Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Peek into My Vintage Decor Preferences

I have yet to offer a tour of my home, but today I'm going to share a few of my preferences in choices I've made for my decor.  There are some recurring themes in accessory choices for me, all reflective of the vintage items I come across, collect and am consistently drawn to:  textiles (namely needlepoints in this case), statues, china, metals, and even lamps.

Our home decor is a very transitional style with some vintage flair, I would say.  By definition, this style type is a marriage of both traditional and modern flair, with clean lines and fabrics, [hopefully] classic through the years.  Undoubtedly, ours is a marriage of two households, as my husband & I literally did just that when we married.  Over the past decade, I have made several modifications to the overall look with my personal style approach - sleuth decorating as I like to call it - wherein I add little touches, usually before company comes. This seems to always help my husband in accepting the subtle changes more favorably, as most company will notice little things and compliment those they like, and he then notices too.

There's no question that I am a Flapper girl at heart, and this is consistent with the modern touches I inject into my decor, reflective of the women of the late teens of the 1900's into the 1930's.

My office/spare bedroom showcases a series of five Art Deco needlepoints I scored from a local woman's estate.  The beaded purse is just one of way too many examples I collect, and am continuously looking for new ways to display.  I have shown my guest room before; suffice it to say that it has become my purse museum.
Keeping with the Art Deco theme, here's my vanity valet that was just recently published in Flea Market Style magazine.
Along with my valet, I have a collection of several plates on this same bathroom's wall, demonstrating one of my cross-collectibles: my inner Flapper girl and my love of china / decorative plates.  The porcelain story plates below are four in a series of twelve, I believe, titled "Bains de Mer" (Sea Bathing).  They are from the Creil et Montereau French factory (pre-1920).  Both the plates & valet are from auction.
Plates and statues are a common theme scattered throughout my decor.  In my living room (which really should be called a keeping room because we pretty much just keep it, and don't live in it), we have a bit of an Asian theme going on, albeit transitional.  Another platter (below), this one is early 20th century Asian, signed in red on the back, although I haven't figured out its pedigree, if any (where's Antiques Roadshow's Lark Mason when you need him, anyway??).
And yes, that's a foo dog - a little feng shui never hurt anybody, and he's supposed to be a guardian against evil. Although he is not of a pair and is not outside my door, he is situated at a North facing entrance, which is said to be the correct position.  Reflecting in the mirror, you can see another bust I have on the occasional table.  On the opposite end of the oriental credenza, this lamp and vase are both items my husband helped select.
The vase is "the Love Birds", by Consolidated Glass, an estate piece.  It is hand-painted in colors we use in our decor.  The lamp was a super find in an antique store in Lebanon, OH - it is a Frederick Cooper vintage lamp.  The shade, on the other hand, is newer, selected with the help of one of my lamp aficionado friends.  He tells me Frederick Cooper lamps were once the Cadillac of lamps, and I scored mine for just $20.  The shade, on the other hand, was a different story in terms of cost.  We won't go there.
Another room, another platter. This is my favorite Fall decor platter, another estate sale find.
It is Johnson Brothers' Windsor Ware,  "Harvest Fruit".  It is a sizable 20" platter, and I love how it blends together my love of china, brown transferware and complementary colors in my decor.
Coordinating with my platter above is this subset of my brown transferware (below).  Whenever I find a piece of brown transferware that is attractive to me for its style (as in the Aesthetic patterns, which tie in with my attraction to some Asian design), its vessel (any unusual or hard-to-come-by serving pieces), or its value, I will take it home with me.  Hence, my [now] collection is pretty random.  For example, below you see a nice tureen and underplate, but no lid (which came from a family-tied estate pick that may still yield its lid someday).  I have dressed it for Fall, with mounded, preserved moss and deer antlers on the underplate.  The small plate is resting on a fork easel - clever repurposing from a silverplate fork.

In this same room, I display another statue, a salt sculpture rendition of "Three Graces" (below).  As a former ballerina, this statue is reminiscent of a role I danced with two others when I was pregnant with my first daughter, also a dancer.  It spoke to me when I spotted it in an antique store in Kentucky.
To the left you see another recurring theme I love in my decor, vintage needlepoint.  This time it's a pillow for the winged chair.  I love pillows in chairs as lumbar supports and/or lap props for books, magazines and portable devices.  This one was sourced in an antique shop in Abingdon, VA.

In another room, I have these two needlepoint pillows (below).  And while the needlepoints are vintage, they are reworked by Sharon Wollman of Wollworks and C'est Chouette, located in South Dakota.  I love her tag line on her website, "These may be your grandmother's needlepoints, but these are not your grandmother's pillows".  Sharon uses upholstery webbing, brush fringe and nice, zippered cotton and linen backings for her pillows in the Wollworks line; and adds satins & laces to her line in C'est Chouette.  I found Sharon through a Romantic Homes magazine ad.
I absolutely love these, and they showcase another of my favorite interests - landscape gardening.

And I cannot go without a nod to my love of vintage metals - mostly sterling and silverplate.  I don't know where this collection began, but it has grown to the point where it has its own cabinet.  I have a thing for napkin rings and baby cups.  And hotel silver.  And utensils.  And I use quite a lot of these pieces, some for their intended purpose, others in repurposing.  I like metals because they don't readily break.  They just bend (as in when you put them in the kitchen disposal).
In my sunroom, I have a  little bit of each of my collections in display, including metals (the wind chime below is from ReLoved Creations by Cindy Kelly).  Cindy is a beautiful artist, inside and out, located in Canada, and I have purchased several items from her.  She repurposes [mostly] silverplate utensils and vessels into jewelry & home decor.  Her packaging is also a reloved work of art too - she uses cereal boxes and newspapers.
In my sunroom, I have fun with seasonal displays, mostly with little nods toward my love of gardening.  I'm pretty much a sucker for old gardening hand tools, especially when they come in a cool box.
And I love vintage flower frogs, spigots, sprinklers, nozzles, plant tenders, broken wings....
And collected nests, eggs, shells & nuts.
And, of course, there's the recurring theme of statues........
And pillows.  This sunflower pillow came straight from one of Common Ground's Marketplace links,  featuring Janet Reddick's Etsy shop, Urban Farmhouse Chic.  Thanks, Debra, for featuring Janet!

To end this mini tour of my vintage decor preferences, I'll show you one more lamp (below), before turning out the lights on this post.
This little lamp is also a cross-collectible - statue and lamp.  I found the base in the same store in Lebanon OH as the the Frederick Cooper earlier in this post.  I love the romantic features of the little girl playing her violin.  And the cake top shade was chosen with the help of the same friend who helped me with the other lamp's shade choice.  Most expensive cake I've ever bought but, again, we won't go there.

Whatever your decor preferences are, I would encourage you to shop vintage.  You'll not only find uniqueness in your design decor by adding vintage pieces, but you may end up with a collection, or two - and, ultimately, renting space in an antique mall near you someday.  :)

With this post, I'm linking with these friends:
Common Ground
Jennifer Rizzo
French Country Cottage

And be sure to link up with Debra Oliver's blog anniversary giveaway on her latest post Be Inspired #154 - she's partnering with Elliott-Heath Designs for a pillow cover for some lucky reader!  And we know at least one of us will be going there, seeing as how pillows are part of the decor!