Vintage in Today's Decorating

I have noticed the home “vintage” look is popping up everywhere, in both fine accessory shops and places like HomeGoods and Tuesday Morning. I’m talking that look Anthropologie has perfected. You see it in dishcloths, frames, lamps, mirrors and especially in china and dinnerware.

I recently received a book titled “Vintage Vavoom” (2007 Action Pursuit Group) and it chronicles the vintage look in a wonderful pictorial manner. Blending vintage style with contemporary or traditional style is so easy – it makes for an eclectic look mixing modern and funky, nostalgia and functional.

Many of us have china or dinnerware we inherited from our families – in my case “borrowed forever” and this seems to be the crux of the look. Plates are displayed in wrought iron plate hangers, both horizontally and vertically (check out Hobby Lobby for some cool ones) and walls are decorated with mirrors or empty frames. Martha Stewart has made this look so affordable – all that whiteware she shows in white cabinets, with pretty lace accents. Even her linens have a reproductive look. I love the effortless style of blending colorful toile with decorative platters that are new but look old – this is where Anthropologie comes in big.

At Tuesday Morning there are reproduction cereal mugs and plates featuring the old Kellogg ads, many dish towels that look exactly like the ones in Mom’s drawer and great glass jars that can be used for display or practical purposes – flour, spices, etc. Jadeite glass collectibles or that cute white milk glass are making such a comeback, and when displayed properly look so great. And, they are actually useful, unlike the silk pillow your dog or new baby drooled on last week. I love it when people have a collection of dinnerware (the Royal Doulton Blue Willow china comes to mind) displayed in a white cupboard with the back of the cupboard painted a contrasting color to make the china standout.

Where are those old cookie cutters from your Grandma? They can be hung on your kitchen wall next to one of her old aprons (or buy a new pretty one at HomeGoods). Get those old books from Grandma’s attic and stack them on a table, then put a traditional lamp on top – everything evokes a memory that will make you smile.

I have found a lot of vintage decorating is right at your fingertips – just get out all the decorative stuff you have and think about how you can display everything. It will give you a good feeling – both remembering where it came from and if it wasn’t from family, which great flea market you got your “find.”

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