Skip to main content

How to decorate with vintage suitcases in every room of the house

When you need to find inspiration, vintage is always a great place to look. Vintage items have a look and feel that we can’t quite capture anymore. One specific item we have in our heads is a vintage suitcase. The look of them, their feel, the smell of them—it’s like an old book. There’s something almost magical about a vintage suitcase.

If you don’t already have a handful of vintage suitcases in a room or closet somewhere, you’ll want to grab a few after we show you how amazing decorating with old suitcases can be. Literally, you can upgrade every room in your house by adding one. Let’s go over some adorable ways to bring new life to these beautiful pieces.

Vintage blue suitcases stacked up.
Leticia Ribeiro/Pexels

Turn them into shelves

Hear us out. Normally we do not condone destroying anything vintage (especially books). But in this case (pun not intended but much appreciated), we will allow it. This is especially forgiven if the suitcases are damaged beyond use but still have some life left in them.

Wall shelves

You can cut old suitcases in various sizes and then mount them on your wall. It might sound a little weird, but the results will be amazing. The old clasps and buckles will look really cool on the wall. Plus, any way you can create extra shelving and storage is a bonus.

Shelves in a dresser

If you don’t like your boring wood dresser drawers, take them out. Try putting vintage suitcases on those shelves instead. Sure, this might be a bit annoying if it’s a drawer you get into all of the time. But if you have a craft unit or something that you don’t use as often, this is a beautiful and funky way to store your stuff. After all, that’s what they were originally intended for.

Turn them into furniture

Literally, turn them into a piece of furniture. Buying new pieces is expensive, then every household has the same, or similar, things.

Chairs

We saw this adorable chair made of a vintage suitcase. Cushions had been put into the top, and bottom pockets and vintage legs were attached to the bottom of the case. It looked amazing, and we want them all over our house.

Accent tables

How stinking cute would it be to have your bedside table be a vintage suitcase? We know; it’s perfect. All you need is a vintage suitcase and some legs. You could have little suitcase tables in your office and living room. And yes, extra storage on the inside!

An adulty spot

Wine racks are great. But how about turning a suitcase into a little mini-bar? Some hardtop suitcases have a top part you can just pop out. Once that piece is removed, add some shelves, and you have a personal after-work buddy. If you have one with the wheels, then you can roll that with you from room to room as needed.

Add to any existing table

If you have an entryway table with a shelf underneath or a coffee table with one, you can stick a vintage suitcase under there. It makes for more storage (can you tell we love storage options?).

What else are you supposed to put under those kinds of tables anyway? If you don’t put anything, it looks weird. You can’t put random knickknacks under there. A vintage suitcase will look great.

A vintage set up with an old bike and an old suitcase holding items.
hthyen02/Pixabay

Use as a serving tray

This would be a pretty simple way to use those suitcases around your house. Every coffee table needs a cute tray on it to hold your remote, wine glass, and favorite book. All you need to do is open up a suitcase and unscrew or cut it in half. You get two trays in one!

You can make and put vintage serving trays on any table where you want to keep a few precious items near you. At least have one in the living room and one in your bedroom. Vintage suitcases usually have the coolest linings, so your trays will be unique and individual.

Where to find them

Though we love spending hours at the local antique mall looking for the perfect pair of cases, we know not everyone does. Pretty much every big box store sells a version of a vintage suitcase. If you are okay with it not being authentic, you can find decent deals at places like Target or Home Depot.

And then there is Esty. We love Etsy. You can have one custom made from any number of artists. Or you pick one you like. Many sellers do the rummaging for you and put them up for sale after cleaning them up. This is our go-to for needing to find old and beautiful items.

Now that you are caught up to speed on vintage suitcase decor, we can’t wait to see how you transform a few pieces into items that will bring your house a little personality. When you’re done, send pictures. We want to see what our next project could be.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
7 kitchen designs that prove how versatile shaker cabinets really are
These kitchens stun with timeless shaker cabinets
Blue kitchen cabinets in farmhouse design

Shaker cabinets have been around for centuries, and with good reason — they are timeless, elegant, simple, and clean. Whatever kitchen design you have landed on, shaker cabinets can add a ton of style to the space. Shaker kitchen cabinets are best known for their square edges and some with inset panels.

First coined by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing — the term "shaker" came out of the "Shaking Quakers" group in the U.K. In 1780, the Shaker community came to the U.S., where they showcased their furniture-making skills, among others — and the style has remained popular across the country ever since.

Read more
Modern Christmas decor doesn’t mean cold – 6 ideas for a cozy, minimalist vibe
Decor ideas that are both minimalist and warm
Modern Christmas decorations in a living room

Christmastime brings joy and cheer to everyone, and nothing kicks off the festivities more than decorating your home. If the decor in your house is modern, you may be having a hard time incorporating your traditional Christmas decorations with your aesthetic. If you’re thinking about buying all new decorations and it’s stressing you out, worry not. We have some modern Christmas decoration ideas that don’t require you to start from scratch with your decorations — nor will they make your home look like some cold, sad version of the holiday spirit. It's absolutely possible to decorate for Christmas in a way that's both minimalist and warm.

Less is more
Just because Christmas tends to be over the top when it comes to decorations doesn’t mean you have to follow suit in your home. Creating an elegant and modern Christmas living room doesn’t mean stuffing every ornament you possibly can on every open surface. A Christmas tree and a natural mantel decoration should do the trick if your decor is modern.

Read more
How to get a maximalist vibe with your Christmas decor (while avoiding kitsch)
Try these tips when decorating this Christmas for an eclectic, maximalist look
Colorful pink Christmas ornaments in a box

Maximalism is all about being bold with color, pattern, and design. As a maximalist, your Christmas decor is no exception! This year, maximalism has taken the interior design community by storm, emerging with its playful color palettes, unique textures and fabrics, and an optimistic approach to clutter and authentic decor.

However, as Christmas approaches, the risk of your design becoming too kitsch is ever-present. So, we’ve gathered some essential tips to avoid excess clutter or mismatched styles when decorating for the holidays.

Read more