Did you know the word ‘wealth’ derives from an old English word that meant happiness or well-being…? By Katya Pastorini, Painted Beautiful
In this challenging time, which we are currently living through, an anchor that supports us is heritage. It provides homogeneity, hope, inspiration and security. As well as tangibility that is imperative at present and coupled with the fact that we are a living heritage in what will be treated as an historically significant period, makes it even more important. Thus, this focus on heritage together with a need to rationalise and improvise has led us to look at Curating a Vintage Home.
Curating a Vintage Home
Vintage in its true sense refers to high quality items of the past, representing the best of their kind. The scope of the concept has been widened for interiors; bringing together a vintage nostalgic feel which is easy to achieve and can be curated using authentic vintage items as well as resources that create such ambience. There are many manufacturers who are synonymous with particular periods, such as for mid-century Ercol and G-plan, so if you are looking to invest in vintage, you would be best placed to research the iconic items first. However, as with any style of home interior choose what you love rather than what you feel you should have..
Vintage pieces are best being placed at ‘centre stage’ in any room, and for a more current version of the vintage look be selective, and perhaps add a blended look with contemporary or simply styled items. A beautiful French armoire in a bedroom or an ornate sideboard in a dining room would be good examples of statement pieces.
If ‘brown furniture’ or old pine items are not in keeping with your style an optimum, and inexpensive way, to give a piece a new lease of life it to paint it. There are so many options: one colour, different colours in and outside of the item, distressed effect, aging, metallics, decoupage. It is so satisfying to pick up a bargain and bring the item back to life. Then they can be accessorised with such items as new handles, if the existing ones lack integrity or new replacing.
However, if reusing or repurposing is not for you, many retailers of new furniture have vintage styled offerings.
They are super way to start the process of creating the ambiance, if sourcing vintage or vintage style furniture is out reach. And, of course, they complete the overall look if your you have been fortunate enough to source treasured pieces of furniture.
There is still a plethora of authentic vintage fabrics, linens, cushions, quilts, throws, tablecloths, serviettes and so much more, which are available to purchase. In addition, there are always new items inspired by heritage patterns and colours of the past. If you aspire to or have a creative leaning, making your own items would be a perfect opportunity to use new fabrics and wools to create a vintage vibe, or experiment with upcycling vintage items like grain sacks to cushion or small table cloths to seat covers or window blinds. Pinterest would provide you with a vast amount of inspiration!
It can be used to create a lovely alternative vintage feel. Our biggest problem is seeing an opportunity in most items! We recently saw a stunning example in a bureau which was being used as a bar. Even the small “waste” items can find their way into being part of something else; we have kept slates from old blinds to make a sunburst vintage inspired mirror. And again, Pinterest would be the bible for ideas.
There can be such joy in sourcing vintage homewares, many will be unique and it is a ideal for building up collections, whether it be glass bottles, copperware, or a firm favourite at the moment with us is vintage candle sticks to display on a tray or table with lovely soy or beeswax tall candles; Vintage items look stunning displayed in groups. Another favoured item is old glass decanters, which make a lovely addition to the dining table for holding water.
Curios or practical items used decoratively make for eye catching displays. Naturally it depends what is of interest to you; we recently saw a display of antique glasses and another of old leather luggage labels used as photos frames. All that is needed is imagination and an interest.
Vintage Styled Appliances
Reproduction appliances and electrical equipment are great way to bring back a sense of nostalgia to your home. Household items like modern microwaves, heaters or fridges in historic styles embed the look without having to compromise on the latest technology.
Smaller home items are the same, such as lamps and light fittings or retro-styled radios and iconic record players.