Print Edition: July 2, 2014
A few years ago, the most stylish homes were those that displayed the most modern décor. However, the sleekest of surfaces and the sharpest of edges in these modern homes simply work to create the appearance of a home that is constantly styled but never actually lived in.
The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Markets at the Albion Fairgrounds held a vintage sale last weekend, which gave me hope that home décor is changing, and for the better.
The Maple Ridge barn was filled with vintage furniture, jewellery, and knick-knacks — all for sale at reasonable prices that could be bargained even lower, if you were in the bargaining mood. Nowhere in sight were uncomfortable chairs that no one would actually want to sit in, or strange miniature sculptures whose meaning no one really knows. From previously-cherished kitchen tables and chairs, beds and coffee tables, to smaller items like mirrors, chalkboards, mason chairs and jewellery, the barn was filled with striking pieces that would add character to any room.
Some of my favourite pieces were those that had been repainted in white, lavender or tiffany blue and had then been distressed to further add to that vintage feel. As nice as it is to be able to find a piece of antique furniture to add to your home, it’s also great (and more affordable) to find a newer piece that will withstand any drops or bumps and to then do a little makeover in order to achieve vintage status.
A few tips for shopping at vintage sales like this one: don’t be afraid to bargain or make deals with the vendors. Lots of places love to give you a deal if you bundle a few different items together. Make sure you bring old shopping bags or tarps to cover furniture in case you have the unfortunate luck to be caught in the rain. My number-one tip for any shopping adventure: if you don’t love it, don’t buy it. You may love the thrill of spending in the moment but once you get it back to your house that piece you only sort-of liked will be neglected.
A perk of this particular vintage sale was that many of the vendors offered workshops where you could learn to paint and restore furniture for yourself. Do you have a piece of furniture in your home that makes you cringe every time you look at that colour that was so in style when you bought it? Or do you have old jars that would be perfect for holding kitchen utensils or makeup brushes if only they were a little more decorative? It’s an easy skill to learn if you have a free afternoon and a bit of creative energy, and it could do wonders for adding a bit more style into your house. Many vintage-style stores — such as Spruce Collective in Abbotsford — sell paint and accessories like doorknobs for do-it-yourself traditional home décor.
Unlike the modern décor of days past, vintage furniture and smaller items create a space I want to spend time and be comfortable in.