Buy New or Thrift? A Spring Home Decor Guide

Vintage White ButtonsVintage White Buttons from All Things White

As a kid, the idea of ‘spring cleaning’ sounded like a horrible punishment. Why on earth would anyone want to spend time inside when the sun was finally shining after a long, dreary winter? Now that I’m a bit older, I look forward to that first warm day when I can open up the windows, tie back my hair, and scrub away the dust and darkness from my living space. Whether you’ve just moved to a new place or are firmly settled into your home, spring is the perfect season to rethink your furnishings. So when the time comes to re-feather your nest, where will you look? Will you hit up your local big-box store or the flea market? Let’s take a look and compare the pros and cons of some common home fixtures.

Antique Scrap QuiltAntique Scrap Quilt from Whimzy Thyme

The Bedroom
When it comes to linens, most people enjoy the feel of fresh new sheets. Fabrics tend to hold onto smells and can get musty if not stored properly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate vintage fabrics in the bedroom! Many vintage dealers who specialize in textiles have their items professionally cleaned before putting them up for sale (and if not stated you can always ask), so smells and dirt aren’t a problem. Using a quilt, for example, can completely change the look of a room – drape it atop new sheets and you get the best of both worlds!
Everyone needs a different sort of pillow, and because the health of your skin is so dependent on your pillow, I recommend buying new for your nighttime head rest. But why not spruce things up with vintage throw pillows? They’re handy for extra back support if you sit for long periods of time, need to prop up your neck when reading a good book, and are a cheap and quick way to add color and pattern to an otherwise monochromatic setup.
Matchy-matchy is so 1990s! Make your space unique by collecting furniture that speaks to your personal style and tastes, rather than a pre-arranged set from a big retailer. When it comes to non-fabric furniture, I always vote vintage. Overall I’ve found the quality and craftsmanship of our bygone decades far better than today. The best part is that you have so many styles and materials to choose from – whether you’re drawn to Victorian wrought-iron or mid century wood, 1980s chrome and plastic or 1950s Formica, there’s something for everyone. Currently rattan pieces are making a huge comeback, probably for the fun, tropical vibe they lend to any space.

The Kitchen
There is often new science being reported about the safety of our different cooking materials. Teflon pans, for example, should be replaced if damaged as the flakes can get cooked into food. BPA in plastic has shown long term negative health affects. And if you put tinfoil into a microwave, you’re in for one heck of a light show! Take care when purchasing vintage kitchenware, and do a bit of research on your materials to know what you’re looking for. When it comes to style, however, vintage can’t be beat.
I have a personal love of vintage copper, cast iron, and glass. If you have ever considered open shelving in your kitchen, these materials look beautiful on display! Care should be taken with any item that has direct food contact – keep an eye out for tarnish or rust. These items might still be fantastic vintage items to display in your home, but consider re-purposing if you have concerns about food safety.
                                                The Collectors Guide Vintage Bakeware
The Collectors Guide Vintage Bakeware by CountryLiving.com
Often I find the vintage counterpart of modern kitchen accessories sacrifice style for ease of use – sure, it’s great to pop a Tupperware box into the dishwasher, but have you ever turned heads with your cake case? Sometimes having an eye for style can turn an everyday treat into something truly special.

The Living Room
Finding the perfect couch is no easy task – for many of us, we’ve been lugging around the same grandparent’s hand-me-down since high school. When the time to upgrade is right, you’ll know it. A sofa is often the first thing guests see when they enter your space, and can often dictate the style of the whole room. While a new piece comes with all sorts of lovely things like warranties and payment plans, a vintage piece can really start a conversation. When shopping for vintage fabric items (much like pillows and textiles), be sure to buy from a reputable dealer who can provide a clean bill of health and history for your purchase.
As one of the smaller furniture purchases one can make, coffee tables are a great way to add variety to your room. Do a lot of hosting and need table space? Why not go retro with two end tables? More contemporary? One large coffee table will do! The coffee table, while being immensely helpful for holding television remotes and drinks, is also an underutilized space to curate with your favorite decorative objects – personally, I always have at least one plant and one interesting book to lend a pop of color to my white glass tabletop. And since coffee tables are smaller and often cheaper than larger furniture pieces, they’re easy to swap out when you’re interested in a new look!
Vintage Hand Woven CarpetVintage Hand Woven Carpet from Pop Bam
Whether you live in a tiny studio or a sprawling house, you’ll have floors to cover and that’s where area rugs, runners, and carpets come in. Considering how much space our floors take up, we don’t often think about them as design elements. Certainly, if you’re looking for wall to wall carpeting, new is the only way to go. But if you’re looking for a cheaper and less labor-intensive change, antique rugs and throws are a fab way to add texture – even on top of existing carpet!
Written by: La Roux Vintage

Erika is the owner of La Roux Vintage. When not out scouring the greater Boston area for vintage home decor, she can be found running, painting, teaching herself to play the accordion and drinking copious amounts of coffee.


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About Written by: La Roux Vintage

Erika is the owner of La Roux Vintage. When not out scouring the greater Boston area for vintage home decor, she can be found running, painting, teaching herself to play the accordion and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

21 Replies to “Buy New or Thrift? A Spring Home Decor Guide”

  1. Great article. Proof that “practical” & “comfortable” can still be made beautiful when vintage accents are included.

  2. Love, love, love all…mixing and matching new and old and if you go into any retailer (target etc) they are new knock off’s of vintage design…because vintage is best 🙂

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