For many years I have been spouting the virtues of decorating with antiques and collectibles. This time I am only focusing on vintage items or Mid-Century.
I understand collecting for investment, but it just doesn't sound like much fun. I also understand making collections of things (like a collection of Pez dispensers), but they always end up on a shelf just being looked at.
What I'm talking about is co-existing and living with vintage items. They are all around you! Why not use them?
- Vintage items are more readily available than antiques. People are still getting rid of items they have lived with for decades, so mid century items show up regularly.
- Mid century items are cheaper than antiques. There are still a lot of items available, so prices are reasonably low.
- Materials are in better shape. Mid century is simply "newer" so it should be in better shape. Think of it in people terms....someone who is 50 and someone who is 100...which one is probably going to be in better shape?
- It is Green. Most people are aware of recycling and reusing. It just makes sense to use what already exists.
- Upcycling or repurposing. Take something that is in poor shape and make it useful again. This can be done by adding to, subtracting from or totally recombobulating it.
- Unique. Why not let your creative juices flow? Not everyone is going to have the same thing as you.
- Create your own style. Once again, having creative license is a freeing feeling. You don't have to kowtow to manufacturers and big box buyers...think outside the box.
- The hunt is half the fun. Finding just the right piece is exhilarating and searching for those pieces is addicting. What a fun addiction to have!
- Furniture is built better. There is no fiber board here. This is real wood that will last for years.
- Mid century decor is cool. They just don't make things like this anymore. Your friends will wish they were as cool as you!
There is nothing wrong with mixing antiques and mid century items. It is an eclectic style that shows you have a good eye and put thought into your home decor. Nothing is wrong with buying new items too. All of it mixes together with a little know how and ingenuity. A happy home is of your own making. Surround yourself with what and whom you love and you will always be comfortable.
I feel the need to add a little caveat here about upcycling . As a
veteran of the antiques trade, I have horrific anxiety attacks just
thinking about antique items being painted or pieced out to form new
objects. Somehow it seems wrong. Part of our living history is lost
every time an item is disassembled or altered in some way. Every piece
has a story to tell.
On the other hand, if it would ultimately end up in the land fill, then altering and saving it seems very appropriate and even noble. I have to admit it makes me feel good that there is so much interest in vintage items. It is fantastic that so many people, who would not consider themselves collectors, are eagerly searching for pieces that fit into their lifestyle. Vintage has gone mainstream and it is GREAT!!