My favorite ways to use antique or vintage items {in any decor!}

Hey there! A couple times a year I take a trip to my favorite antique stores to see if I can find some treasures. Some of my favorite pieces in our home are antiques or vintage and I enjoy the "hunt" when I have the time. (Go here to see my absolute favorite spot in Indy for antiques!)

I found out a few months ago that one of the best places here locally had shut down. They've been open for as long as I can remember so I was really bummed. This week I went to another place I've enjoyed over the years instead, but when I walked through I was sad to see that 90 percent of it was no longer antiques.

Almost all of the antiques had been replaced with items I can find at HomeGoods. I was annoyed. :)

I found a new place nearby that I hadn't been to yet, and thankfully they were a treasure trove. I wanted to show you some of the items I loved and talk more about how you can incorporate these older items into you home -- no matter your style! There are certain items I've always had luck with over the years.

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1. Servingware
I have gathered so many serving pieces and they continue to be some of my favorites. I found these vintage glass dishes years ago and still use them all the time. They are perfect for small get togethers:
vintage glass dishes

You can sometimes find these at Goodwill too!

I also love white ceramic -- it goes anywhere, not just the kitchen! I found this bowl the other day and put it in the family room:
white ceramic vintage pieces

It's such a great basic piece and works for serving or in decor.

I thought these plates I found in the shop were so pretty!:
white vintage ceramic dishes

I was so close to grabbing that salt and pepper set! So cute!

2. Brass pieces
I think these are my all time favorites! I love the look of old brass, but you can easily polish it up with this stuff.

I've gathered many brass candlesticks over the years, but this set I use every fall and Christmas is my favorite:
How to decorate with vintage brass candlesticks

I found this brass bowl at my favorite antique store downtown Indy years ago:
Using brass bowls in decor

This one is one of my all time best finds. It lives on my office shelves but I really need to place it somewhere where the beautiful colors can be appreciated more:
Decorating with vintage brass bowls

I love brass birds! I grab them whenever I see them:
Brass quails in decorating

I love the quails so much, I grabbed this set as well. They are big and fat:
Set of vintage brass quails

These tall guys on the are another favorite:
Decorating with brass vintage bird statues

I also love brass containers. They're so delicate and unique:
Vintage brass jewelry containers

I use them for trinkets at the bedside or for jewelry.

This mirrored tray I use for perfumes always makes me smile:
Vintage metal mirrored tray

Another favorite are brass bookends -- I've found so many unique versions over the years. I still have our cute brass elephants but haven't found a spot for them at this house:
DIY built ins using cabinets

On my last trip I found a few brass options -- these are just a couple:
Vintage brass bookends

One more item that caught my eye were these pretty brass trivets -- how pretty would these be hanging in a kitchen? They were only $7 each:
Vintage brass trivets

3. One-of-a-kind finds
OK, they items may not actually one of a kind, but they sure look like it!

I was absolutely obsessed with this brass fireplace set. Obsessed!:
Vintage brass finds fireplace poker set

Problem is, we have a gas fireplace. It lookslike wood burning you think I can pull these off? I just adore them.

This fireplace screen was another favorite find on this trip:
Vintage brass fireplace screen

You can usually find a selection of vintage globes so they aren't terribly unique, but there are always so many different versions.

An endless variety of colors and metal bases:
Decorating with vintage globes

I used a few of them on the game storage in our basement:
Decorating with vintage globes kid spaces

They are such a fun way to add some color to a space. (And USE them to teach the kids.)

4. Metal items
The options are endless where metal is concerned. This copper bowl is another favorite of mine: \
Cyberspace navy blue built ins

I loved this silver hobnail cake stand! It would look great anywhere:
Silver hobnail cake stand

And as far as I could tell, this metal bread bin was vintage:
Vintage bread tin

It was way bigger than any updated look-a-likes I've seen.

5. Books
Antique and vintage books are great finds to decorate with as well. I use them all over the place -- I love when I can find a set like I the blue ones I put on my office built ins:
Built in bookcases using kitchen cabinets

These old Reader's Digest books are just beautiful -- I usually find a few on each trip:
Gallery wall with free vintage art

They come in every color of the rainbow and there's always a beautiful print on the cover. (By the way, you can see how I got those free bird printables here!)

6. Furniture
You usually have to see the potential when shopping for vintage or antique furniture. A lot of the items need some love. Although occasionally you'll find something that is in perfect condition!

This metal twin bed frame was a major find:
Vintage black metal twin bed

It was in perfect condition and a GREAT price. Oh how I wish we needed a twin bed. :) I would have bought that up in a second! How sweet for a toddler room (boy or girl!).

My little vintage cabinet in our family room is a favorite of mine. I gave it a new coat of paint a couple years ago and I love love LOVE the green:
Old radio cabinet redo

Many readers thought it used to be a record player cabinet. So cool! I love pieces that have a story.

7. Frames/Art
Last but not least -- frames are another great find! They are usually more ornate:
Vintage ornate art frames

I used to use these detailed frames a lot around our home. I now prefer a simpler look, but they sure do make a beautiful accent!

I always keep my eye out for art as well. I have no idea if this art is vintage, but it sure looks like it. I have always loved this one:
Decorating with vintage art

There you go! Some of my favorite items to look for when antiquing -- and they will fit in with almost any decor style. Are you an antique or thrifting fan or is brand new for you? :) If you are a fan, have you noticed it's been harder to find them in the past few years?

If you're new to shopping for these items, keep the following in mind:
  1. Be sure to look at the bottom of the item. I've noticed over the past five years or so that some antique shops have started incorporating brand new items that look vintage into their inventory. This may not matter to you! But when I'm looking for something old, I want something old. ;) Check the bottom for a tag (sometimes I find the tags are covered with a price tag).
  2. Take your time when antiquing. You'll miss SO MUCH great stuff if you move too fast!
  3. Usually you can negotiate the price a bit -- but this all depends on the location. If you're at a "mall" kind of place, the person in charge may not be authorized to make a deal. If it's a fair or booth situation where the seller is on site, I find they are almost always willing to work with me.
  4. I LOVE to check out antique stores when traveling. All you have to do is search "antiques" on your phone map and local places will pop up.
  5. Bring cash if you're visiting a pop up or fair kind of situation -- some places have the ability to use cards but not all.

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