Monday, March 3, 2014

Curating a vintage collection in my style

Everyone knows I love antiques, vintage, old and worn, and if an object has a family connection, I love it even more. 

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Since I have decorated my home almost exclusively with antique, vintage finds and handmade items-- and on a nonexistent budget, I thought it would be fun to put together a similar collection of new things from several different online sources. So if money were no object, what would I choose?

I thought I would start with big ticket items like the French Provincial couch I bought at a thrift store for $50. I know these were popular in the 1980s, so chances are you can find one on ebay, craigslist, thrift store or estate sale. Mine was in perfect condition.

Here is a pretty option. 

BASTIDE French Country Louis XV 3 Seat Lounge - French Oak & Taupe

Of course, there are other styles that would work just as well. 

Custom Greenwich Sofa

I like how the clean lines of this one contrast with the tufting.

Of course, Restoration Hardware has lots of choices that would work. I especially like the color of this couch.

Ondine Salon Bench

I also got my French chair for $40 off Craigslist, so here is a pretty option for a "new" version. 

Marseilles Chair With Burlap Back

My chaise lounge is an antique that belonged to my great grandmother, but here is a beautiful lounge from

One of my favorite antique chairs is this one inherited from a relative who had given it as a wedding gift to her husband. I had it reupholstered in this chenille fabric as a wedding gift for Luis when we got married. 

I like this similar one from Restoration Hardware.

They also had a gorgeous armoire very similar to the one I painted. I think mine was originally $300.

Montpellier Armoire

I love pillows and make all of mine, but there are some great resources for buying them.

 I'm using a lot of pink this spring, so I fell in love with this one from Wayfair.

I really love this vintage-style pillow similar to the one my grandmother made.

Round Smocked Dove White Velvet Throw Pillow  Marc by GeeThatsNice, $49.00

I made a ticking and burlap pillow for my couch, but this burlap pillow would make a great substitute.

Vintage French Grain-Sack Linen Lumbar Pillow

I really couldn't find patterned pillows with the colors I wanted, but these from Pottery Barn have such a nice texture, they would work just as well.

Melinda Suzani Embroidered Pillow Covers

I love this brown one to anchor the light colors.

I am loving vintage and antique brass in my own home, and see it a lot in all the higher end home decor magazines. Here is a great antique mirror on etsy. 

Antique French style etched & beveled mirror in gold / bronze plaster frame

I am crazy about sparkly chandeliers, and this one is gorgeous.

Florian Mercury Glass Chandelier Small

But I also love the one I got for a fraction of the cost. This is a great buy at Overstock for $179, and I actually bought the same one on Ebay for around $100.

Here is another pretty option and a great deal -- also at Overstock.

Gallery 3-light Wrought Iron and Crystal Chandelier | Shopping - Great Deals on Chandeliers & Pendants

I do have some antique floor lamps with mid-century, shades and this floor lamp definitely has the same look. 

I also love the square shade and base on this glass lamp.

This desk lamp, I just love.

Antique style brass desk lamp $65.99

I have several bottle lamps I made with burlap shades, and this is a nice substitute if you don't want to make your own. 

I rotate a couple of antique tables around the house. I also like to mix up round and square so everything is not all the same. I love the chunky feel of this side table. 

I like this tapered metal end table from Wayfair, which is similar to the iron and wood table I made. This one is $229.

Vita V Home Tapered Leg Metal End Table

My dad made my wagon wheel coffee table, but this iron and wood table would also look great and the modern shape and materials keep the antique furniture from looking too stuffy or old. 

Here is another one I really like from Pottery Barn.

I think my favorite, though, is this Butler Metalworks coffee table from Wayfair at $619.

Y'all know how I love my persian rugs, but I did jump all over a trend (for a change) and bought this Jute Rug, which at Overstock is $236.99, but I got it from Overstock on Ebay for $200. I love the way it looks, and it does ground everything, but it's not stable like a persian would be, even with a rug pad, and every now and then I step on sharp stick-like objects. Not the rug for anyone with children who like to lounge around on the floor:-)

I would jump all over this silk Turkish rug if It was in my budget. It is in the shop of my friends at Yellow Star Carpets in Adana, Turkey at $1,500.

I used drop cloths for my window treatments, but these sheer linen ones would be beautiful. 

Open Weave Sheer Linen Drapery

...or the brushed linen. 

Now the big things are out of the way, we need accessories. I LOVE old books and have many that have been in my family. You can find them anywhere from thrift shops to antique stores, but here is a nice collection on ebay. Encyclopedias are a wonderful choice because they are all the same. 

Here is a great old photo album similar to a family one I have.

You probably have seen the collection of vintage vinegar bottles I use so much for everything from lamps to forcing branches and flowers. Here is a nice collection on Ebay.

Everyone needs a brass candelabra, and my mother brought this one from Lebanon.

There are lots of great ones on ebay, and many at thrift and antique stores.

You can get a plain one and add your own crystals.

Antique windows and doors are a big part of my home, and they are easy to find in varying prices everywhere from Ebay, craigslist, thrift shops, estate sales, and more.

I like to have a furry throw for cold weather and this is a gorgeous one from Overstock.

I got an almost identical one at Lakeside Collection before Christmas for $12. 

There are obviously many choices in every price range. I think the fun thing is knowing I could have spent more than $15,000 on my living room had I purchased a combination of these options from online stores or antique shops. 

Instead, by thrifting, repurposing, making and accepting hand-me-downs, I have put mine together for less than $1,000 over several years. Most of the things I bought were bought with money earned from selling something else, so that takes my budget down to around $100.

It just goes to show that you can make a beautiful home on a budget if you shop smart, repurpose, recycle, reclaim and trade up. 

In all honesty, I'd rather my things tell a *story* than come from a factory anyway. Although if Restoration Hardware called...I wouldn't turn them down:-)

I'll be joining:


  1. You can definitely have a beautiful home on a budget, you are certainly living proof of that! Love so may of the things you ave shown!

  2. Great post, Anita. You have a great style and have done it expertly.

  3. have an eye for seeing amazing possibilities and bringing all the details together!! Your rooms are gorgeous and to think you did your living room for so little really speaks to your patience and creativity. I'm a firm believer in decorating as I go rather than outfitting a room all at one time. It leaves much more room for originality and creativity.
    Thanks for the fun post. I bet you had fun "shopping" too! ;)
    Best wishes for an Extraordinary week!

    1. I so appreciate you linking this terrific post up at Project Inspire{d}, Anita! Truly...there is a wealth of information and inspiration here.

  4. Great post, but I really like yours the best. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Since my favorite things are also old things, especially with a family history attached, your home is, was, and will always be a huge inspiration piece for me.

    (And right at this moment, I'm rethinking the plan to pass along my camel backed sofa to a daughter. Now, I'm starting to think of it reupholstered. Hmmm....

  6. I love this post! Thank you for proving you can have a gorgeous home without a sky-high price tag. Of course, if money were no object I do LOVE all those Restoration Hardware furniture pieces, but I doubt any of them will ever enter my home :) Your room looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I think your home is absolute proof that you can indeed have a great interior on a budget. It takes a little more work and imagination - but I bet you had a whole lot of fun doing it. Also I like the blend of a more collected look than one newly bought. Your home is lovely.
    Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

  8. Seriously!
    I could hit every Goodwill in Phoenix and not find the amazing finds that you have procured.
    And even if I did ... I would not be able to put it all together as beautifully as you have!
    Good Job, Mrs. Proverbs 31, Good Job! :)