If you have an affinity for farmhouses and farmhouse style, then you most likely also tend to decorate with vintage and antique pieces. This is definitely the case for me. My love of vintage goes back for as long as I can remember. Even in high school, I went to flea markets and used old windows as mirrors. Vintage and antique treasures have my heart.
I don’t think vintage charm has a standard definition in the design world, so I’ll explain what I see and what it means to me. Vintage charm feels like a hug from the past. It comforts me. Old things seem to be naturally imbued with the energy and spirit of those who owned and loved the pieces before. I’m drawn to history and nostalgia. When my husband was home on the weekends when my children were babies, I’d take a break and head out to my favorite flea markets rather than going to get my hair done or browsing around a TJ Maxx as many of my friends did.
My love for vintage charm has become second nature to me, so I wanted to create this post to share some of my favorite ideas with you.
I have accumulated a unique collection of art over the years, and I am constantly adding to it and editing it. The majority of the artwork in our home are older pieces collected from antique stores, via online auctions, or are just lucky thrift store finds. Others are pieces handed down from my husband’s mother and grandmother. We specifically asked his mother for a few pieces when she was downsizing. This is a special and “free” way to accumulate artwork! An old framed painting of a Maine farmhouse used to hang above our sofa, and it brought sweet remembrances of my husband’s childhood whenever he walked past it.
We also have newer pieces by artist friends who create artwork that evokes a sense of history and nostalgia. This is another route you can go if you want to give the nod to the past but perhaps don’t have access to actual vintage art.
You can also create art by framing old family photos, a sentimental piece of fabric, a worn favorite recipe card, or an old love letter.
Collections of Vintage Bits and Bobs
A collection is one of the best ways to add vintage charm to your home. There is nothing more charming than a wall full of vintage straw hats. Maybe a shelf in the kitchen could display old canning jars. A collection of typewriter or vintage cameras on a living room shelf? Or a stack of old first edition novels? I have friends who collect little metal windup toys from the 1950s and another acquaintance who created a stand from antique washboards.
There are so many different things to collect and ways to display them! Think vintage school lunch boxes, thermoses, old fruit crates, old soda crates, vintage and antique doilies, a glass kitchen cabinet featuring a gorgeous collection of vintage Pyrex dishes! The list goes on and on and on!
Vintage Style Kitchen Essentials
I love the look of an old vintage farmhouse kitchen. Here are a few ideas that can quickly and easily evoke that vintage charm look and feel. For instance:
- Use wooden tools instead of steel or plastic.
- Display copper or cast iron cookware.
- Grow herbs near a window.
- Arrange pantry items in large glass jars on shelves.
- Display a vintage recipe cardHang an apron.
- instead of a traditional island, use a vintage wood table.
- Use antique knobs and drawer pulls on.
Built-Ins and Moldings
Moldings will always be one of my favorite ways to add character and charm to a home. It takes time and requires some skills/specialty tools, but you get a lot of value for your money.
I added board and batten to my bedroom a couple of years ago, and it completely changed the look and feel of the space. Now the room feels cozy, rich, and truly farmhouse-y. Here are some other suggestions:
- Add beadboard to a wall.
- Add wood corbels to a shelf.
- Install a peg rail in your entryway.
- Include an easy to install chair rail.
- See if you can install a built-in cabinet in your dining room.
Got any unique tips or ideas to add to this list of vintage decor ideas!? Please share away in the comments below.