchases have been to use for the wedding (and a possible vintage rental business I’m thinking of starting), but I’ve loved showcasing all my finds in my home. Here are my tips for finding and showing off vintage pieces in your house.
1. Mix old with new – I’ve found that I love both modern and vintage pieces so I strive to create a good balance of both in my house. I have modern pieces beside vintage pieces, beside vintage “inspired” pieces and it all works. All of these pieces work well together because I keep it fairly simple. By this I mean neutral walls and furniture, without too much clutter. This way my pops of colour, statement pieces and vintage finds can take centre stage.
2. Shop often – The best way to find good vintage items at places like Salvation Army or Value Village is to stop in often. Find out when thrift stores put out new stock and make a point to go that day. Good vintage finds often won’t last long on shelves. It may seem like a pain to constantly visit the store, but finding that gorgeous new vintage piece at a steal makes it all worthwhile.
3. Search Craigslist and Kijiji – I found an amazing, working vintage typewriter for half the price I would have paid at a vintage store on Kijiji. Because it was Kijiji, I was able to barter the price down and walked away with a gorgeous piece without breaking the bank. Most people selling items on these sites are wanting to get rid of their stuff and since they aren’t antique shops they aren’t jacking up the prices either.
4. Give Etsy a try – I found this cute, mint vintage clock on Etsy for under $20. Etsy has a huge vintage selection and I find their selections of trinkets and knick knacks to be great. You can easily get lost spending hours on Etsy searching for vintage items. It’s become the new Pinterest for me.
5. Check curbside – This great trunk that I use as my coffee table was found beside a dumpster in my old condo building. I get so many compliments on it. All it needed was a little Lysol (and someone to help me get it into the elevator and into my unit!) and it was good as new. I always keep my eye out for items on garbage day, and if you live in a condo or apartment, check the garbage rooms for finds like these.
Vintage inspired trunk purchased from Home Sense for under $50.
6. Buy vintage inspired items – This owl and trunk are from Home Sense, a Canadian store that has a lot of vintage inspired items. Sometimes bigger items like trunks or suitcases can be expensive or hard to find in authentic vintage form so sometimes vintage inspired is really the next best thing.
Milk glasses purchased from Value Village for $12 total, flowers purchased from Michael’s for under $5.
7. Start small – If you are wanting to get into collecting vintage items to add to your home, start small. There are many affordable pieces that can add that vintage touch to any room. Mason jars, books, crates and vases are good places to start as these are usually available quite often in both vintage and vintage inspired forms. I purchased these four milk vases for a total of $12 at Value Village. By adding some faux flowers, I had some easy and cheap Spring decor.
Vintage mirror inherited from my mother (PS check out our wallpapered bathroom – it took 6 hours!)
8. Break the rules – There are no rules when it comes to vintage. You can re-purpose, reuse, paint and take apart anything and make it new again. That is what is so fun about vintage shopping. Be creative and use your imagination. My mom was ready to throw out this mirror, which she received as a wedding present in the eighties. She had it hanging horizontally in her powder room and I told her I would take it off her hands. I hung it vertically in my entryway, giving it a whole new look and now every time she sees it she wants it back!
How do you feel about vintage items? Is one man’s trash really another man’s treasure?