Charming Vintage Decor Ideas for Any Home

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Do you enjoy antique and vintage items but need inspiration for using them to decorate your home? Wondering how to style that special antique find you just bought? Curious about where to even find vintage treasures that you’ll love? These vintage decor ideas and tips will help you add historic beauty and unique style to every room of your house. 

flowers on outdoor fall tablescape.

I am a big fan of decorating my home with vintage, antique, and thrifted items. It’s not just the thrill of the hunt for me; I love the history and story these items can bring to my home. Let me explain …

Reasons to Love Vintage Decor

  • Each piece tells a story. When you’re buying vintage, chances are someone owned and loved the item before you. The piece carries a history as to how it was loved and used. 
  • These items are not as common, rare, or one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking for decor that is different from what everyone has, then vintage is the way to go. Such items are not what you’ll see in mass quantities at the local home decor store. 
  • It’s often less expensive. When I’m looking for vintage decor, I’m not shopping for priceless antiques. I’m looking for items that someone else doesn’t need or love anymore and often selling at a discounted price.
  • You’re reusing. If you’re searching for more sustainable ways to live, repurposing previously loved decor is a great place to start. 

Hopefully, this helps to explain why you might enjoy decorating with vintage items as I do. Now let me share a few ideas, tips, and tricks on how you can incorporate these finds into your home and style. 

rustic green dresser with vintage lamp.

How to Decorate with Vintage Art

Over the years, I have become more and more into vintage art. After creating a collection, I built a gallery wall that makes me smile whenever I walk by it…then I built another (and another!). Check out my entire collection of vintage art and keep reading for my tips on decorating with your own finds below.

couch with gallery wall of vintage paint by numbers.

1. Take Care of It

The best thing you can do when you decorate with vintage art is to keep it clean and dust-free. This will help your pieces shine like new, making them even more awe-inducing.

If you buy a pricy vintage piece, you might even want to invest in professional restoration. They will bring it back to its proper glory and give you care tips.

2. Create a Gallery Wall

Once you begin to create a collection of vintage artwork, display them on a gallery wall. The wall space by your stairs is always a fantastic place just begging for conversation starters.

artwork gallery wall
Vintage Metal Tray Gallery Wall in a kitchen.

3. Layer on a Shelf

Don’t be afraid to display more than one vintage piece on your bookshelves. Adding multiple items together creates depth. These layers can be a very important design element that adds interest to your shelves.

Use Vintage Pieces in Every Room of Your House

Vintage decor can add charm to any room in your house. Check out my home tour and get inspired to place pieces in more rooms than just your library or living room.

One of the best ways to add charm to your house is to display seasonal vintage pieces. Set out vintage salt and pepper shakers at Thanksgiving, or place some vintage towels at Christmas. In fact, I dedicated entire post to share vintage Christmas decor ideas.

staircase banister decorated for Christmas.
vintage christmas card on a green garland.

I also love to create contrast with textures. Next to my floor-length linen curtains, I set up a brass lamp. While the colors complement each other, the materials are very different.

Finally, go from room to room and create notes and visualize the kind of items you want or need. Then, keep an open mind and be creative while also staying true to the original goal.

For example, if you are looking for blanket storage in your bedroom, you might use a vintage ladder or an antique trunk.

A Handy Guide for Antiquing:

You’ll find these tips and more in my quick guide to antiquing. It’s a valuable resource for anyone that is just starting out.

It’s a must-read before you head out.

Shop at Your Favorite Antique Stores

You’ll find some fantastic items at flea markets and estate sales. I love going to estate sales because often people amass a collection, and you can get things together.

I live in Pennsylvania, and these are my favorite Pittsburgh antique shops. They can be a dangerous place to visit as I can usually find something I want every time I walk into them.

garden style living antique store Pittsburgh pa.
vintage copper pans hung on a wall.

Favorite Vintage Decorating Ideas

These vintage decor ideas will give you enough inspiration to decorate every room in your house.

Paint By Numbers Artwork

Paint by Number paintings is one of my most recent fascinations. I display vintage artwork all throughout my home. Take some time and browse artwork at antique shops – you might be surprised at what you find.

Want more? I have an entire blog post dedicated to my favorite vintage wall decorating ideas.

collection of paint-by-numbers

Vintage Lamps

Your vintage finds can have practical uses too. For example, a vintage brass lamp can still work to create light in your reading nook while adding to the ambiance at the same time.

Check out this post for more primary bedroom ideas.

vintage brass and cream lamp.
table in lounge area at Hayes Cottage.

Brass Animals

Have fun creating your favorite collection. These vintage ideas from around my home are some of my favorites. I love collecting and displaying them in little groups.

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How to Incorporate Antique Into Your Home Decor #antiques #vintagefinds #homedecor #styling #vintagetins #decorating
bookcase decor with vintage brass animals

Trophy Decor

This amazing trophy is from 1932 – it was from one of my favorite vintage hauls. It’s an instant conversation piece, which is exactly what I like about vintage items.

vintage trophies on a wood mantel.
vintage trophy with rustic branches.

Vintage Rolling Pins

Another way to decorate your home is to create a vintage collection in every room. These rolling pins are perfect in the kitchen. I won’t use them, but they create an atmosphere of a busy kitchen full of flour and sugar.

rolling pins in a crock

Vintage Transferware Pitchers

Are you looking to add a touch of timeless elegance to your home decor? Look no further than vintage transferware pitchers. These stunning pieces have been adorning living spaces for centuries, and for good reason. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they also have a rich history and unique characteristics that make them true works of art. 

transferware pitcher with topiary.

I have used these in a variety of ways around my home. They look fabulous on their own, but I love filling them with fresh flowers or using them as storage for things like a plant, candlesticks, or office supplies.

I wrote an entire post about these transferware pitchers if you want to learn more.

transferware picture with candles.

There you have it! This is everything you ever needed to know about how to decorate with vintage pieces. When something grabs your attention at a flea market, estate sale, or antique shop, snag it! It just might become the beginning of a new hobby.

bookcase decor with vintage finds.

Vintage Glassware

I have a passion for vintage glassware. It’s affordable, beautiful, unique and oh so charming! The delicate and nostalgic appeal of vintage glassware may make it seem best suited for display only, but the glassware can and should be functional too.

I wrote an entire post about vintage glassware. I cover everything you need to know including where to buy it, how to style it, and how to care for it. I

vintage decorative glassware.
glassware on Vintage-Inspired Fall Tablescape.

Frequently Asked Questions

I wanted to answer a few questions people often ask about buying and displaying vintage items. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.

How do you find quality vintage items?

Honestly, finding quality vintage items is a bit of a scavenger hunt, which makes it all the more fun! When you find that one unique piece that is still in amazing shape, you feel like you struck gold. It’s exciting and all part of the adventure!

Vintage Decor Ideas in a bedroom with a ladder and lamp.

Some shops will be better places to find high-quality items than others. I suggest asking around. If you are in someone’s house and they have a really stunning piece, ask them where they got it. There is nothing like word-of-mouth marketing.

If you prefer online shopping, then I suggest Etsy. It is a treasure trove of antique items that you won’t find anywhere else.

You can also browse eBay. Since it’s a larger site with a bigger focus, you’ll have to browse longer, but you can still find amazing things there too.

vintage crystal chandelier

Is vintage the same as retro?

You might hear people say that they love your retro artwork – is it the same thing as vintage?

Thankfully, Apartment Therapy explains the differences in detail. Antiques are usually so old that they are almost historic.

Vintage items are usually mid-century modern or almost as old as your grandparents.

Retro items technically describe anything that is recently outdated or uncool. Remember in Mean Girls when Regina George called the girl’s clothes “retro?” That’s basically the standard and common use of it.

Of course, in modern vernacular, we all use those 3 words interchangeably!

concrete vintage squirrel decor.

How old does something have to be to be considered vintage?

Most antique dealers agree that vintage items are at least 40 years old. So for 2022, this can include anything from the 1920s to the 1970s. Again, that’s the technical definition, and not necessarily how we use the word today.

Charming Vintage Decor Ideas

More Home Decorating Ideas You May Enjoy

I hope that all of these vintage decor ideas and tips were helping for decorating your own space. Have questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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7 Comments

  1. I have been on the hun for little brass animals ever since I’ve seen them in your house. I haven’t found any yet but I’ll keep hunting. I told myself this year I’m only buying thrifted items for my home. Like you said it’s all about the hunt.

  2. Hi Michael
    I have a few old paintings rescued from my husband’s grandfather’s house and was going to have them reframed, but after reading this blog, think that perhaps I shouldn’t. Any suggestions on where/how to place them? Could I send you photos of them?

  3. This is great information, and I really enjoy your delivery! It all makes sense to me, and it encourages me to “shop my house,” look at what’s stashed in the back of cabinets, discover what should be brought out and displayed. Also, I love your paint-by-numbers gallery! (I remember horse-head paintings and those teeny, tiny paintbrushes!) Who knew? Thank you again for sharing your ideas! P.S. Love your garden/studio videos, too!!!