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Shop Vintage in These Design Categories

Shopping vintage is an art, not a science. There are endless ways to style old and new pieces to create a thoughtful, narrative-driven home. We’re exploring the best categories to source vintage, from one-of-a-kind wall art to reupholstered armchairs. And thanks to a growing number of online vintage retailers, getting your hands on a piece of the past has never been easier.

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Vintage Oak Chairs

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Oil Painting

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Bamboo Mirror

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Persian Rug

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Brutalist Arm Chair

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Cocktail Jigger

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Italian Arm Chairs

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Danish Armoire

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Oil Painting

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Serpentine Coffee Table

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Silver Card Tray

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Swedish Table Lamps

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Amid an evolving design landscape, there’s a continual pull towards the past. As Colin King phrased it, design involves crafting a ‘dialogue of past and present,’ emphasizing the beauty of integrating new and vintage elements into our homes. While designing The Tudor, I deliberately sought out vintage pieces to imbue each space with soul, authenticity, and character. Uncovering treasures with a distinct patina added layers to the home’s narrative while embracing a sustainability mindset. By making environmentally conscious design choices, our home became a reflection of our values, inside and out.

In keeping with this old-meets-new ethos, I’m sharing 10 categories where I love to shop vintage—whether at Round Top, local estate sales, or through online favorites like Chairish, 1stDibs, Etsy, Roweam, and Facebook Marketplace.

Design: Anastasia Casey | Photography: Lindsay Brown

The Best Pieces to Shop Vintage

Table Lamps

Lighting is one of the most accessible entry points into vintage shopping. From statement brass bases to delicate porcelain fixtures, you’ll find cool, artful table lamps at nearly any vintage dealer. Picture an Art Deco lamp spreading soft lighting across your living room or a mid-century ceramic lamp casting a soothing ambiance on your bedside table. Vintage table lamps work well alongside modern pieces, and if you’ve got counter space to spare, they’re even a designer favorite in the kitchen.

Accent Seating

Vintage chairs and sofas offer endless possibilities for customization. You can breathe new life into a well-made piece by reupholstering it with fabric that reflects your taste. For example, an intricately detailed vintage armchair refinished in fresh upholstery can become the centerpiece of a reading nook. By embracing the good bones of vintage furniture, you have the opportunity to create a custom piece with a great story.

Dining Chairs

While you might have to hunt a little harder, vintage dining chairs are well worth the effort. When designing The Tudor, I found a set of Scandinavian dining chairs on Etsy that I had professionally reupholstered. Now gracing our European-inspired dining room, these chairs are always a point of conversation.

Ceramics

I love how vintage ceramics add texture to tabletops and shelves. They’re easy to find, easy to style, and always look great stacked on display. I’m partial to the distinct color and sheen of Oaxacan pottery, but there are so many different vintage ceramic categories to explore. You really can’t go wrong because artisan quality is hard to beat.

Mirrors

If you’re looking to fill wall space with a statement piece, vintage mirrors are the way to go. They’re perfect for entryways, living rooms, and dining areas as they reflect light and give the impression of a more spacious and open environment. In our dining room, we have a handcrafted tobacco leaf mirror, which is one of my favorite pieces in the entire house.

Sterling Silver Accents

Collecting vintage silver plates or sterling silver accents carries a certain old-world refinement. Candle holders, serving trays, and dinnerware epitomize timeless elegance, and I love pulling them out for special occasions. You can easily find these treasures at your local vintage shops or online.

Coffee Tables

A coffee table should bring something unexpected to the space. Even better if it’s vintage. The quality and craftsmanship you get with a vintage coffee table is unparalleled to the synthetic materials often associated with today’s mass-produced pieces. Scout your local flea markets or thrift shops, and you might luck out with the perfect find.

Artwork

Vintage art is the number one item I most often shop vintage. I’m particularly drawn to landscape art, but so many one-of-a-kind pieces are available at a wide range of price points. Vintage art can be utilized to experiment with scale, color, and pattern, and it works so well on its own or within a gallery wall.

Rugs

As the literal anchor piece to any room, vintage rugs are always a good idea. It’s easy to be intimidated by the inevitable investment that comes with handcrafted quality, but remember, these pieces were made to last. Always shop with a reputable vintage or antique dealer, and do your homework on the material that suits your room’s foot traffic.

Planters

I always keep an eye out for small decorative pieces that have lots of character. Planters are a great example of this and can be easily found nearly anywhere. A great vintage planter can bring life into your space, providing a perfect vessel for plants of any size.

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BY: ANASTASIA CASEY

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