When I was younger, I didn’t have an appreciation for antique and vintage decor pieces. I wondered why people would want old things laying around their homes when they could have something new. As I’ve matured, so has my appreciation for everything old.
I have always loved turn of the century homes. I love the classic lines and special nooks and crannies in old homes. The love for old furniture and artwork took a bit more time to grow on me. So, today I’m sharing why you should decorate with antiques.
Why to Decorate with Antiques?
The Story. There is a story that comes with antiques and vintage decor that can’t be replicated with new items. That story gives these pieces depth and a special quality. Whether it be a dent on a tabletop or hand carved spindles, older pieces bring with them a story.
The Interest. Using antiques also creates a one-of-a-kind space. These pieces weren’t mass produced the way decor is today, whether it be furniture or artwork. While there’s nothing wrong with purchasing new things, which I do often, there’s something so special and personal about filling a home with one-of-a-kind items.
The Layering. Layering old pieces with new creates the best kind of cozy in a home. Pairing a new, tufted soft with an antique coffee table with spindled legs creates a visual story for anyone who walks into the room. Not only does layering create a beautiful space, but it also makes a room relevant for years to come. It doesn’t sink into a trend, but rather marries the old with the new and keeps a space relevant.
Favorite Antique & Vintage Home Decor Items
I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite antique and vintage items from our own home. This is, by no means, an exhaustive list. These are a few highlights from our home that I hope inspire you for your own home.
Vintage Wall Art
Antique and Vintage Wall Decor. The patina and wear that you get with vintage artwork creates an unfussy, inviting feel in any space. My favorite pieces to find are antique oil paintings, but even vintage prints add so much beauty to a space. You can find larger paintings that span a good space on a wall. Or, you can find small needlework art framed that looks amazing alone or on a gallery wall.
We have sprinkled antique artwork throughout our home:
- Over our open kitchen shelving
- On the walls of our dining room
- Above our piano in our living room
It never matters where the artwork is, it brings so much depth and interest to a space.
Vintage Wall Decor to Look for
- Gold Vintage Mirrors– Gold vintage mirrors are great pieces to add to any home decor. The gilded gold frames create a statement, while the mirror keeps things simple and reflects the light in the room
- Oil Paintings– I have found several lovely antique or vintage oil paintings. The texture of oil adds so much interest to a space.
- Vintage Framed Prints– Vintage prints can usually be found at a much cheaper price point than either gold vintage mirrors or oil paintings, but they still add layers to a room.
Antique Dishes. If you are on a budget and want to add layers and character to your home, then head to the thrift store and grab some antique dishes for pennies. The colors and scalloped edges on antique dishes can’t be easily found in modern dishware. Old dishes quickly take a boring meal to the next level, simply by adding a bit of character through these old pieces.
To elevate a tablescape, place a linen or lace runner down the table. Fill mason jars with baby’s breath and layer the table with antique dishes and flatware. An otherwise boring table is now inviting and purposeful.
Where to Find Antique Dishes
There are multiple places to look for antique dishes. Some will have entire sets and others will offer a more eclectic set. Depending on your needs and wants, looking in different places is a good idea to ensure the best opportunity of finding what you’re looking for. Some of the best places to find antique dishes are:
- E-bay- a great place to find entire sets
- Facebook marketplace- vintage dinnerware sets and eclectic sets
- Thrift stores- usually more eclectic groupings
- Estate Sales- a great place to find entire sets
- Antique stores- entire sets and eclectic sets
Antique Furniture. Antique furniture is layered throughout our home. We have modern sofas paired with antique chairs and tables. This table was found at a local antique store and these chairs had ugly covers on them. I removed the covers and found almost perfect wicker beneath. The wood tones add so much warmth to our kitchen.
Our living room houses a beautiful buffet that we have moved from house to house. The casters and curved legs are my favorite. I share this buffet in my video, so be sure to watch the video!
Easy to Find Vintage and Antique Furniture
If you’re new to antiquing and you’re wondering what pieces are easy to find, let me share those that are typically available. Whether the piece is vintage (50 years -100 years old) or antique (100 years or older), these items are worth sourcing and adding to your home.
- Vintage or Antique Desks
- Antique Side Tables or Antique Coffee Tables
- Vintage or Antique Kitchen tables
- Antique Chairs- such as bentwood chairs or parlor chairs
- Vintage Sideboards
Where do I find Antiques?
Antiques can be found so many places, but my favorite places are local antique/junk stores and thrift stores. If I’m looking for special pieces and furniture, I typically have to go to actual antique stores since their options are usually more curated and a higher quality. If I am wanting wall decor or simple things to place around our home, I gravitate towards the thrift stores. The prices are hard to beat there!
- Antique Stores
- Thrift Stores
- Facebook Marketplace
- Estate Sales
Tips for Decorating with Antiques
- Layer– Layering new and old together is where the magic happens. This keeps the room from feeling stuffy (with old) or stiff (with new).
- Pick a Statement Piece– This is my go-to tip. If I am nervous about a space feeling cluttered, I pick a statement piece to ground the room and create a layered look without feeling cluttered. Not only does it create a “wow” moment, but it also creates a conversation piece.
- Accent with Antiques- If you’re worried about spending too much on a statement piece, create interest with an accent table or foot stool.
- Love the Item- Only but items you truly love. Don’t spend money on antiques if you don’t love the piece. Wait until you find the perfect item and then be willing to purchase it. Curating the perfect pieces is worth the wait!
- Start Small- If you’re new to antiques, start small. Simply adding vases or linens can help create a love and taste for the old.
Why to Decorate with Antiques
Mixing antiques with modern creates an unexpected beauty that can’t be replicated. The lovely contrast keeps a space relevant and interesting, which creates a space that everyone wants to be in. Antiques also allow us to break the rules of decorating. Antiques are always the exception to any rule because the story and meaning behind them outweighs any faux pas, as far as decorating is concerned.