Love Your Local
It’s not just retro, vintage clothing that is captivating consumers in droves. Interior décor is moving in that direction too. For some years now, vintage pieces are being incorporated into the interiors of many homes. It’s all about adding pieces to your home that are a bit unusual or distinctive in some way!
The best pieces might be something you “borrow” from family members, friends or discover at estate sales, second hand stores and so forth. Beautiful pieces are given a new life.
I spoke with a local interior decorator, Maria Uriegas-Leupelt [Sunlight Interiors], to get a sense of the influence this style direction has had on her business. She offered some great advice for the adventurous designer in all of us.
Q: Any advice for people looking to introduce vintage into their home décor?
A: Without overdoing it, vintage can bring a lot of charm and character into an otherwise traditional setting. It creates a warm, nostalgic look. Vintage pieces already make a bold statement on their own, so it’s better to minimize distractions with soft, neutral colors as a background. That way, the unique beauty of the vintage items can stand out.
Q: What’s the appeal of vintage?
A: To start with, decorating with vintage items is a way to reduce the cost of furnishing your home. It’s a lot less expensive than furnishing with brand new. New furniture may connect you to a specific trend with colours and patterns that could look dated in a few years. Trends come and go. Working with tried-and-true classics holds more value. In general, furniture made up to the 60s is of much better quality, too. Scandinavian furniture from the 70s is an example of a style that fits right in with more contemporary styles. Very modern with a very airy, open design. You don’t have to do anything to them. They fit in anywhere.
Q: Repurposing supports the environment, too?
A: Yes, so many pieces can be saved from the dump! Upcycling different pieces allows you to salvage perfectly good quality pieces. Working with vintage can be a very satisfying and creative endeavour. It’s not just furniture that can be repurposed though. I’ve recycled gorgeous pieces of granite and marble, left over from a bigger cut, and used them as insets to upgrade a small table, dresser or side table. Nothing is wasted. Once, I had a large piece of black walnut planed to enlarge a dining table for a client. They needed a bigger table but didn’t want to replace their entire dining room suite. The expanded surface solved their problem—and added a touch of glamour at the same time!
Q: In the end, it’s all about what works for your client’s tastes and preferences.
A: For sure. When it come to style, vintage isn’t to everyone’s taste. A successful style is one that enables you to achieve a look and function that matches your personality and lifestyle. With couples, I often need to plan ways to blend differing styles and colour preferences so everyone appreciates and feels comfortable with the outcome. It’s a very collaborative process—sometimes with surprisingly inspired results! If my clients are downsizing, it’s equally important to blend what they treasure along with what will be useful in a reduced space. A dining room table, for example, may be important to some downsizers who’ve had a large family and still love entertaining. For others, less is more.
Maria is a great resource in the local market and joy to bounce ideas off of! She can be reached here through her GoWestShore directory listing