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Tips for Decorating With Vintage Finds

With bright blue skies and crisp air, fall weekends are perfect for antiques hunting trips. Even if you don’t find anything to buy, browsing vintage shops, flea markets, and antique fairs makes for a fun and satisfying day trip — and of course, if you do find a treasure, so much the better! Read on for a few favorite pieces to keep on your radar, how to decorate with them, and what to look for when inspecting vintage furniture and decor. Happy antiquing!

Design Sponge
Design Sponge

Consider your needs: When you need something specific for your home, it’s easy to overlook vintage and antiques. After all, shopping for brand-new items in your local big box store is usually quicker (and more of a sure bet). But taking the extra time to shop for something that has stood the test of time is worth the effort — vintage goods are usually well made, long-lasting, and elegant. A few practical finds to look for in vintage shops and flea markets include cast iron cookware, wooden spoons, drafting tables, desk chairs, wall hooks, and all sorts of cabinets.

Domino
Domino Magazine

Where to shop: Local vintage and antique shops are fun to pop into, but if you’re looking for a full-immersion experience, it’s worth seeking out a big antique fair in your region. Antique fairs bring together many individual sellers into one (often outdoor) space. Vendors go all-out with beautifully styled vignettes that can help you imagine how you might use some of the pieces in your own home. Plus there are usually stands selling food and drinks for when you need a break! A few of the best fairs across the country include:

Holly Marder
Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle

Master the mix: A mix of old and new makes a house feel more like a well-loved and lived-in home, so don’t stress about whether your vintage and antique pieces will “go” with the newer items in your space. Pair vintage bentwood chairs with a modern tulip-shaped table; use an antique glass cabinet to hold your bath towels; or put a vintage credenza to work in the living room as a media console for your flat screen TV.

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess

Start a collection: If you love browsing flea markets and fairs, starting a collection can be a great way to focus your shopping efforts. And of course, displaying a cherished collection in one spot can make a beautiful focal point in your home. Just remember that when it comes to collecting, small and curated is often more impactful than large and unruly. Here are a few ideas for fun vintage items that look great in collections:

  • Rainbow-colored glassware

  • Vintage globes

  • Midcentury pottery

  • Vintage oil portraits

  • Typewriters

Rip & Tan
Rip & Tan

Look for quality: Before you make a purchase, be sure to take your time inspecting the vintage piece from all angles. Look for wood that’s smooth and blemish-free; drawers that slide open easily; and sturdy, comfortable chairs. If a dealer claims the piece was made by a known designer (and has raised the price accordingly), check the underside or back of furniture for a maker’s mark. But the most important question to ask yourself is, “do I love it?” As with people, a few imperfections just add character.

Rug pairings: What could go better with your antique and vintage finds than a gorgeous one-of-a-kind rug? Each of the rugs shown featured here is either handwoven or hand-knotted, and the rich hues would go perfectly with all sorts of vintage treasures.

One of a kind rugs

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Bokara Rug Company Semi-Antique Turkish Kazak in blue; Solo Rugs Tribal in orange; Solo Rugs Suzani in purple; Solo Rugs Tribal in red.

For more one-of-a-kind options, shop all of our one-of-a-kind rugs.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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6 Unexpected Places to Use Wallpaper

via Stadshem

Wallpaper – it’s not just for the walls these days. The returning trend of huge, beautiful patterns doesn’t need to be relegated to one surface, instead consider all of your options. Anywhere in your home that’s asking for a little (or a lot) of pattern is fair game, and when you add in all of the removable options that exist, your options unfold exponentially. One use that I’m considering for my own home can be seen above, on the kitchen island. Paired with that oversized butcher block countertop it’s an unexpected dream!

If you prefer a platform bed or are feeling noncommittal might I recommend creating a faux headboard with a favorite wallpaper pattern? Not only can it easily be changed out with whatever decor you’re currently feeling, but it also doesn’t have to break the bank. I particularly love this idea for renters and college students who may only have a bed frame because it offers so much personality to a bedroom.

Maybe you’re minimal enough to have open cabinets in your kitchen, but are still aching for a little something extra. Think about wallpapering the back wall of each cabinet. Not only will the right pattern create a stunning backdrop for whatever you place in the cabinets, it will also act as the only art you’ll need in the kitchen.

One of my favorite ways to put wallpaper to work in an unconventional fashion is one that makes you look up! A clean pattern design like the one used here makes this office space look indescribably classy, almost creating a modern version of tin tiles in the process. The sputnik chandelier and luxe blue velvet armchair further up the class level in this lovely space.

I’d never entertained the idea of wallpapering a fireplace until seeing this one because WOW. I love that this could act as a fast fix for one that needs to be redone or as an easy facelift when you want an affordable update. Go big and bold like this dining room that’s full of character and charm or back off a bit with a more muted and refined pattern – no matter what I think it’s a super smart decorating solution.

Wallpapering a staircase is so unexpected and eye-catching! This is another idea I’m considering for my own home because it has a curved staircase that would become such an amazing element with the right pattern. I really love the graphic appeal and detail the wallpaper brings to this space.

How would you use wallpaper besides your walls?

Wallpaper Inspired Rugs

1/ Surya Quartz  2/ Oriental Weavers Tommy Bahama Atrium
3/ Dalyn St Croix  4/ Safavieh Courtyard II
5/ Rizzy Home Zingaro  6/ Artistic Weavers Stella Dalmation

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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Nail the Look: Desert Modern

A little bit midcentury, a touch bohemian, and a whole lot of warm Southwest texture and textiles makes up this popular look. If your dream home is a cool adobe in Joshua Tree with a pottery studio out back, you’re in the right place. Read on for interior inspiration and practical get-the-look tips to bring desert modern style home, no matter where you live.


Emily Henderson

Furniture: This is where the modern in desert modern comes in. Think vintage mid-century modern pieces in warm wood tones, like the bookshelf shown here. Sofas and chairs with simple, straight shapes work well, as do campaign furniture (like the folding leather stool seen here) and woven pieces.

Accessories: A few small accent pieces can go a long way towards creating a great desert modern look. Poke around in thrift shops, mineral stores, and antique fairs for hunks of crystal, cool rocks, and vintage pottery. Use your finds to perk up bookshelves, hold down a stack of papers on your desk, or add interest to your coffee table.


Design Sponge

Textiles: Bring warmth to simple, clean-lined modern pieces (like the sofa and pendant light shown here) with rich, colorful, southwest-inspired textiles. A great big rug in the living room is a great way to ground the space and set the color palette.


Style Me Pretty

Lighten up: What sets desert modern style apart from straight-up southwest or desert style is a lighter touch. Instead of bringing in lots of heavy, rustic wood furniture and painting the walls in earth tones, lighten things up with airy wire furniture legs, crisp white walls, and delicate vases of flowers.


Apartment Therapy

Cultivate your desert garden: Thankfully, cacti and succulents make excellent houseplants no matter where you live! Bring in little terracotta or handmade pots and fill them with a variety of cacti to create your own mini-southwestern indoor garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Consider picking up an art print or photo featuring desert-inspired plant motifs instead.

Desert Modern Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Surya Scion Tribal rug; Safavieh Aspen rug; Rizzy Home Tumble Weed Loft rug; Nourison Tribal Decor rug in red.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Blissful Blue Decor

Domino

If you’re looking for a color trend that’s stood the test of time and then some, look no further than blue. From indigo to periwinkle this hue has never shown a sign of slowing down in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Not only is blue considered the most relaxing color on the spectrum, it also has the ability to ground a space and is a great way for colorphobes to experiment. A piece of art or furniture is a great way to introduce something fresh into your decor because both are fairly non-committal and can be resold if you end up unhappy.

This take on everyone’s favorite tile, subway, gives the standby new life in a soft baby blue. The pastel hue manages to work in both a classic decor scheme as well as modern thanks to the subtle gradient present in the patterning. Can’t you just imagine wanting to cook so many meals in this kitchen because it looks so relaxing and welcoming?

I’d definitely use those baby blue subway tiles in a bathroom as well, but these square patterned ones offer so much when paired with the stark white vanity and accompanying shower tiles. This is definitely a situation of using pattern as art – there’s no way you’d want to cover up or bring in anything that might want to compete with these beautifully intricate pieces.

Smoky blue is such an unexpected hue for the kitchen, and that’s the biggest reason I’m loving it. By using such a soft accent color to all of the natural tones in this space, the designer managed to show off the warmth present in the woodgrain and bricks as well as the brightness of all that white. One of my favorite unexpected touches is the blue on that island facade!

If you’re all in on blue, this space has your name on it. Walls, ceiling, doors, mouldings – all the same, gorgeous shade of the most perfect blue. It feels like a slightly softer take on the currently popular all-black room, offering a sense of depth and sophistication that’s magnetic. If you’re looking to diversify and add something relaxing and blue to your space, another fantastic way is to bring in a floor rug like the ones below.

Blue Rugs

For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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