8 Ways To Decorate With Vintage Finds

Learn to use vintage in your home like a decorator.

Southern Living Vintage Decor
Photo: Laurey W Glenn

According to our, 2017 Idea House interior designer Lindsey Coral Harper, "Vintage decor helps a home feel sophisticated but still attainable. I prefer that everything not be so shiny and new. A few beat-up furnishings look good to me because they give a room character. But it's also about achieving a balance and combining the new with the old. Otherwise, the room starts looking more like a flea market." Here are some of Lindsey's best vintage decorating ideas:

She Always Buys

Brass Objets

For room accessories – "I look for small things with personality that I cannot find at Crate & Barrel. If it's under $50 and makes me laugh, I'm getting it."

On bedside tables –"I never want my bedroom to look like a hotel room so I'm always picking up one-of-a-kind objects to put on bedside tables."

Drinks Tables

You will always need an extra table somewhere so always pick these up when you see one that you like. Harper says, "They usually don't require any additional work like lighting or upholstery and a little wear doesn't bother me. It's usually the shape and size that I'm going after."

Shapely, Occasional Chairs

A piece with a striking, wooden or bamboo silhouette that catches your eye is worth the purchase – even if you don't have a place for it just yet. Later on, it could be a room maker. Harper held on to this vintage fan chair for years until she had just the right spot for it, "It's such a statement piece," she says.

Vintage Lighting

Vintage chandeliers, sconces, and lamps are often a great way to give a room more personality. You have a wide variety of grand crystal options, whimsical metal tole versions, or mod, 60s fixtures to choose and the price is often better than new lighting. Be warned though says Harper, "Ask about the lamp's wiring, often times it will need to be rewired which is an additional cost."

Her Favorite Places to Shop


There's a range of items and prices, but the website (and app) are well curated. Best of all Harper says, "You can talk to vendors directly and shop items in your area to save on shipping."

Small-town antiques malls or junk shops

Found treasures are the best. Harper says, "I shop for objects, not provenance."

Florida's Dixie Highway

"Hitting the shops along this road is like heaven to me," says Harper.

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