Learn Key Elements Of Vintage Style

Shabby chic, nostalgic style, even ‘contemporary vintage’ are all types of vintage ‘style’. However, they are not necessarily the same as items of decor classified as ‘vintage’. Such pieces classified as vintage are items of decor – furniture, fabrics, clothing, and decorative objects – that pre-date 1963. Typically, Those pieces called vintage do not go as far back as the 1700 or 1800s (termed colonial or Louis XIV and the like), but start somewhere around 1880.

Mainly, items of the 20th century which are old enough to be collector’s items. These pieces are often combined with ‘Vintage style’ and vintage-looking pieces. In other words, vintage style is about creating an ambiance and is not as picky about the date of items as a true, vintage classification required for antique sellers. A Venetian mirror can mingle with a Shaker table covered by a 1958 fabric. And, nobody checks the reference books when appreciating their charm, unlike the sellers of pieces termed ‘vintage’.

Vintage Style

“Contemporary vintage” is often put together with vintage-looking decor which may or may not be authentic in the period, but is authentic in its charm and vintage appeal. Most who decorate their homes have a blend of these pieces – authentic in their origin and vintage-looking – living in harmony to create a livable, yet lovable vintage look. A sprinkling of vintage era pieces in rooms of contemporary vintage decor to the vintage home of nearly all authentic period decor is the choice of the individual and their own personal style.

Part of the enjoyment of the vintage style is that no two decorators will interpret the style the same way. Much like the word nostalgia which brings to mind favorite memories of different things and time periods to different people, not every vintage stylist is attracted to the same type of vintage. It is an imaginative, can-do combination of thrift and splurges, old and new, haphazard and put-together which blend in a seemingly effortless manner.

How to achieve pleasing harmony amongst a collection of tossed away, heirloom, thrift store, family, and contemporary treasures. It requires an eye or a bit of a knack for arranging with a vintage flair. This knack comes from knowing a few basic principles.

  1. Vintage stylists enjoy the hunt. Two hours in a thrift store and constantly peeking at garage sales are not uncommon for uncovering that perfect treasure, find, or long-awaited piece.
  2. Vintage stylists make lists – things to keep an eye out for that will complete that corner or accentuate a room.
  3. Vintage stylists are not afraid to touch what someone else has touched, satin, or even worn.

Basic Principles

  • Creativity – pieces often require extra flair such as adding a ribbon or organza or displaying old brochures by pinning them on pillows rather than hiding them away in a box (unless, of course, the box is vintage and left open to display the pins.)
  • Appreciation – a fresh look at everyday pieces often opens the door to individual style. Such things as old skeleton keys, old fabrics, and old watering cans can be displayed to top off decorating with vintage ambiance. In a nutshell, things arranged to catch the eye take on a new light.

Where To Find Vintage Pieces And Vintage Style Items

  • Garage sales
  • Flea markets
  • Ikea (contemporary vintage)
  • Target (contemporary vintage)
  • Thrift stores
  • eBay
  • Experienced dealers

More shabby chic ideas to decorate your house you can find here!

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