What is vintage?
Nowadays the word ‘vintage‘ is bandied about all overthe place, especially in relation to style and fashion, but we can think of it as just a smart way of saying second-hand. Of course, The Oxford English Dictionary gives a slightly more elevated definition, saying that vintage ‘denotes something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind’, so let’s use that as starting point. Furniture, soft furnishings, crockery, china, absolutely anything for the homecan be vintage if you are not the first person to have owned it, though it must be from the past and less than a hundred years old – as any older makes it antique.
Vintage items have an inherent attractiveness and charm about them. They almost have a personality because of their visible wear and tear. That is something you simply can’t recreate, no matter how hard you try.
In auction rooms you will find old furniture that is beautifully designed, built and finished. It’s generally true to say that if you buy vintage, you’re buying something worthwhile, but not all vintage items will be lookingtheir best when you first clap eyes on them in a shop window or auction house. More often than not, you have to look closely to see the potential. Could some cleaning and polishing turn a sad items into something desirable, or would painting and perhaps replacing fabric or handles be more in order? A little elbow grease and imagination can work wonders.
You can kitted out your home from top to bottom with wonderful second-hand finds. It doesn’t need to be a specific period to stick on when you shopping; you can be quite eclectic in your purchases, and simply buy things that you take a fancy to. It can make you happy to live with things you find pleasing and that are totally personal to you.
The best thing about creating your own vintage home is that it will be completely personal to you. You’re never going to walk into a friend’s living room and see the same identikit furniture and furnishings if you’ve handpicked individual vintage items. Of course, achieving the look is going to take a bit of effort – it’s not something you can find in a shop catalogue and buy wholesale – but you can have so much fun putting it together. The look is built up over time through finding things you like, things you think are beautiful, and sometimes even things you think are ugly but that can be worked into your scheme in some way.
It comes about by finding a mish-mash of pieces for your home that can include cheap second-hand furniture you do up yourself, more expensive original items, pre-loved family pieces (valuable or not), one-off auction wins, and item that you have crafted yourself.
Clearly, vintage interiors take time and commitment, but what an interesting and satisfying time you will have creating yours!