Doing your own decorating is hugely satisfying; but what if you want to give your home a vintage feel?
Interior decorating has become much easier in recent years thanks to the advent of Ikea, B&Q, Homebase and shops like Asda and Tesco selling all the paint, furnishings and knick-knacks you'll need. However, if you want to curate a vintage look for your home, it's a different story - you'll need to make it look genuine and unaffected. That's why we asked the best DIY bloggers out there for their tips.
Jenny Hurren from Out There Interiors
Vintage homeware has many advantages. It's often inexpensive, it's abundant and it's really, really interesting. My favourite era is the fifties; the furniture has all sorts of intriguing features - elaborate patterns, mirrored sections, lockable cubby holes and cocktail stick holders. This sort of detail is missing from the furniture of today.
As an admirer of the tatty and elaborate side of vintage (think granny chic with a fifties twist), I opt for dark walls which are forgiving of imperfection and clutter. Light paint puts everything in the spotlight, so if you’re keen to keep the walls fresh this summer be selective with your vintage purchases and curate quality, thoughtful pieces which will complement the surroundings.
Katy Orme from Apartment Apothecary
I prefer a mix of new, vintage and antique finds in my home. I think it's hard to create a sense of self and personality in a home if everything is brand new, as nothing represents your childhood and younger adult years.
Use vintage finds in a practical way so that they don’t become clutter, but turn into interesting conversation pieces, characterful storage and practical pieces of beauty that will add a unique feel to your home. Don't rush out and buy something made for purpose; recycle and re-use what you have in a creative way and don't be scared to use it instead of just staring at it! For example, an antique iron becomes a door stop, a vintage enamel jelly mould can be made into a hanging planter, an old jug becomes a utensil holder, a Victorian tile is perfect as a coaster, add castors to a vintage trunk to make it into a coffee table, use vintage bottles for flowers, an old child’s school chair makes a great step stool in the kitchen. Make your vintage finds work for you instead of becoming dusty ornaments.
If you shove as many vintage things as you can find into one room, it can end up looking like a junk shop. To avoid this, combine old and new and pull everything together with a common colour, style or theme.
I often go to my favourite antique shops just to get inspired as they can be very pricey. I then come home and search online for what I have seen and loved in the shop, which is usually much cheaper.
Keep your eyes peeled for items that can be easily brought back to life but will cost nothing to buy. For example, re-upholstering drop-in seat dining chairs or ottomans are easy upholstery projects that anyone can do.
Chalk paint (the Annie Sloan paint range is great) is a brilliant tool when it comes to breathing life back into wooden antique furniture. You don’t need to sand or prime the furniture before applying the paint, so it makes the job so quick and easy.
Anna Tobin from Don't Cramp Our Style
It's easy to give a tired looking piece of furniture picked up in a charity shop or at a jumble sale a new lease of life. Annie Sloan chalk paints (yep, two mentions by our bloggers - there must be are particularly good!) are great because you don’t need to sand the furniture down first, you just slap the paint straight on. They have a great colour palette too. I've recently made an old desk chair, a pine wardrobe and a bedside table look as good as new with this paint. Armed with a sturdy staple gun and some remnants of material from the Designer’s Guild sale, I’ve also revived an old piano stall.
The great thing about a well-made vintage product is that it will hold its value and may even go up in price, so if you get bored of it after a while you can sell it on and then reinvest the money in another treasure.
Emma Iannarilli from Fashion Mommy
For me, charity shops and car boot sales are the way to go. Look for odd cups and saucers that you can make into mismatched tea sets, cake stands and vintage fabrics that can be recycled to make cushion covers and place mats. I once found a vintage glass cake stand for 20p - it was dirty but cleaned up a dream, and now takes pride of place in my dining room.
Another great find are old bottles and jars. These can be picked up very cheaply and then make gorgeous display items in kitchens, or they can be used as a vase for wild flowers - these look so pretty.
Charlotte White from A northener lost in London
The best way to give a home a vintage twist is to, most importantly, get the personal feel going. 'Vintage' is such a broad term and it means something different to everyone. I have a cousin who makes her own furniture and she loves it. When I go to her house, her home is so unique in the sense that everything she has in her home, is hers. No one else has the same bed or the same chair as her because she made it. (She did architecture at uni).
For me personally, I'm not that skilled. I can't make my own furniture. I know a few good vintage shops in Camden who sell one off pieces. The same shops also sell items that need a bit of TLC, but I'm sure if you ask the people that work there, they'll be able to point you in the right direction. You have to be passionate to own vintage items because most of the time they do need care and work before they are presentable.
I have bought a couple vintage items for my flat; a vintage clock which I will hang in the living room once I've got it decorated, and I've bought a vintage record player. It doesn't work and I'm sure I could get it working if I hired the right labour but for now, I just want it to be a decorative piece.