Get the French Country Look from Vivi Et Margot

Give your home the vintage French touch it deserves with brocante style.

This vintage French kitchen has the brocante look you've always wanted
Charlotte designed her kitchen in France with French linens and light wood-finished chairs, bringing color from outside to inside the space. Cabinets, custom-made by Neptune kitchens, serve as the backdrop for the space.

The French countryside has significant influence on its visitors and one visitor in particular, Charlotte Reiss, used that influence to create an online shop. Originally from Morborne, England and a frequenter to France in her youth, Charlotte Reiss moved to the U.S. in her early 20s.

Watching House Hunters International one day, Charlotte fell head over heels for France and wished for a country house there. Within a month, that wish came true with a 200-year-old farmhouse in western France near the Bordeaux, Deux-Sèvres region.

The French country home of Charlotte Reiss of Vivi et Margot
Its a beautiful day in the French countryside at Charlotte’s 200-year-old farmhouse near the Bordeaux region.

The French flea markets played a key role in the start of Vivi Et Margot. Traveling back and forth from Los Angeles and France over five years of construction and renovation on the house, Charlotte was drawn to the flea markets, or “brocantes,” of the area.

She searched and found French items to decorate her country home and overtime, her affinity for these vintage pieces grew and grew. Ultimately, she brought back items such as market baskets, vintage wooden spoons and French linens to decorate her Los Angeles home.

A pink bathroom in the French country home of Charlotte Reiss of Vivi et Margot
A pretty shade of pale pink is a romantic touch set against the creamy white shades of the wainscoting and the bathroom’s accessories.

Originally started as an Instagram page with photos from Charlotte’s home in France, Vivi Et Margot gained popularity quickly and many of her followers wanted to see more French items. Visitors to her home also had such curiosity about where and how to get similar items that Charlotte asked herself, why not open a store focused on making these treasures more accessible to everyone?

A pale green/gray shade highlights the old home's woodwork and ceiling beams.
A pale green/gray shade highlights the old home’s woodwork and ceiling beams. Other soft shades of silvery gray and cream create a relaxing atmosphere.

During her second pregnancy, Charlotte decided to open her online shop, Vivi Et Margot, to sell “beautiful things” from France. The traditional French homewares store, named after her daughters Vivienne and Margot, combines vintage items and pure French authenticity.

“I don’t consider myself to be an interior designer, but I have a passion and love for all things French and maintaining that authenticity with the items I sell,” Charlotte explains. With various products offered from tea towels and market baskets to ceramic pots and wood bowls, the store offers that sophisticated French touch that any home can incorporate.


Give your home that authentic and antique French touch you've always wanted.
Olive-oil soap, French linens, and other authentically-sourced items from Vivi Et Margot add that perfect French touch to any home setting.

“Everything sold is originally purchased in France and imported to the United States,” Reiss says. She curates 100 percent of the items and that way, she is able to “keep the authenticity of the brand.” A veteran of French brocantes, she’s well-acquainted with what’s offered, how to get the best value on items and what to look for.

During the summer months while she’s in the country, Charlotte strategically plans entire days around visiting four or five of the best markets in the area. She buys what she would like to see in her own home and what she believes others would also like.

A market basket is the perfect accessory to add to your closet!
Offered in ten different styles, French market baskets are Charlotte’s best-sellers.

Typically, she looks for items that match her white-and-gray color palette, aren’t damaged and are also popular among customers, such as café-au-lait pots and linens. However, her favorite and best-selling items are the French market baskets (offered in ten different styles) because of their versatility, durability and functionality. “I use them for everything, and they never fall apart,” Charlotte says. And with free shipping within the U.S., the only response is Oui! For more information on Vivi Et Margot and to purchase her items, visit Charlotte’s website: Vivi Et Margot.

To explore more stories on French country style, check out The Ultimate French Country KitchenGet the French Country Cottage Look, and The French Farmhouse Look.

Collecting Antique Botanical Prints

Bring everlasting botanicals into your home with beautiful antique prints of flowers, ferns and other plant life.

Antique Violet Prints by Paul de Longpre
Antique chromolithograph prints of violets by French botanical artist Paul de Longpre

Drawn with meticulous attention to detail and beautifully hand colored, vintage and antique botanical prints provide us with a real connection to the outdoors.

An attractive way for a new collector to begin collecting art, botanical prints are much more affordable than most paintings and other artworks, and are an inspired way to decorate your home.

Antique Botanical Cranesbill Geranium Print
This illustration is selected from Victorian era book Plants, Grasses, Sedges and Ferns of Great Britain by artist Anne Pratt.
Antique floral print by Anne Pratt
Botanical prints from centuries past are becoming more rare and more valuable. It pays to know the differences between the originals and newer reprints. 


Botanical illustrations originally appeared in herbal medicine books, natural history publications and seed catalogs.

Early botanical illustrations were instructive: In the 16th century, herbals (books filled with plants used for medicines) were copied by hand, often by monks, to aid physicians in the healing arts.

Triangular Prickly Toothed Fern Print by Anne Pratt
When choosing which prints to display together, find a common theme, such as color or species, to unite the group.

In the late 16th century, naturalists produced florilegia books, filled with illustrations of flowers of every species. The artists took great care to draw each specimen from nature, adding birds, insects and other small animals to the illustrations. 

Flowers and plants were so immensely popular in the 17th and 18th century that European nursery businessmen employed artists to draw and paint images for big albums, much like a nursery catalog you
can get today. During the tulip mania in the Netherlands, special books were produced to exhibit the tulip bulbs available for purchase.

The golden age for botanical art was between 1750 and the late 1800s, when well- known botanical artists such as Jane Webb Loudon, Pierre Joseph Redoute and Anne Pratt painted thousands of illustrations of plant and floral life.

Avidly bought and cherished, natural science books and prints of flowers and plants were especially beloved as Europe had a love affair with the natural world.

During this romantic era, when plant hunters and botanical explorers brought back exciting, exotic plants and flowers from the European colonies and Asia, botanical drawings were
 used to show the newly discovered species in accurate, beautiful detail.

A wealth of botanical books were produced, interest in gardening thrived and the development in color engravings and lithography advanced these botanical prints to a true art form.

What to Collect

  • Invest in quality. Buy the best quality you can afford. Age, condition and subject matter will affect a print’s value. Roses, peonies and tulips are the more popular subjects of antique prints and will command higher prices than wildflowers.

    Antique botanical illustration by British artist Anne Pratt.
    Antique botanical illustration by British artist Anne Pratt.
  •  Most of the botanical prints available today were originally bound in books. They should be blank on the reverse side and measure 5′′ to 8′′ by 9′′ to 10′′. An earlier pressing is preferred, as these will have better quality and richness of the printed image.
  • Focus Your Collection. Many collectors choose one type of flower or plant species for their collection around. You can build your collection with one type or one color, or, if you just love all flowers and plants, a whole garden or meadow full of different species!
  • Buy What You Love. Buy images you want to live with. Buying prints that tug at your heartstrings and that you think will look beautiful in your home will guarantee you build a collection that personally speaks to you. If you fall in love with the plant or flower, or the colors and the style of a botanical print, this is the one you should purchase.


How to Preserve and Display your Prints:

  • If you have a large collection, a commercial studio flat file is the preferred way to store your prints. There are also antique cabinets with wide shallow drawers for the same purpose. can do immense damage that will stain your print.
These types of cabinets are ideal for larger collections and keep your prints stored flat so that the edges won’t curl or tear.
  • If you wish to have a print matted and framed, take it to an experienced framer. Contact with acid-bearing mats and paper can do immense damage that will stain your print.
  • Be sure to keep the prints out of direct sunlight, which can cause damage to the ink as well as the paper. A UV filtering piece of glass or acrylic will protect prints if framed.
  • Loose prints can also be stored in an archival Solander box with acid-free tissue. There are lots of companies that produce Solander boxes. Handle the loose prints carefully, preferably while wearing white cotton gloves.

For more on Lidy, visit

A White Haven with Vintage, Angelic Charm

Step inside this bright and airy home.

White armchairs and a toile covered ottoman
The clock in this small sitting area is an antique find. “My dad loved clocks,” says Ika, “so this clock is one of the first things that I bought. When my dad came to visit the last time, it wasn’t working and he fixed it. We painted it white and distressed it.” The antique chairs were lucky finds, reupholstered and paired with a toile covered ottoman.

Ika and Greg have always loved to collect angels and keep them on display throughout their home – from an aged sculpture on a tabletop to lacy pillowcase cupids in the master bedroom to watchful figures in the garden, they are nearly everywhere you look. It’s not surprising, then, that when it came time to decorate their home they sought to create a haven worthy of their collection.

All white master bedroom decorating ideas
The bed’s centerpiece is an antique lace pillow, found in France by Ika and Greg’s daughter and brought home as a souvenir.
Vintage fireplace mantel in white
When Greg and Ika found this vintage mantelpiece at a local flea market, they rebuilt the fireplace to accommodate it. Ika had been dreaming of something like this since she saw a similar picture in a magazine years before.

Inspired by the decor of photographer Lu Tapp, a friend of their daughter, they choose to transform their suburban California home with vintage treasures and an otherworldly palette of creamy, dreamy whites. In fact, Lu became a personal angel to them during the redecorating process, helping them with everything along the way, including planning renovations, choosing colors and finding vintage accessories.

The house, built in 1976, was ready for a refresh when the couple moved in. They replaced the tired carpeting with new hardwood floors, opened windows and archways in the dining room and increased the size of the master bedroom by one-third with an addition to the building.

In the kitchen, they installed a new kitchen island for needed working space, and replaced the black countertops with white Carerra marble. The cabinets were updated with white paint.  Ika, praising the contractors who did the work, says, “The quality is so good it looks like it’s the original color, and it’s really easy to clean.” The kitchen’s tile floor, however, was a good fit for their new look and did not need to be replaced.


White kitchen decor

Throughout the house, Ika choose furnishings that are a mix of new and vintage, blended to provide a balance of vintage charm and modern comfort.

Foyer with French recamier chaise
There are at least 10 chandeliers in the house.

Most of the vintage pieces were repainted creamy shades of white to create the light-filled atmosphere that the homeowners dreamed of. Learning to paint furniture was a fun challenge, says Ika.

Both Ika and Greg love white, cream, soft colors and roses, so choosing the color scheme for their home was an easy decision.

Though the decorating is mostly finished, Ika admits it’s never really done. “There’s always something new,” she says. And with their guiding angel Lu to help, the Tafts can be sure their home will always be a perfect haven.







7 Tips for Organizing Vintage Kitchen Collectibles

Tips for turning potential kitchen clutter into a pretty and practical collection.

When glass panes break, chicken wire is a vintage farmhouse-inspired alternative. It’s inexpensive, provides an interesting visual texture and allows clear views to the collections within.


If you wander flea markets and antique shops often, you’re probably aware that the there are a wide variety of vintage kitchen collectibles available for purchase. No matter what time period or decorative style you’re interested in or the particular items of that catch your fancy (french enamelware, silver servingware or teacups), these everyday, functional items are easy to find and impossible to resist. In fact, the abundance of vintage kitchenware can create a problem of its own – clutter!

Don’t let your collection get the best of you! Here are our favorite tips for organizing your vintage kitchen collectibles, and keeping them on display for everyone to enjoy.

vintage stove displayed with kitchen collectibles

Use the Walls to Hang and Display Collections

Larger items like colanders, pots and pans are awkward to display on shelves, so put hooks on the wall to create an instant work of vintage art in your kitchen. Use Command Hooks, if you’re worried about putting holes in the wall, or look for vintage wall hooks for a little extra style.

Display Collectibles on Open Shelving

The appeal of vintage kitchenware is largely visual, so don’t hide away your treasures behind closed cupboard doors. Remove cupboard doors and show off your collectibles in style, and make your vintage items easy to access. Or opt for glass-front cabinets for a showcase effect.


Make Your Kitchen Decor Functional

Just because something is old doesn’t mean it is useless. Go ahead and store bulk dry goods in your vintage canisters and jars. Larger containers can be used for storing dishtowels and napkins. Keep vintage utensils corralled on the counter top in a large mason jar or other coordinating container. This way, you can banish more contemporary storage in your kitchen make room for vintage!

Install Extra Shelving for Display and Storage

If your collection is large, you might need to find a way to add additional display/storage space in your kitchen. This might mean hanging shelves on a wall or bringing in a free-standing cupboard or cabinet. For smaller items, get the maximum use of the space available by using risers and inserts on existing shelves.


vintage kitchen with colorful tins on shelves

Think Up for Additional Storage and Display Ideas

If you’re still looking for extra display room, then look up. The space above cupboards is often overlooked but it’s a great place for storing items you don’t need to access often. Even the ceiling can provide a little extra storage space, with a pot rock or hanging scale suspended from above.

Repurpose and Reuse Your Collections

Finding new ways to use vintage kitchen items is a great way to incorporate their decorative value in your home without losing functional space. Antique tea tins, for example, become charming little herb pots for your windowsill. Try transforming that Pyrex mixing bowl into a pendant lamp over the kitchen island. Convert an old cookie sheet into a trendy magnetic note board. And let’s not forget the hundreds of ways people have transformed simple mason jars!

Size Down and Keep Only What You Display

When push comes to shove, and your overcrowded vintage kitchen collectibles start pushing and shoving each other off the shelves, it might be time to think about cutting back on your collection. Sometimes less equals more – more space to appreciate what you can see and use, at least! Thin out what’s on display to those items you just can’t live without. If you can’t bear to part with them, then split up your collection, store part of it and rotate items by season, so that you can fully enjoy everything you own at least part of the year.










We Love Vintage Valentines

They're a classic way to say "I love you!"

What started as the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia that celebrated fertility has now evolved into a holiday during which one billion cards are sent, according to the Greeting Card Association. But wooing loved ones with cards brimming in cute verses is not just a 21st century tradition—or a 20th century tradition, either. Since the Middle Ages, Europeans have exchanged handmade Valentines, eventually turning over the duty of making cards to factories in the 1800s.

You can still collect these relics of romance today! Nothing is more sentimental than a literal piece of history. The often elaborate designs on these cards also serve perfectly as vintage decor.

History of Valentines Cards

Although written verses of ardor had been exchanged in Europe for awhile, Valentines cards really took off in popularity when industrialization hit Britain in the early 1800s, allowing for the mass production of cards. Dwindling postal rates in the 1840s due to the Uniform Penny Post only kindled the printed Valentine’s Day greeting fervor.

Valentines Day ephemera
These factory-produced Valentines started off modestly—they featured black and white pictures, which factory workers painted. But when Queen Victoria took reign and the Victorian era ensued in the mid-1800s, Valentine’s Day received a new surge in popularity and subsequently more ornate cards.

Artwork on these greetings commonly featured flowers, love knots, Cupid, real lace, paper lacework, embossing, ribbons and more: all these materials were referred to as “Victorian scrap.” The traditional folded greeting card that most people exchange today did not take form until offset lithography became a cheaper method for producing Valentines in the late 19th century. But not all cards were a standard rectangular shape: through die-cut techniques, cards were made into shapes like crescent moons and hearts, and sometimes even had characters and shapes pop out.

The Valentine’s Day greetings craze transferred over to the United States in 1849 when Esther Howland, an American printer and artist, published and sold Valentines. As one of the first to commercialize Valentines in the US, she became known as “Mother of the Valentine.” Renown company Hallmark Cards sold its first Valentines in 1913—American Valentine’s cards sometimes boasted more intimate artwork than on European card fronts.

Valentines Day collectibles and ephemera


Where to Find and Collect Valentines

A quick eBay search for “vintage Valentine’s Day cards” leaves you with an almost limitless offering of old greetings to choose from—with most of them ringing below $10! The same search on Etsy also produces an impressive amount of vintage gems. Ruby Lane, an online marketplace for antiques and vintage finds, is another great source for collectible Valentine’s Day cards.

If you are willing to hunt for an especially old greeting card, attend antique shows and auctions!



Teacup Treasures: A Primer for Collectors

Get started collecting vintage teacups with this basic guide.


It all started innocently enough. We needed some props, so I popped into a vintage shop downtown to see if I could pick up a few cute vintage teacups. The prices surprised me – $25, $30, even $50 or more for a single cup and saucer? I could buy a whole tea service at Home Goods for that much. My only purchase that day was a $12 tea cup with a saucer that had been repaired – good enough for a prop, I figured.

Flea market visits resulted in a few more select purchases, but they were obligatory – pretty enough to use for work, but nothing that got me excited about collecting. That changed when I found treasure at Goodwill. I almost overlooked the pretty cup and saucer, hand painted with violets.  I flipped it over to check the price and saw, to my surprise, the magic words “Haviland Limoges” and a price of just $4.99. Something inside me stirred.

Mikasa Antique Garden Teacup

I checked all the shelves again and found nearby another cup and saucer, this one with a familiar pink and red rose pattern, similar to one I’d bought at a flea market recently. But whereas that one had been produced in China, this one said “bone china” and “Made in England.” The price on this one was just $3.99. I was hooked! For me, it’s not about the cups themselves – I could easily find dozens of beautiful tea cups at my local vintage shops, if I was willing to pay their prices. But I love the thrill of finding the unexpected treasure for a bargain price. Bit by bit, my collection of tea cups and saucers is beginning to grow, and I love the feeling I get when I find something new.

Tips for Tea Cup Collecting

I can’t in any way proclaim to be an expert on tea cups or china, but here are some of the basics I’ve picked up so far. Above all, buy what you love. Tea cup collecting isn’t something to go into as a money making scheme. Choose cups with shapes, patterns and colors that delight your eye and thrill your soul when you see them displayed in your home.

Porcelain versus Bone China

Porcelain is a technical term that refers specifically to a type of hard clay (kaolin clay) only found in China. When fired at intense heat, it has a glassy or translucent surface and is very delicate. Various European craftsmen tried to replicate this product with different kinds of clay to various success,  including those from Limoges, France. Bone china is made by mixing bone ash in with the clay, a process that was invented by Josiah Spode in England in the 1790s. It is stronger and whiter than porcelain, and therefore became very popular throughout Europe.

Vintage teacups and teapot on display.
Photo by Bret Gum.

Tea cups versus Coffee Cups

While it may seem of little practical difference, there are technical differences between coffee cups and tea cups. Tea cups tend to be smaller, more delicate, more ornate and their handles are higher on the side than coffee cups. You can also find demitasse cups in many patterns and styles.

Country of Origin

Most tea cups will have a mark on the bottom that indicates their country of origin and the company that produced it. It might even include the name of the pattern and the date it was produced. You can use online resources to help you track down  information about these marks if you’re interested in knowing more.

There are pretty tea cups available from all over the world, including England, France, China and Japan. Always collect what you like, of course, but one approach to building a collection is to focus on one country or period. Tea cups marked “Occupied Japan,” from the period following World War 2, are considered particularly collectible. But watch out for cheap modern replicas that are tagged “Made in China.”

Tea Cup Manufacturers of Note

As you start to engage in tea cup collecting more and more, you’ll begin to recognize certain manufacturers and patterns that appeal to you. You can research specific details online and in reference guides for collectors. Some of the more notable ones include:

Mixing and Matching Teacups and Saucers

When buying a teacup and saucer set, check carefully to make sure they are an actual match – don’t just compare the pattern, but look at the mark on the bottom to ensure they were produced together. A mismatched set should have a reduced price.

On the other hand, many people enjoy the charming novelty of mismatched cups and saucers. If monetary value isn’t an issue for you, then feel free to mix them us as desired!




The Ultimate Christmas Wreath

This Christmas wreath holds more than just a few of our favorite things!

This DIY Christmas wreath will have you scrounging in your craft supplies.
I spy… Tea cups, craft supplies and an assortment of vintage ornaments!

As the holidays approach, many restless crafters will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads—along with lace, ribbon and vintage ornaments.

This DIY Christmas wreath will have you scrounging in your craft supplies.
A close-up shows the wreath’s dense detail. Birds perch on demitasse tea cups while strings of buttons weave around christmas-themed odds and ends. 

This festive dance should be done to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” as this is the time of year to be surrounded by all of our favorite things that remind us of the past and warm our hearts.

So what do you do with all those special odds and ends?

This year, deck the halls with all the things that bring you joy by creating a one-of-a-kind wreath!

Gather a few sentimental odds and ends; then incorporate other items that make you smile.

They don’t have to be Christmas-themed items, just pretty little treasures that tell the story of you and your loved ones.

Soon your pile of goodies will become the makings of a fabulous holiday wreath.


  • Artificial pine wreath form, with a sturdy metal base
  • Misc. odds and ends
  • Vintage ornaments
  • Photocopies or downloads of vintage ephemera
  • Ribbon, buttons and spools of thread
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Vintage lace
  • Miscellaneous small holiday decorations
  • Bottlebrush trees
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Small teacups
  • Children’s mittens
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Florist wire and snips
  • Scissors

This DIY Christmas wreath will have you scrounging in your craft supplies.


  1. Cover your worktable or surface. Make a sturdy wire loop on the back of your wreath form strong enough to support the weight of the finished product. It is best to prop up the wreath to see the entire form as you are working.
  2. Add the heaviest items to the wreath first. Wire teacups firmly to the base and space them equally.
  3. To attach handkerchiefs, hold the handkerchief in the center, allowing the edges to hang down. Tightly wrap a wire around the center and leave the ends long. Turn the hankie right side up and wire it into the wreath. This will create the look of fabric “flowers.”
  4. To attach the ornaments: Old glass ornaments are very fragile, so handle with care. Use florist wire to attach them to the form between the teacups.
  5. Make paper cones out of the photocopies of old cards or the downloaded images. Simply form a cone with your hands, and glue or tape the edge. Tuck the cones into the wreath and secure with a dab of hot glue. Make sure to position them upright.
  6. Birds’ nests are easy to make by cutting long strips of vintage fabric. Wrap a strip in the palm of your hand to create the basic shape of a nest. Use fabric glue or hot glue to stick the ends together; then add a small artificial egg and tuck the nest into the wreath.
  7. To attach odds and ends, determine which pieces require glue and which require wire. Wooden spools, buttons and bottlebrushes can be easily attached with wire, while items like silk flowers, berries and colored pencils are best attached using hot glue.
  8. This is your story told in the nooks and crannies of a festive holiday wreath—there are no rules! Fill the wreath to maximum capacity with all your favorite things. Tuck in a few telltale Christmas items like ornaments and holly, and the results will be magical. You will be creating tomorrow’s heirloom to be appreciated and loved for years to come.

Like this project? Check out our other Christmas DIY wreaths, here and here.

Delft Pottery: The Dutch Version of Chinese Porcelain

Delft blue and white pottery is a beautiful and collectible addition to your home decor.

Do you admire Chinese porcelain, but scared it will clash with your country cottage? The Asian pottery’s European cousin might be the answer to that empty fireplace mantel begging to be decorated. Delft pottery, also known as Delfts Blauw, is the Dutch successor of China’s iconic blue and white porcelain.

Blue and White Dutch Pottery
Instead of porcelain, Dutch Pottery was manufactured from earthenware clay.

A Treasure Brought from Overseas

Europe fell in love with the porcelain coming in from China when the Dutch East India Company began to import it. Dutch potters decided to mimic the pottery beginning in the 16th century, but swapped the porcelain material for a less expensive clay called earthenware.

A colorful version of Delftware was also produced that featured muffled reds, greens and yellows; the enamels were labeled polychrome Delft. The Delft Blue and Makkum earthenware were shaped into urns, decorative plates and vases that featured hand painted art. Instead of dragons, cranes and Chinese architecture, the Dutch painted florals, birds and Dutch scenery for a more European touch.

Colorful Dutch Pottery
The counterpart to the famous blue and white pottery is Delfware that is made out of toned-down enamels known as polychrome Delft.

This new art form was not just limited to the classic plate. Tiles were particularly popular amid the spectrum of Delftware, and 400 factories in Holland produced Delftware tiles during the “golden age.” Now, only three factories—the Royal Delft, De Delftse Pauw and Royal Tichelaar Makkum—manufacture the pottery.

Finding Your Own Dutch Pottery

Beware of souvenir stores that sell pretty knockoffs of true antique Delftware. Check out the following  pointers to ensure you are buying an authentic piece of Dutch history:

Look for the underglaze marks. Factories hand painted these marks.

Don’t shy away from a few chips. A chip in a Delftware piece shows it is genuine.

Examine the design. An intricate and precise painting means that a real Dutch hand from long ago handled the pottery.

The stranger, the better. Hold on to it if you find a more peculiar piece like a tea canister, cow figure or cruet set. Unlike tiles, these pottery antiques are harder to find and therefore have a higher value.

Delftware Cow
Quirky pieces like this cow figurine are rare and valuable.




A New Home With Vintage Sensibilities

Learn how to turn a newly constructed home into a vintage haven with homeowner Amy Campbell.

This tract home bathroom gets a vintage makeover with a farmhouse style bathtub and vintage bathroom accessories.
This tract home bathroom gets a vintage makeover with a farmhouse style bathtub and gold vintage bathroom accessories.

What do you do when you have a new home, but want a vintage look? When Amy Campbell and her husband Joe bought a new tract home in Temecula, California, Amy knew she would have to speed up its aging process. Here’s how she did it.

Vintage furniture makes the perfect antique haven for this new home.
The master bed is an heirloom piece from Joe’s grandparents, and on an end bench Amy displays part of her vintage hat collection.

Start With the Bones.

Decorating a home always starts with the structure itself. Even though Amy and Joe’s home still smelled of fresh sawdust, she saw the potential for vintage style. “I knew the ‘bones’ would work with my style,” she says. “I wouldn’t want high ceilings because they don’t lend themselves to a delicate style of furniture. It had the right scale for the way I like to decorate. Even though it’s an open floor plan, the scale and aspects of the room lent themselves to a gentler style of furniture, not huge pieces. It was the perfect marriage of light, open rooms in a traditional type of architectural style that I could decorate the way I wanted to. It also had English gardens in the back and front of the house.”

Instead of working against the architecture, Amy used it to her advantage. “The architectural style was French Country with a little Tuscan influence,” she says. “I wanted it a little more rustic. I added some shabby elements and a bit of industrial style for a French-cottage distressed look.” Amy paired the French country architecture with her own vintage style, which resulted in an aged but timeless look. “I love anything rustic and chippy,” she says. “I’d describe the décor as French provincial with a cottage twist.”

This new home receives a vintage makeover with shabby interiors and antiques on display.
If you want to display vintage items in your home, don’t stop with pillows or statuettes. Make clothes into accent pieces with a hat rack or dress form.

Add Vintage Charm.

When it comes to furniture, Amy is all about antiques. “Everything in my home has to be old and have a history, either vintage or antique,” she says. She displays vintage finds throughout her home, and doesn’t stop with the furniture. “I collect vintage buttons and add them to modern clothing,” Amy says. “I also collect floral oil paintings. My great-great cousin was an oil painter, and I started collecting and displaying them, including three of her paintings.” By displaying items such as antique coats and hats, Amy shows off her love of vintage style through small details as well as the larger elements of her rooms.

Shabby vintage details make this new home the perfect antique showcase.
Amy shares her grandmother’s passion for needlepoint, and in the living room, Amy’s work sits next to her grandmother’s on display.

Strut Your Stuff.

Not only does Amy display vintage pieces throughout her home, but she also shows off some of her own handiwork. “I love anything with needlepoint, and I display the needlepoints my grandmother and I made in the rooms,” she says. Even her passion for crafts and hand stitching is part of the heritage her grandmother passed down, and now the work of both grandmother and granddaughter sits proudly side by side. Amy’s needlepoint projects make an appearance in pillows and ottomans in various rooms.

In her dining room, Amy decorates for fall with appropriate white pumpkins and sprigs of green.
In her dining room, Amy decorates for fall with appropriate white pumpkins and sprigs of green.

Be Seasonal.

When the weather turns cold, Amy dresses up her home for the various holidays during fall and winter. “I love to decorate with pumpkins and gourds,” she says. “I also decorate bottlebrush trees—my true craft passion—for the holidays. I repurpose shoe buckles into bracelets and make them for holiday parties.”

During the fall months, real pumpkins and needlepointed masterpieces grace her living room, dining table and even bedroom. “The beauty of this kind of décor is that everything blends together well,” Amy says.