Every Room Needs Something Old

Whenever I look at beautiful spaces, the one thing that always pops out at me is the presence of something old.  No matter how shiny, new, or modern some of the furnishings may be, the thing that gives a room character is the presence of something from a different era.

We have a wonderful salvage yard nearby where I like to go exploring for unique windows, doors, and hardware.  Though we’re not doing any major remodeling these days, I keep my eyes open for something as simple as a vintage window pane.  How very interesting it looks propped up in a simple vignette!

old window as art bhg


There’s an antique faire that happens downtown twice a year where the street is shut down to traffic, and vendors come from miles around to sell their wares.  Some of my favorite booths include the ones that specialize in rare prints or a collection of colorful imagery from out-of-print periodicals.   

vintage bird prints bhg


Architectural salvage can be used artistically in many ways, you’re only limited by your imagination.  Below, a time worn mantel becomes a focal point in a bedroom space as it plays the role of headboard. 

salvage above bed bhg


A bin from an old general store is reinvented as a shoe storage rack and brings more character to an entry than a ubiquitous mass produced laminate version would provide. 

bin for shoes bhg


On a smaller scale, look for containers originally intended for other purposes such as this chicken feed bin which now corrals oils and vinegars on a kitchen counter.

metal tin organizer bhg


Old and mismatched mercury glass containers are often available at antique stores and flea markets and make perfect cachepots for low maintenance succulents.

mercury glass succulents bhg


Bring nostalgia to a desktop by tucking old photos inside containers to remind you of favorite people and memories.

old pictures in jar bhg


I find it’s often the things discarded by others which can be reinvented to suit your needs such as this series of benches painted in fun colors and transformed into unique bookshelves.

antique benches bhg


What’s your favorite “something old” on display in your home?


8 Responses to “ Every Room Needs Something Old ”

  1. I have my father-in-law’s bronzed baby shoes displayed with baby pictures. Love them.

  2. I have a large mix of old and older. One of my favorites is an old Columbia Victrola that my husband and I purchased at a yard sale when we bought our house 20 years ago. It’s a great piece of furniture, it works, and no one I know has anything like it.

  3. I love using old wooden bowls. You can add different items to the bowls as well to change up the look. http://marisahowarddesign.com/home-decorating/rustic-fall-decor/

  4. I keep adding more and more vintage items to my decor, but my favorite thing is a 1925 Royal typewriter which I have nicknamed Kate (I bought her shortly after the royal wedding). Everyone who walks into my house comments on her or tries to type with her.

  5. I love re-purposing for my clients in my Feng Shui consult business. I use all kinds of vintage in my house as well!

  6. I love my vintage window on my mantel, and my TV media stand made from reclaimed wood. Or my vintage mason jar soap dispenser. All amidst my new purchases. I love something old!

  7. We recently bought an antique baby grand piano at an estate sale. She looks beautiful and stands out perfectly in an otherwise modern room. It’s also nice that my husband can play the dog out of her!! :-)

  8. [...] out these amazing examples of how to include an old item in every room of your house and make it look like it belongs [...]

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