Shopping vintage can be tricky business. If you head to an antique store [or three or FOUR in a day!] and only try to search for one specific piece, often you'll leave empty handed. Conversely, if you head out with no plan in mind at all, things can get overwhelming fast! Most antique stores are teeming with stock, with things typically piled on top of one another and stuffed into every crevice of the shop. I have a few tips I like to share with clients if they're headed out on their own. Today I'll share one of my go to vintage shopping tips: I find when I keep my eyes focused on a specific color scheme, it helps narrow down my search field just enough to make the shopping trip productive and less stressful.
On this day, I kept my eyes open for interesting pieces in the navy and brown families. Once I had that plan in mind, the second I walked into the shop [this one was Antiques and Beyond here in Atlanta], the hunting process starts immediately! I immediately ran into this pair of vintage suitcases. I have several in my house stacked to form a side table, and as long as they have nice flat tops like these [some have a slightly domed shape which makes balancing anything on them a bit too precarious], they function quite nicely as a table or footstool. If the interiors aren't too dingy, they can double as added storage [if they are a bit dingy, then maybe throw some of your dog's toys in there, I'm sure he won't mind!].
A large wine jug is something so signature to a lot of beautiful spaces. They add instant impact due to them being so oversized, and with a few branches cut from the garden tossed in, they incorporate a natural element and height to any space. The ones I have are all clear glass, but I'd love to have a warm brown one like this for the fall season.
Ok, so some of you may find vintage photos a tad creepy [I get it!], but I think some are worth making the exception for. For some reason, I find vintage athletic photos really fascinating. It's so interesting to see how the uniforms in sports have changed over the years [check out that sock and sneaker combo!]. I like the composition, quality and clarity of this photo quite a bit. [Plus, isn't everything just a little more striking in sepia tone?!] I'm not sure I have a place in my house for it, but I can definitely see incorporating something like this in one of my designs.
Chinoiserie prints and decor are so classic and are an instant way to add deeper blues to any room. It's easy to mix them into a vignette with more modern pieces, so that your space doesn't lean too traditional if that's not your thing. I like the size of this piece and appreciated its botanical, fern inspired print. I'd love to see a huge bunch of golden fall flowers piled into it, or again, simple branches from the garden work just as well and add a nice fall touch to the interior of a space.
Though I would find it entirely too exciting to have my own coat of arms, [I even remember having to design one in elementary school!] sometimes the next best thing is purchasing a copy of someone else's! This pair was beautifully matted and framed, and brings a regal touch to a space. The colors and intricacy of the design are equally striking. A pair like these are perfect to place side by side or one on top of the other in a small space, maybe in a hallway or den.
Last but not least, I leave you with a giant antique English water cooler crock. What on earth do I need this for, you may ask! Well, okay, so I'd probably not use it for its intended purpose any longer [unless you did a serious job cleaning it and replaced that spigot with a new sanitary one!]. What this pieces does is adds some serious height and interest to a space. If you invert the top, you can actually use it as a plant stand. Or, remove the lid entirely and pot a plant right inside! It can be another spot to house something practical like dog toys, treats, maybe a spot to put spare dish towels? I love vintage stoneware, and the horizontal striping in varying widths adds a nice visual impact to a space. On my next shopping trip I'll try and focus on a whole separate set of vintage pieces that will only add to anyone's eclectic home!