I prefer a mix of new, vintage and antique finds in my home. I think it’s hard to create a sense of self and personality in a home if everything is brand new as nothing represents your childhood and younger adult years. I think a home should reflect the people who live in it and this involves keeping or collecting what you’re interested in, what you love the look of, or what has a story behind it; Ikea comes flat-packed, memories not included.
The problem comes when you begin to run out of space. Antiques are usually so precious and expensive we don’t have too many of them so they don’t prove a problem. New objects are usually bought for practical purposes. It’s the vintage objects (post-1960s) that can begin to clutter up our lives as they can be collected easily and are relatively inexpensive. However, vintage objects don’t always have a practical use so seem to ‘hang around’ more than anything else and people can get scared to use them because they are ‘old’.
I would like to show you some examples of how to use vintage finds in a practical way so that they don’t become clutter but turn into interesting conversation pieces, characterful storage and practical pieces of beauty that will add a unique feel to your home. Don’t rush out and buy something made for purpose; recycle and re-use what you have in a creative way and don’t be scared to use it instead of just staring at it!
We needed a TV unit for our ENORMOUS (don’t get me started!) TV. Instead of buying a made for purpose AV unit, which are typically pretty disgusting, in my opinion, we turned this 1950’s G-Plan sideboard into the perfect, stylish TV cupboard (filled with horrible electrical boxes).
I absolutely love these blue and white tiles that my friend Agnes bought me in Buenos Aires. I use them as coasters or on the kitchen table for hot pans.
This blue and white enamel pie dish used to belong to my grandfather and he used it in the bathroom for his soap. I use it for make-up and every time I see it I think of my grandfather so what better reason to re-use this rather than buying a new make-up box.
I salvaged these crates from an orchard whilst on a school trip. They sit on my balcony and keep the pots off the decking to decrease the chance of mould. I love the vintage feel they give to the balcony as well as serving an important purpose. Photograph by Peachey Photography.
A vintage jelly mould, given to me by my friend Farah, that I use for my cotton reels.
This vintage ashtray hangs on my mug hooks in the kitchen and holds garlic cloves.
Instead of buying a brand new utensil holder use a pretty vintage jug, which will add character to your kitchen.
Instead of buying a step-stool for high cupboards and shelves I have re-purposed a vintage children’s chair.
I use these Moroccan tiles in a very practical way: I rest my hair straighteners on them.
Instead of a boring loo roll holder I’ve used this vintage electrical wire basket to hold loo roll and books in the bathroom, which is more interesting to look at.
A mustard jar is re-purposed to make a brush pot.
Use vintage bottles to hold single stems.
I use this iron as a very effective doorstop or it would make a perfect bookend.
I love vintage crockery but it can be easy to buy too much and it ends up sitting in a cupboard not being used. We use one of my favourite tea cups for keys on the hallway table so we can see it and it serves a purpose.
Don’t just stare at your vintage jug, use it as a vase.
Have a look around your home and see if there is anything you have been hanging onto that could eventually serve a purpose and make your home more beautiful at the same time. x