Skip to main content

Tips for finding authentic and adorable vintage decor pieces for every room

If you’re a vintage hunter, you’ve likely spent many a weekend scouring flea markets, antique shops, and garage sales looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items for your home. But with the pandemic and rise of online options to find vintage decor, shoppers are turning to online outlets to find authentic and gorgeous pieces.

One of the best parts of snagging a vintage piece is the story that goes with it. Often, this comes through conversations with shop owners or buyers, and the same thing can happen online. All the spots we’ve checked out have a text box so you can converse with the owners to find out the history of the pieces. As with anything you buy online, make sure you measure  (then measure again), especially if it’s a large piece of furniture or an item that cannot be returned.

Related Videos

My absolute favorite place to shop is Etsy. The online forum is made up of all small business owners who can showcase their items. Buyers can leave reviews, and you can bookmark your favorite sellers so when they add new items, you can check them out right away. They have an Arts & Collectibles section to peruse or search for vintage plus whatever category of decor you’re looking for in the search box, and you’ll be on your way. They have tons of items for your every whim, including midcentury furniture, old fashioned kitchen items, country-specific antiques, books, decor, and more.

vintage midcentury room

eBay is another online, very well respected site to find vintage items. If you’re willing to do some bidding and you’re looking for hard-to-find items, eBay is the place for you. Some items have a “Buy Now” option, so you can skip the bidding, which can get a little heated the more competition there is for a particular item. You’d be hard-pressed not to find what you’re looking for on eBay.

One Kings Lane is a site that’s most definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for vintage home accessories. The site is similar to Etsy in that firms and sellers that specialize in vintage pieces can sell their items. The items tend to be on the pricier side, but the site is full of items you’ll likely not find anywhere else. One Kings Lane even has a “Get Inspired” section to give you tons of decorating ideas, and if you want to take it a step further, you can book an appointment with one of their interior designers as well.

Jayson Home has slowly evolved from a brick-and-mortar marketplace to an online arena hosting many one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. The decor on here also tends to be on the pricier side, but they’ve been expertly curated, and most pieces are in mint condition. They have sections like vintage rugs, gifts, furniture, lighting, and accessories, so whether you’re looking for an antique chandelier or a new piece of artwork, you’re bound to find it here.

One thing that makes shopping easier and helps guarantee you’ll love what you buy is looking at how the store, whether online or not, has paired any items that you like. These stores and sites are amazing at staging merchandise, and it can offer you inspiration for your own home. If you love a certain piece but don’t love the color, consider repainting or refinishing the item so it maintains the overall look you desire but with a color and finish that matches your space.

vintage decor

If you love vintage but don’t love the thought of your entire home looking like it stepped out of the 1930s, consider buying some modern decor and furniture and pairing it with vintage pieces. You’ll still achieve the overall look you’re going for, but adding newer pieces will keep it looking fresh and new.

One final place I’ve had excellent luck and have managed to get my estate sale fix without leaving my couch is Everything But The House (or EBTH). It’s always fun to shop estate sales, but some days, it can tough to get to one or even find a sale in the first place. Instead, shop Everything But the House (or This site is a curation of estate finds available at the moment, all authenticated by experts. This is a bidding site as well, and if you’re in the market to get rid of old items while you’re finding new ones, you can sell on this site as well.

Make sure you do your research, so you’re not overpaying for items, and take time to talk to the shop owners whether you’re in-person or online. That will give you the added confidence that you’re making a smart buy and that any piece you find will look perfect in your space.

Editors' Recommendations

How to find amazing vintage-inspired wallpaper for your living room walls
living room with wallpaper

There is no better way to make your design stand out than by bringing in a vintage-look living room wallpaper. A hit with designers, the vintage look living room wallpaper trend is becoming popular and adds originality to any design. Today, there are many available that give a nod to the past but have a modern flair for creating a truly unique look that feels both comfortable and current. Here, we discuss where to find your next statement paper and how to bring it into your space for a room that will wow.
Before you buy
There are a few rules of thumb you should follow when choosing wallpaper for any room. If the room is dark and doesn’t get a good amount of natural light, a very busy pattern will make it feel smaller. If you have a petite living room, stay away from large-scale patterns will be too overwhelming for the space.

Another thing to consider is the layout and architecture of your room. In an open floor plan, you can use wallpaper to define a portion of the space. Just make sure to select a paper that coordinates with the rest of the interior since they will all be visible. Wallpaper can also be a great way to draw attention to what makes a room unique. Does your room have interesting alcoves? By wallpapering the inside, you can draw the eye to them. You can also highlight fireplaces by using paper. Use it on your chimney breast or on either side to frame it.

Read more
How to repurpose your ladder into an adorable piece of vintage home decor
decorated ladder

Ladders have a lot of design potential, especially in small spaces. They offer great vertical decorating and storage options, both something often coveted in a small space. This is where your old dinged-up ladders come in handy to add character and vintage charm to any space. Decorative ladders, tall and short, have multiple uses and can be made to have a rustic, farmhouse chic, or industrial aesthetic.
Getting the right look
If your design style is industrial, or you want a distressed metal look, a new aluminum ladder will fit right into your vision. If you want it to be a little more distressed, you can place the ladder outside for a little while to subject it to the elements and give it a natural weathered look. If you are more into vintage, grab a paintbrush and paint your aluminum ladder. As always, make sure you are painting or distressing in a properly ventilated area and remember, children and small animals are susceptible to fumes, so read all that tiny print on the directions to be totally safe.
Wood is another great option if you are going for that vintage look. Wooden ladders can be whitewashed to get that perfect old-school feel. If it has shiny varnish, you’ll need to sand it off. After sanding, a white acrylic exterior paint mixed with water (two-thirds paint, one-third water) does the trick. Use this mixture to paint the ladder completely, and before it dries, wipe it down with a damp rag. Yard sales, estate sales, or perhaps your garage are great places to pick up ladders that have a little worn character to them.
Practical uses
Single ladders, versus step ladders, offer some interesting vertical decorating and some great practical uses. If you are using an old wooden ladder, make sure to lightly sand the rungs to get off any stray pieces of wood. Once that has been taken care of, you can safely hang your throw blankets or towels without fear of them getting snagged.

Get “S” hooks and use the ladder in the entryway to hang coats, purses, and scarves. Or, you can hang plants on the “S” hooks and twine the ivy around the rungs for a useful and decorative look.

Read more
Retro vs. vintage: Which is which, and how to tell the difference
retro couch and side table

"Vintage," "retro," "restored," "antique," and "old" are all terms applied to furniture - in both complementary and less-complementary ways. Although some sellers, homeowners and designers use them to mean the same thing, each term refers to different time periods and styles. If you want to style and decorate your home or apartment using vintage or retro furniture, we're here to help you sort out the terms and get a better understanding of what you're really looking for when it comes to selecting the right decor for your home.
To be considered "vintage," an item must be at least 20 years old. If it’s 20 years old and it’s been restored, then it can still be accurately referred to as vintage. However, to still be considered a true vintage piece, a restored item must be an example of something that clearly defined a particular style in an era for an item to be vintage. For example, specific types of chairs made by certain designers (with precise vintage measurements) fall into this category because those designers only made items to that particular narrow set of specifications.

Newer pieces in the vintage category would be furniture that was created between 1950 and 1980. These would be considered retro. Retro is not as specific a definition as, say, Art Deco. Retro is culturally outdated or out of style, but it has come back into fashion. For example, huge sunglasses and miniskirts are culturally out of style, but they’ve come back as retro.
Retro furniture can be whimsical, connected to pop culture and graphic design, and reflects fashion trends from an era. Currently, furniture that is correctly categorized as "retro" was made between 1950 and 1980.  For example, bean bag chairs? Definitely retro. Kitchen chairs with plastic cushion seats and shiny chrome frames? Also retro. Neither of these, however, are comfortable, so we recommend you seek out some alternatives.

Read more