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Tips to Incorporate Antique and Vintage Finds into Your Home Design

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secretary desk, vintage finds, antiques, crystal chandeliers, dressers, chest of drawers, oil on canvas, painting

Whether your decorating style is modern farmhouse, boho chic, maximalist or minimalist, there are plenty of ways you can mix and match your favorite antiques and vintage estate sale finds into your current design. 

In this article, we asked several eclectic collectors, content creators behind DIY & interior design blogs, homeowners with many years sourcing and decorating with secondhand finds, as well as professional interior designers for advice on flawlessly styling antiques and vintage pieces throughout your entire home. 

And if you’re looking to get the look from our guests’ home design inspiration, we’ve got you covered with some gems from our Marketplace.

 

1.“EVERYONE can include vintage and antique pieces in their home, even if it’s just a small bust for your bookshelf.” - Ashley Londino of @spackleandshine.

Inspiration

Favorite Vintage/Antique Finds: an antique Louis XV Style Marquetry Secretary Desk that I found in an auction located just 15 minutes from my house.

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Ashley Londino styles a beautiful antique Louis XV Style

Styling Tips: "The key is to try and mix in at least one or two modern things among your antiques. In my living room, I framed modern style art in antique gilt frames. In my bathroom, I incorporated a modern sputnik light fixture that has an antique ceiling medallion around it. It adds visual interest to the room and allows the modern and antique pieces to blend together. 

I would also recommend sticking to a color palette, you don't want to fill your home with antiques that ultimately don't go together. If you mix your old and new styles with a similar color palette, it will create that collected look which we want for our space."

Now Get the LookAuction Ninja

  1. Art Deco Crystal 7 Tier Chandelier (Barton Co.)

  2. Rattan 7 Drawer Bachelor Chest of Drawers by Baker for Milling Road (Trading Post Estate Sales)

  3. Carvers Guild Style Gilt Rococo Mirror (Barton Co.)

  4. Pair French Louis Chairs in Faux Fur (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  5. Continental Parquetry Inlay Drop Front Secretary Desk (Black Rock Galleries)

 

2. “Keep an open mind and be decisive. If you think you will regret not purchasing something then you should get it or else you may miss out on it.” - Kristie McGowan of @kristiemcgowanhome.

Inspiration

Favorite Vintage/Antique Finds: a gorgeous black marble and brass chandelier in my entryway that I found in someone’s attic during an estate sale. It was brand new.

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Check out this fabulous foyer with a black marble and brass chandelier found at an estate sale by Kristie McGowan

Styling Tips: "Think outside the box and see beyond slight imperfections. For example, a bookcase or shelves could be great for books but could also be a wonderful place for linens or shoes. A unique soap dish could be a key holder. A dresser may just need a fresh coat of paint. A rug may just need a good cleaning. 

For smaller items, like plates and lamps, try to buy in pairs or multiples. It allows for more options for styling and placement."

Now Get the LookAuction Ninja

  1. Venetian Style 6 Light Metal and Crystal Ceiling Pendant (Barton Co.)

  2. A Large Elegant Rectangular Carved Mirror by Carvers Guild (Modern Day Auctions)

  3. Portrait of Girl with Straw Hat Signed by Artist, Wadda Lov (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  4. French 18th C. Reproduction Gold Metal Leaf Mirror (Black Rock Galleries)

  5. Sprawling Geometric Oriental Area Rug Crimson with Blue/Cream Detail (156"x 124") (Brownstone Liquidators)

 

3. “We’re strong believers that velvet furniture never goes out of style.” - Maggie & Joe of @wilfredhouse

Inspiration

Favorite Vintage/Antique Finds: a pair of vintage organey-mustard armchairs that we have in our study. They’re the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever encountered and the color is so unique and fun.

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These fun vintage mustard velvet armchairs look amazing in Maggie & Joe’s study

Styling Tips: “When buying velvet furniture secondhand, try to examine the fabric as best as you can. Velvet can be really misleading in photos. For example, the “crushed” down sections can be easily fixed with some steam, but there’s things like “bald spots” on velvet that can’t really be repaired easily. Otherwise, it’s surprisingly durable.”

Now Get the LookAuction Ninja

  1. Pair of Danish Mid Century Modern Brass and Wood Veneer, by Laurel Table Lamps (Barton Co.)

  2. Room Size Heriz Rug (Auctions By Smith's)

  3. Beautiful Vintage Floor Lamp with 3 Mission Style Stained Glass Design Shades 71.5" High (Treasure Chest Estate Sales)

  4. Golden Framed Mirror (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  5. Mid Century Henredon Curved Sofa in Schoonbeck Velvet (Barton Co.)

 

4. “As you decorate your home over time, you pick up pieces along the way. These pieces won’t match — and that’s the best part.” - Stacey Turner of @sawyersvintagehaven.

Inspiration

Favorite Vintage/Antique Finds: an antique metal US postal box. It's 5’ tall, and I bought it for $15.00.

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This massive green antique metal U.S. Postal box looks stunning in Stacy Turner’s home 

Styling Tips: “I scatter the wood tones through the space. By doing this, your room feels cohesive. Using the same wood tone in a space can make everything look flat, which is why I try to stick with wood tones that both compliment and contrast. As you decorate your home over time, you pick up pieces along the way. These pieces won’t match — and that’s the best part.”

Now Get the LookAuction Ninja

  1. Beautiful Vintage White Wicker Laundry Basket (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  2. Vintage Mid-Century Solid Hardwood Teachers Desk (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  3. Pair Of Custom Frilled Throw Pillows 18 X 18 (Trading Post Estate Sales)

  4. Bevel Mirror in Gold-Tone Frame, Hangs Horizontally or Vertically (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  5. Vintage French Provincial Country Floral Accent Chair (Trading Post Estate Sales)

  6. Galvanized Bucket (Fairlight Estate Sales)

 

5. “Mixing new and vintage is key so that a space doesn't end up looking like an antique store” - Sarah Lyon of @sarahlyon9.

Inspiration

Favorite Vintage/Antique Finds: a really cool piece of black and white art in an online auction and it adds a fun modern touch to my apartment while keeping in line with my eclectic style.

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Mixing new with vintage black and white art with other colorful prints makes for a beautiful and unique art wall designed by Sarah Lyon

Styling Tips: “If you have a vintage dresser, for example, maybe spice it up with a contemporary lamp. Or you could even update a vintage lamp base by adding a more modern shade. I have a vintage desk in my living room that I use as my workspace, and I've paired it with a boucle chair from CB2. I love the mix of then and now, and the boucle brings in some great texture.”

Now Get the LookAuction Ninja

  1. Large Pineapple Cut Crystal Pedestal Bowl (Trading Post Estate Sales)

  2. Marilyn Monroe in Bed Black and White Framed Photographic Art Print (Barton Co.)

  3. Absolutely Spectacular Carved Marble Bust - Signed - Paid $5,500 t Doyles Auction House 25 Years Ago - WOW! (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  4. Fabulous Large Vintage Print of Horse - Cavallo - Fantastic Decorator Print in Beautiful Black / Gilt Frame (Clearing House Estate Sales)

  5. Mid Century, Albrizzi, Italian Style Chrome and Glass Oval Coffee Table (Barton Co.)

  6. Contemporary Poltrona Frau Brand, "Chester" Leather Loveseat Sofa, White Color, Made In Italy (1st Place Online Auctions)

AuctionNinja Tip: While inventory moves fast, there are similar items posted hourly so be sure to explore the marketplace daily -- you never know what you'll find! 



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