by Jenasie Earl
Hi there! My name is Jenasie, and I own Ms Vicious Design. I am a vintage reseller and interior decorator that specializes in designing with vintage, antiques, and secondhand. I strongly believe that you can create beautiful rooms without having to buy new furniture. I have designed each space in my home around a vintage piece I’ve found that has sparked inspiration. Your home should always reflect you! So, fill it with the things you love.
Don't know where to start? Check out the tips below and you'll be on your way to creating a unique, stylish space you'll love. And be sure to follow me on Instagram @msviciousdesign.
1. Start with a statement piece.
When I start designing a room I start with a statement piece. For me, that usually is a vintage rug. Vintage rugs have so much soul. They give you a color scheme and style. You can score big ones at auction for a steal sometimes. Whether you prefer a bold, colorful Persian rug or a more neutral style you have a starting point!
2. Find the bigger furniture pieces.
Next, I find the bigger furniture pieces. I get a rough idea of what I want before I actually find it, but eventually it will come along with enough time searching and perseverance. For example, I usually search on FB Marketplace for sofas. It gives a wide range of what is for sale locally and changes daily. I try searching for specific terms and over time will get more broad to return more options. Sometimes people don’t get too descriptive and you can find gems that are described poorly. I will put in a Vintage Velvet Sofa and search that daily. Also, vintage sofa, antique sofa, and just sofa when I’m not seeing anything. Many people don’t know the difference between antique and vintage so I always search both. I have always gone by the rule that antique is 100+ years old and vintage is 30+ years. I know that is debatable, but I think roughly around there is a fair rule to follow.
3. Keep an eye out for auction items.
Since I’m an avid estate sale and auction goer I keep an eye out for anything that sparks joy. You know when an auction item comes up and you just can’t leave without it?? Those are the kinds of pieces I include in rooms. I believe you should be surrounded by pieces you love. Here are some of my favorite pieces from AuctionNinja that are currently up for auction (but always check back, because similar items will pop up).
Original Ada Stone (1879 - 1904) Oil Painting on Canvas (Provenance Auctions)
Large Quality Signed Oil Painting (Great Estate Tag Sales)
A Beautiful Vintage Asian Inspired Rattan Side Chair (Modern Day Auctions)
Lucite Stackable Waterfall Nesting Tables (Great Estate Tag Sales)
Antique American Princess Dresser Beveled Mirror (Associated Estate & Appraisal Co.)
I’m currently a big fan of the marble and glass combo. I search those terms frequently. That’s how I found a coffee table and sofa table to go in the same living room. The fact that they both have gold on them gives a cohesive look to the room even though I got them in different places.
Marble Chess Board with Uniquely Carved Marble Chess Pieces (Modern Day Auctions)
Knoll Barcelona Coffee Table by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe with Original Receipt (Great Estate Tag Sales)
4. Now for wood furniture.
You can mix wood furniture styles and eras so easily by getting pieces that are in similar color tones! I found an epic Mid-Century Modern Danish teak 8ft console at auction and snagged it for $70!!! Can you even believe it?? That’s why I love auctions. Since I don’t want to strictly have a mid-century style room I added in a French Edwardian cabinet that’s walnut. They are both medium tone woods and seem like they fit perfectly in the same space. Then, I threw in an 1870’s burl cabinet that almost got taken to the dump and the trio worked so well together!
5. Don’t forget accessories.
As for the accessories, that is part of the journey. When you are hunting for vintage, pick things up that speak to you and once the room is coming together you add those in. I love brass. When I’m searching for sales I always keep an eye out for it. Also, BOOKS!! Pick up beautiful, antique books any time you come across them. They are so useful in styling and are usually affordable. They add history to your room. Plus, they can bring in accent colors! I have black and gold books all over my home. They help keep that old world feel that I like and I can switch them out any time I need.
Vintage Gusums Bruk Swedish Brass Candlesticks (Provenance Auctions)
Antique Charles Dickens Book Series (Great Estate Tag Sales)
6. Keep a color palette in mind.
When decorating a room, keep a color palette in mind. Even make a moodboard if that helps. However, when shopping secondhand, sometimes you have to be willing to shift a bit. You may start with one vision and end up finding other things in your search which may cause you to pivot. That’s the best part of the thrill of the hunt! You never know what you’ll find!
While curating a secondhand, collected home may take longer than buying new, it is so satisfying when it all comes together. Happy hunting!