I have always loved vintage, but I haven’t always been super proud of the things I bought. In high school, I started to thrift shop (immediately after getting my driver’s license) as a way to dress unique and to stretch my allowance dollars (yes, I had allowance in high school—lol) much farther than they could go at our local mall.
I amassed a pretty insane vintage collection (heavy on ’70s polyester) in those years, and my love for vintage truly never died.
In our 20s, Emma and I had a vintage shop in our hometown. During these years, I wore nearly exclusively vintage and I decorated my home in almost exclusively vintage. It was a lot of fun and budget friendly, but I got too into the “thrift hauls,” wanting to always find a lot of treasures. A lot of times I would buy things I wasn’t absolutely in love with, just because it was cheap.
In the end of that season, I began to realize that I actually did not even know what I *loved*. After my first Konmari clean out, I started fresh at our new home in Tennessee. And over the past four years, I have slowly (and I mean VERY slowly) added vintage pieces to our home that are beautiful, that spark joy and that bring family together with my aesthetic (which I finally have nailed down—WOO!).
Would you like to see some of my favorite vintage finds all over my home? Let’s go!
Starting above, this vintage door knocker was the first thing I bought for our 1970s Tennessee ranch. Pineapples symbolize hospitality and it was a great jumping off point for how I wanted to decorate this home. I found it on Etsy.
Brass objects are another obsession of mine. I can spend hours scrolling eBay and Etsy for vintage brass objects. This teeny little cacti makes me so happy next to a framed drawing from my niece, Bella.
I spent around a year collecting colored glassware for this built-in shelf. It became an obsession for me to try to find the best deals and the best (to me) colors. There are some new mixed in (maybe you can spot it?), but for the most part it is all vintage. It is a VERY happy nook in our home.
In Marigold’s room are these vintage wicker butterflies I scored on eBay.
In Nova’s room, there is this amazing wicker giraffe, which was a gift from Laura. She knows me so well!
In my closet, I use this brass cactus as a bracelet holder and there are crystals and more crystals.
And I spent a long time (a year-ish?) collecting five vintage runners for our long L-shaped hallways.
The first one is from Apple and Oak and the second one is from Etsy (they are both vintage from Turkey).
Thanks for taking a little tour with me! I would LOVE to hear about your most treasured vintage finds! xx. Elsie
P.S. If you love vintage clothes, check out How to Shop Vintage You’ll Really Wear
I really cracked up when you mentioned your vintage clothes collection “heavy on ’70s polyester.” It was in the 70’s when I quit wearing the current styles and went almost totally vintage — but from the 40’s & 50’s!
As a woman of a certain age, I still love vintage but have become much more restrained.
Just a few choice pieces around the house (I’ll never give up my 1940’s black leopard lamp with red metal shade and always get compliments on it). And love vintage chrome bread boxes as storage for everything but bread i.e. office supplies on my desk and spices in the kitchen.
Don’t wear vintage clothes much anymore — very hard to care for. But vintage jewelry and scarves make for what people call my “unique style.” Hope that’s a compliment 😉
Great article! Thanks!
These are some amazing finds! I especially love all the glass and the pineapple decor!
I have the same little brass cactus on my desk at work! I live in Michigan but love the desert so it’s a way to keep connected to my faraway retirement goals. 🙂
Agh so obsessed with all of your cool stuff!!
These are great! One thing I’ve always wondered though is what’s the best method to clean things like the wicker finds? I typically want to give any of my vintage/thrift store finds a quick clean/wipe down since I don’t know it’s history. Do you have any tips as a long time vintage finder? Or is it just a process of trial-and-error/googling the answers?
I would love to see a full post about exactly how you shop vintage online. What are your favorite sites? Do you start by browsing everything or do you go in with certain search terms in mind? Are there particular etsy or ebay sellers that you return to? Any specific tips would be so helpful!
Hi Elizabeth! You might check out this post 🙂 https://abeautifulmess.com/2019/08/how-to-shop-vintage-youll-really-wear.html
Even at the “young” age of 69, I find I can still be inspired! Thanks for planting the seeds to weed out my possessions to only consist of things I love! Love your blog!
Okay this is amazing. That coloured glass wall is incredible. I couldn’t stop looking at it!! Great inspiration!
K A T E L A T E L Y || fashion + lifestyle blog
When buying online, do you have a way of ensuring that something is actually vintage? Have you ever made a “vintage” purchase only to receive it and find that it’s not vintage after all? I’m just curious because I often see non-vintage items (like a chalk-painted desk from Target) mixed in with actual vintage items at our local flea markets, and it always makes me nervous that I’m getting duped!
If you love it and it fits your vibe and your budget does it really matter if it’s vintage?
I try to be selective with my vintage purchases/additions to my home as well. Most are things I “stole” from my Mom that are meaningful to me because I grew up with them, and they add to the vibe of my home. My most prized vintage purchase is a large, grass green two tiered macrame plant holder that I still can’t believe I found! I’s such a special addition to the room it’s hanging in.
I LOVE your colored glass collection so much! It makes me so happy every time I see it! 🙂
Very relate-able post! I too loved all things vintage/second hand in my teens and early twenties then when my husband and I moved into a new house and had kids the vintage vibe became well dare a say a little ‘junky’. I got rid of alot but did keep some things I can’t get rid of. I still love the hunt for the special items you find at second hand stores but I am willing to pay more for more ‘quality second’ then I used too. My new quest is now to find a vintage door knocker!!! LOL
Wow I just absolutely everything! Your glassware collection is stunning and it looks so fun!
I find people who are good at shopping for vintage things so inspiring! I wish I could spot those little gems in thrift stores… but I’m blind when it comes to sniffing out the worth-it items, haha. Thanks for sharing your collection – it’s beautiful! ❤️✨
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