5 Truths About Vintage Decorating
What's in vogue today is often gone tomorrow, but some elements of home decor have undeservedly gone the way of the dodo. Though seldom seen today, features such as vintage wallpaper and checkerboard floors are ripe for a warm welcome into modern homes.
True vintage lovers wouldn't want a brand-new house full of new furniture if you gave it to them - except to sell for cash to buy more old stuff. But, decorating with vintage has its pros, cons, and inevitabilities. Here are the 5 truths about vintage decorating:
You Have to Keep Things Cleaner
Living with vintage means you need to clean more than people who buy everything new. When a new house with new stuff gets a little dusty, it just looks a little dusty.
When an old house with vintage furnishings gets dusty, it doesn't just look old and dusty. It looks old and dirty. Even if it doesn't to you, it will to your guests. They'll imagine a moldy, musty smell and years worth of caked-on grime.
You Won't Always Save Money
Buying vintage (even buying antiques) often costs a lot less than shopping a catalog or furniture store, but not always. It depends on what you buy and how much work it needs. Consider vintage upholstery, for example. If the piece needs new springs, new padding, new cushions, and new fabric, the final cost may total more than a low- to medium-quality new piece.
A Time Capsule Can Be a Prison
At first you're just excited about finding more of whatever you love, but soon you start to feel like you can't mix in anything else. Be mind that if it looks good together and you like it, you can do it.
You Have to Hunt Harder and Look Longer
When you're shopping for something specific, buying vintage is always harder than buying new. Imagine that you need a new sofa and take a trip to a furniture store. You tell the salesperson the size and style you want, and then he'll show you what he has that works. If it's a medium- to high-end store, he'll even whip out wood and fabric samples so you can customize your choice.
It's not that easy when you're looking for an antique or vintage version. You have to hunt until you find the right piece - and that may take weeks or even months. Vintage decorating takes patience.
It is Okay to Mix in Some New
Living in an old home and/or decorating with vintage furnishings doesn't mean you are never allowed to use anything that's brand new. In some cases, such as your mattress, you need to buy new for your health and safety.
Sometimes you may even want something new just because you like it -- and that's perfectly fine. Buying that new rug, painting, or chair to mix with your vintage stuff is a good design choice. Mixing different periods adds layers and interest, even when one of the periods is right now.