Making second hand pieces work in a contemporary setting does take some thought though. Unless you want your home to resemble Steptoe’s yard you need to ensure there is a good balance between fresh contemporary clean lines and unusual thrift store bargains. Properly placed your fifties teapot or sixties vase can look super stylish and right at home in a modern setting.
Here are some of my tips for making the most of your vintage treasures.
|With a little thought you can avoid the "Steptoes Yard" effect|
Throw a little sour into the sweet
I’m a total polka dot obsessive-long before Cath Kidston made it popular I was hoarding spotty tablecloths and dotty china like a woman possessed. With designs, which have a child like simple quality, it is quite easy to wander into twee territory. To counteract this I always put super sweet finds next to bolder colours or patterns which are very of the moment. So you may have a spotty teapot but by sticking an Andy Warhol tea cosy over it suddenly appears slightly more cutting edge.
|Dotty about spots|
Make one item the star of the show
|Teapots with feet-whats not to love?|
|Some francaise chic|
|My 1950's corner|
|Black and white with a dash of poodle|
Invest your displays with meaningExhibiting your finds isn’t just about how good they look. With a little bit of thought you can also send yourself positive messages or reminders of good times. When my mother in Law gave me a crockery chicken it reminded me of Ma Boswell in the old sitcom Bread. In these uncertain financial times I keep it on display to remind me not to worry, the money always comes in eventually ready to be put inside the chicken. Underneath is a postcard of Francis Bacon’s art studio-I like to remind my husband that someone else had an even more cluttered studio than me.
|My Francis Bacon Chicken|
Be practical as well as beautiful
Never hoard special finds. If you source an exquisite quilt use it to throw over your legs whilst reading. Eat your toast from china plates and stick your shopping in your vintage handbag. It’s not about living in a museum it’s about putting life back into reclaimed objects and enjoying them.
|Enjoy your vintage finds-don't keep them for "best"|
Ring the changesChange your displays to suit your mood or even to reflect what’s going on in the world. I put together a best of Blighty display as my own little nod to the Royal wedding-Ok it featured Morrissey, Paddington Bear and a postcard of the Superlambanana sculptures but it was my way of acknowledging the event without resorting to union jack bunting.