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June 17, 2020

vintage patina finds

Vintage Patina Finds

It's no secret that we love anything vintage; Dishes, soaps, market bags, flower pots, you name it! If it's old, we want it!  But nothing sparks a twinkle in our eyes as much as a vintage find with beautiful patina. France was a dream, full of these vintage gems just begging us to take them home, but of course we couldn't fit them all in our market bags. We share this love for all things vintage with many others, but especially with our friend Maria Ward. Her home is filled with beautiful antiques and salvaged patina peices that she's collected over the years. Take a walk down memory lane with us as we stroll the streets of France and Maria tells us all about her favourite vintage patina finds.

old vintage care patina in france

Welcome Marie Ward

Adding vintage decor to your home can add so much charm and character to your space no matter what your decorating style is. The patina that comes from years of use just makes a piece more beautiful. Whether your style is farmhouse, bohemian, industrial, cottage, or a mix of decorating styles, vintage decor can be a beautiful and functional asset to your home.

Vintage patina finds with maria ward reclaimed desk wing back chair office space

This lovely office space belongs to Maria

The change in colours of copper, silver or brass just gets better with the years.  The dents, scratches, and wear patterns on an old table or wood furniture is one that many try to replicate with milk paint and creative painting techniques, but the true patina of an old piece is truly hard to match.

I began my married life with little spare change and I happily received hand me downs from family to fill our home.  I was not picky about what I accepted since purchasing new items was not in the budget.  When I did buy something it was usually used, from a yard sale or auction.  At that time in my life buying second hand was a necessity.  I truly wished I could purchase new and coveted new items.

lavender in France

Lavender for sale in France during Britt & Deb's trip to Province 

Now that our family is grown and life has changed, I still like to hunt for not only a bargain but for used and vintage items that have patina from years of use.  I am now choosy about what comes into our house and only purchase items that I need or will be of use, unless of course I find something that I absolutely love.  When this is the case I know I will find a place or use for it!!  If I am looking for a specific item I usually check Etsy or Ebay, yard sales, auctions, or estate sales before buying new.  I find that an older or vintage item is often of better quality than new with still many years of use left.

menerbes france shop

Integrating Old and New

Integrating vintage items into your home does not mean everything has to be old. Vintage items can live side by side with new items and still blend seamlessly into any design.  You may  have new furnishings with vintage accessories or vise-versa.  I think that is what makes decorating with vintage items so much fun.  By combining a little bit of new with a little bit of old can make a personal design statement unlike that of others.  You may have the same sofa as your neighbor, but your vintage lamps may give it a completely different look.  Or you may have the same kitchen cabinetry yet your vintage knobs and pulls gives the kitchen a different twist.  You may want to read this post: Kitchen Design: Choosing the style and finishes.   

aging terra cotta flower pots potting bench whiskey barrels

When purchasing vintage items think about how the item was used, and then think about how it could be used.  For example, a vintage cup and saucer could make for a beautiful candle holder.  That old chicken crate would make a nice coffee table.  That empty picture frame would make a great mirror or frame for new artwork.  The bureau that is sturdy but old might make a nice kitchen island.  Think about how the item could be functional for you.

basket-petite-market basket-buckle

To help me make decisions when on the hunt for vintage items I usually keep a notebook with items that I am looking for along with minimum and maximum  measurements for any specific space.  This helps so much when I find something that I like and try to decide if it would be useful in our home.

Home Decor Ideas for Vintage Finds

Some of the vintage items that I like to use around our home are;

electric insulators - as bookends or paper weights

books - for decor and to add height  in a grouping

picture frames - for mirrors, or left empty to add interest to a gallery wall.

chicken crate - as an outdoor coffee table

sap buckets - as planters

crocks - as planters & utensil holders

pitchers - as vases & decoration 

bureau -as a vanity

corbels  - as book ends.  They also make a great base for a wall desk.

Marias bedroom copper patina bed side wall mount lamps white bedding farmhouse artwork

Who wouldn't want to curl up in Maria's master bedroom suit?

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We also have vintage lighting in our bedrooms.  I find the patina of the brass to be very pretty and quite different than that of a new light.  Our bureaus are old but so sturdy with dovetail joints which is not often the case in new furniture. 

I also have old upholstered chairs that have been slipcovered.  So I encourage you to check out older upholstered furniture. The older furniture is usually very well made and the size and shape can be very nice.  Don’t let the ugly 1970’s fabric turn you away from what could be a great addition to your home.  New upholstery or custom slipcovers can work wonders!!!

Provence, France

Vintage items are also a great way to add interest to your porch, patio, and yard, you can read more about that in this post - Simple Summer Front Porch Decor. I have seen some really cute greenhouses made from old windows and doors which I think is so inventive!  You could make a makeshift table from a vintage door like we did for our patio which will get a lot of use during the Summer.  We also use a wagon wheel to add interest to a bare corner.

When you are considering a new purchase I encourage you to think vintage.  Think about your space, your colour combinations, and how you will use and enjoy your new vintage items.  I think you will like the texture and patina of an older piece much better than what can be purchased new.

Latte with a heart in a mug

Happy treasure hunting!!!  I would love to hear from you.  Let me know how you use vintage items in your home.

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What started out as a duo of Brittany and Deborah has now expanded into a TEAM! 

B vintage Deborah

Deborah McDOnald


AKA @bvintagestyle

Small town girl living in a 1903 Heritage home she dreamed of as a child.

White Farmhouse in Winter

Brittany Hislop


AKA @white.farmhouse

Living a simple life in a rural Alberta town and painting her house white as she goes!

dream bigger and bolder ...

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