Making a House a Home through Vintage Collections
Many people ask me how to achieve a magazine look on a realistic budget in their homes. My answer is always the same: buy vintage and moderate antiques, and break all of the decorating rules you know!! I am a firm believer that your home should be a reflection of who you and your family are and share what is important to you. In our home, I tend to collect animal and sporting art. I also cherish things that have been handed down from our families. I know it isn't fun to polish silver and it takes an extra effort to set a table, but I think of that activity as an artistic endeavor that is an expression of whatever I'm feeling that day. Everything that you see in the picture of our dining room above is vintage, antique, hand-me-down or handmade. The only thing I didn't make are these particular holiday crackers - although my daughter Lizzie and I have been known to make those as well!! A home evolves as a collection evolves, one piece at a time. As tempting as it is to buy everything at once from one catalog, that will not be a reflection of you and your family over time. The hunt is half the fun and provides you with the special memories when you look at your collections. Here are the rules I love to break when setting a table:
1. When you set a table - nothing has to match. You may use different crystal, plates, flatware, candlesticks. I typically use 4-5 sets of things when I set a table and I never do it twice the same way. Pull out your grandmother's dishes; they are your heritage- just think of the stories they could tell!!
2. Flowers need not be elaborate. In this tablescape, I picked fresh greens and added a small package of Trader Joe's roses. Use holiday picks or sparkles amongst your greens. For Easter, pick interesting branches from your yard, spray paint, and hang wonderful trinkets or eggs on them. You can use some floral oasis and put them in a wonderfully colored Easter basket.
3. Use non-traditional items on your table. Do you have a bunny collection somewhere? Tie bows around their necks and center them on your table amongst Easter grass and foil wrapped chocolate eggs. You could also put these trinkets in a small coffee cup for a little arrangement on the center of each person's plate.
4. Break the table linen tradition. I adore all of my vintage linens, yet I find that a burlap table runner or paper placemats makes things more casual when you're using Grandma's china. Wrap up napkins with twine and a piece of budding Forsythia. Add some kraft paper with an initial of the seat recipient on it. Or use vintage quilts on a table for Spring and Summer colors.
What are some of your favorite, no fail decorating tips that are outside the box? Be sure to visit our new Curated Vintage Finds Collection at RebeccaRayDesign.com/collections/curated. I've been collecting one of a kind antiques for the last few months so that you can get started on your on own collection and create special memories every time you walk through your home!!