Brought to you by our friend Laura Putnam from Finding Home:
Decorating with vintage items can be easy and inexpensive. Here are ten vintage collectables that don’t cost a lot to buy.
CRATES / BOXES / BINS AND BASKETS
I have never met a vintage crate, toolbox bin or basket that I didn’t at least consider bringing home. They can be the perfect touch to almost any tabletop filled with seasonal items, books flowers or any decorative items.
I have even been known turn them on their side and hang them in a wall display. But beyond decorative, they can be used to gather and store necessary items like magazines and toys.
MASON JARS AND BOTTLES
Vintage mason jars, especially the blue ones are one of my favorite things to collect. I have them in my kitchen window so that light streams through, I use them as candle holders since they are heat safe and I fill them with flowers year round. I often use them filled with small items like shells or sea glass on a table.
I also love grouping old bottles of different sizes, shapes and colors. My favorites have some type of lettering that tells the story of where it came from. Grouping them together alone or filled with flowers are a perfect centerpiece for a table.
PLATES AND SERVE WARE
While I know there are plenty of expensive and collectible vintage plates, many can be found inexpensively as well. Especially if you are willing for a plate to have a little scratch or chip. Hanging plates on a wall creates another dimension and a different shape to wall art. Grouped together with different patterns can create a gallery wall.
And plates don’t need to stay in the kitchen or dining room. They work perfectly in a family or bedroom – they would even work in a bathroom.
White ironstone is a timeless collectable. From pitchers to platters to sugar bowls and creamers, ironstone is a great collection to start. They are fairly easy to find and if you are willing to buy pieces that are not in perfect condition, they can be fairly affordable.
And they don’t need to stay on the hutch. They can come down and be grouped on your table for a centerpiece or to hold flowers.
Determining if it is ironstone is fairly easy – it is usually marked on the bottom. The older pieces are sometimes not marked, but with a little experience you will be able to spot it from across the flea market. Do you want a hint to speed up your collection? Mix in new pieces from major retailers that are generally very inexpensive. This allows you to fill out your collection over time and find the pieces that you love.
From yard sales and estate sales to junk shops and the side of the road, vintage doors can easily be found. Doors can simply be used to flank a front door and create additional character.
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Or you can use them to create something new like this herb garden.
Adding vintage door knobs to a newer door is an eclectic way to bring charm to a recently built home. But door knobs don’t have to stay on the door. I have them tucked here, there and everywhere. Crystal door knobs and a little bit of shine and brass knobs add a little bit of bling.
I have found mine at yard sales, estate sales and auctions. Sometimes I buy them individually, but the best route is always if you can find a box of them. Once you have them, you find more and more ways to use them.
I believe a home should be filled with things that tell the story of the people who live there. Vintage signs that have meaning or relevance to your family can be part of decorating your home. The perfect example is the key in the image below. It is from a factory that has since closed in the town my husband grew up in. It is one of our favorite pieces.
Of course, you can also just include a sign that you love. I used to work in the footwear industry so this sign below caught my eye. I had no connection to this company, but the wear and patina on this sign swayed me.
Vintage signs can sometimes get expensive so keep your eye out for a well done reproduction. The quality of reproductions seems to getting better and better. And if you are crafty, there are a ton of tutorials available on how to DIY your own sign.
While taking on vintage upholstered furniture takes a level of skill and know-how, buying vintage wood furniture can be an inexpensive way to create a unique home. From Craig’s list to flea markets, many pieces can easily be found. If you are not a DIY’er and don’t want to take on painting or refurbishing a piece, there are plenty of people who specialize in doing just that.
If you are willing to invest a little more, you can also find heirloom quality furniture with details that are just not found in today’s furniture. Even if you are paying higher than “flea market” prices, you are usually spending less that a brand new piece. Many retailers specialize if offering high quality vintage furniture pieces.
PAINTINGS AND ART
Vintage paintings and art are a great way to showcase your individual taste. And, it is a great way to be able to collect original pieces that could be unaffordable if they were from a current artist. It is also avoids the possibility of seeing the same art in someone else’s home.
Try pairing vintage paintings with modern pieces for a completely different look.
Books can be one of the least expensive vintage items to decorate with. With a little hunting, you can find vintage books for as little as a quarter. I have bought vintage books because they were a beloved classic, the title tickled my funny bone – and yes, I have bought vintage books simply for the color of the cover.
I tuck them in many places and tend to rotate them around regularly to freshen things up. I pile them together and even use them to prop up another accessory of picture frame.
Hopefully these ten examples have shown you that incorporating vintage items can be a fun way to freshen up your decor without spending a lot. They are easy to update and change out with the seasons without being overwhelming. Happy hunting!