I was always fascinated by ‘old‘ things, but something sparked in me when I left for university. Not having a lot of money to decorate my student room, I headed towards thrift shops to find nice things for cheap, only to be pleasantly surprised by what I found. So let’s talk a bit more about why I buy vintage, and my favorite interior finds so far.
I always feel that your interior should reflect who you are as a person. The problem I have with buying on trend items for your home, is that it often lacks personality. Of course, it’s totally possible to buy these trendy (fug, I hate that word) decor items and make your home a very cool looking place. But I always feel like it’s more of the same.
What I’m getting at is, that amidst all this mass production of rose gold pineapples and light boxes, it’s very easy to lose ones identity. When you introduce vintage items into your interior, it becomes more unique and it adds a certain quality new items often just don’t have. If you’re one of a kind, why shouldn’t your interior be?
I love vintage because I love the extraordinary. With vintage, it’s all about the hunt, the place you found it, or what kind of person you got it from. Vintage items hold a history, they’re conversation starters.
It’s not just about being unique, I think buying vintage is a very sustainable way of decorating too. You’re basically recycling old items and giving them a second life. Depending on what item you’re looking for, it’s often cheaper to buy vintage than buying new. I bought our kitchen chairs for a fraction of what new chairs would’ve cost. The quality is amazing and will last us many years to come.
Now to me, there are two ways of buying vintage. Sometimes I just happen to bump into an item I love and must have immediatly. I love these happy accidents but they’re rare. Sometimes I know what I want and I search far and wide for this particular thing. And when I find it, it really gives me that awesome feeling of gratification.
I remember searching for a 70’s Kermit Muppet doll in good condition from a European seller ànd for an honest price. It took me a couple of months, but I finally found one. He’s sitting with his friends Rowlf and Fozzie on our dresser and I get to see them every morning when I wake up. These are items I don’t think I’ll ever part from.
I’ve been buying vintage for quite a few years now, so I thought I’d make a little roundup of my favorite interior pieces. I could easily fill this post up with 20+ items, but for the sake of keepin’ it short, here’s just five favorites.
leaf bowl by Bay
I love myself some West Germany pottery and have collected some interesting vases over the years, so it’s quite funny that one of my favorite pieces is a bowl, and not a vase. I bought this from a second hand seller online, a lady who loved it for many years but was ready for something else. It sits mostly on the coffee table, where it collects bobby pins and matches. Yes, I totally emptied it just for the picture (don’t judge me).
I remember browsing Etsy for Scandinavian design and cookware and bumping into this piece of art from Danish designer Jens Quistgaard. These have recently been brought back in production and retail for 45 – 130 euro. Vintage Kobenstyle pots and pans aren’t much cheaper, but there are more colours and variations available. I found mine in a thrift shop for (brace yourself) 3,5 euro! It was tucked away on the lowest shelf of a cupboard and my heart nearly skipped a beat when I saw the iconic handle on the lid. Sadly enough I can’t use it anymore since we have an induction hob, but it sits proudly on our counter, stuffed with onions, potatoes and garlic.
educational chart ‘the leaf’
I know, these type of posters are very ~on trend~ right now, but I stumbled upon this on a second hand website and placed an offer. I managed to get a good bundle deal, since the seller had more cool stuff for sale. This is a real educational chart from a school in Antwerp. I initially bought it for the kitchen, but ended up above our bed somehow.
green velvet chair
Staying in our bedroom, there’s this green fella in the corner. We don’t really sit on it, it’s mostly where all my clothes sort of accumulate over the week. And sadly, our cats love to use it as their scratching post (no matter how much I yell at them). Poor chair. I still regret to this day I didn’t buy this chair’s other half. I remember picking this up with our little car and being completely squished in the passenger’s seat. Not the safest, lol.
Tomado string shelving
Another one of those items that’s very ~on trend~ (although I think it’s sort of over its peak by now), is this string shelving I got for christmas in 2015. I finally put it up a few months ago when we finished the kitchen and it fits perfectly. My boyfriend found it online and drove up to The Netherlands to buy it for me (aww).
I know buying vintage and going thrifting seems like making more of an effort than just going out and buy new things from a store – and sometimes it is – but to me it’s so worth it. Are there more vintage hunters like me out there? Or did I just inspire you to go out and look what the thrift shops have to offer?