Shopping for vintage home items is often like going on a treasure hunt. It takes some practice, but eventually, it becomes second nature once you know what to look for. Aside from the enjoyable elements of buying vintage, it’s actually very practical and environmentally friendly. A lot of furniture and décor that is mass-produced is lower quality than what you can find from previous decades. And for every piece of vintage you buy, it’s one less item in the landfill, so it lowers your carbon footprint. There are some home items we think you should always buy vintage, so next time you’re in need of one of these items, hit your local thrift store, vintage shop, Facebook Marketplace, or Etsy to see what you can find!
Taylor Sterling’s Dining Room Makeover
Cocktail glasses, tumblers and barware are often best sourced from vintage shops. Flea markets and consignment shops often have really fun, unique glassware that allows you to curate a unique collection.
Courtney Halverson’s Home Tour
You can find everything from table linens to dinnerware in the vintage world. And it’s often more affordable and way more eclectic than what you can find in a big-box store. And, unlike many modern dishware sets, the used versions probably won’t crack or craze on you if they’ve survived all this time in decent condition.
Not only do vintage rugs add more charm and character to your space, but vintage ones are more likely to be handmade than machine-made. This means they are typically made with a higher wool quality and softer texture. Many modern rugs are woven with low-quality wool that sheds and wears quickly. A good vintage rug is a great investment, if you take care of it. Newer rugs don’t really have a great resell value, but vintage rugs only appreciate with time.
Vintage art has so much personality, and is often far cheaper than something mass-produced. By all means, purchase commissioned or original art from your favorite local artist, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to fill some empty wall space, vintage art is where it’s at. If you stumble upon a lovely vintage oil painting you should get it, even if you’ve never heard of the artist. Who knows, you may end up with some priceless collectible!
If you find a cool light fixture, score! With all the antique- and vintage-style lighting being mass produced today, it might actually be more cost effective for you to rewire your vintage find. Again, we can’t overstate the amount of charm these antique pieces add to a room. And vintage light fixtures tend to be made with materials like leaded crystal and stained glass which offers that one-of-a-kind sparkle only vintage can.
If you’ve ever had a piece of particle board furniture fall apart on you after a year, you know how crappy some mass-produced products can be. Vintage wood furniture is a solid find, literally. For a fraction of the cost, you can find vintage wooden tables or dressers which have some of the hallmarks of fine furniture-making: solid wood, dovetailed joints and skilled assembly. These signs of quality usually ensure longevity.
Rattan furniture and décor is so trendy these past few years, but there’s no need to buy it new. Bamboo and rattan furniture can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. It also has been in and out of style for decades, which means there are vintage options galore that are still in beautiful condition.