Here for the vintage Christmas decor? Scroll down for the gallery of my holiday home tour including all the vintage Christmas goodness.
Keeping it very short today, friends. It’s late on Christmas Eve and it just started snowing in Vinton. This Christmas it’s just Sam, the pups and I celebrating in our little apartment. It’s been so nice to have a quiet, cozy holiday here at home.
I’ve been looking forward to unpack all my vintage Christmas decor for months. Years, actually. We haven’t lived in a full sized house since Christmas 2017, so we haven’t fully unpacked in a long time.
And while we’ve been busy not unpacking our Christmas things every year, my love affair with pretty vintage holiday things has continued. Or gotten worse, possibly. I’ve been collecting, and collecting, and collecting.
This will be my last post for about six weeks, as I’ll be taking a blogging break in the new year to get things organized behind the scenes. I’ll be back to posting about once a week in February—see you then!
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!
It’s well into the fall season and I am just now getting around to giving this autumn home tour. Total slacker, I know.
Being in a small apartment, we kept our autumn decor pretty minimal this year.
This year I have so many new pieces to decorate for the seasons—the english plate rack, china cabinet, baker’s rack, our new canopy bed, the oak craft cabinet. Not all of these pieces were decorated for autumn, but I’m going all out for Christmas this year so stay tuned for a ridiculously festive holiday home tour next month.
Let’s start the tour off in the kitchen. Remember the English plate rack I built this summer? It’s been excellent for storage and I love the simple decor we put up there for fall—the coffee thermos is a recent antique store purchase and it’s going to style beautifully for every season.
When picking a color to paint my new canopy bed, I knew it had to be a shade that would work well for every season. I typically decorate my entire home—from the entry to the bedrooms and bathrooms—for each season. The sage green, autumnal golds and rusty oranges all pair so well together and make for one cozy snuggle spot.
Mercury glass pumpkins and gourds adorn my huge window sills. Sunlight pours in every morning and the mercury glass gives off the prettiest sparkle.
That little leaf bowl on my coffee table is one of my favorite vintage autumn decor items ever. I always place a seasonal wreath on that box spring feature light.
This autumn we welcomed a new plant into our home—this cute meyer lemon bush. Apparently it should flower and produce fruit this year. No blooms so far, but I’ve had it for about two months now and it’s still alive. So hooray for that.
I’ve shared my Halloween Old World Light covers with you before, but I also have Thanksgiving and Christmas versions. The Turkey is my absolute favorite!
McCoy vases are so versatile and look ridiculously pretty no matter where I put them. Every season I find a way to fill them with beautiful blooms that match my decor.
I can never resist taking photos of my cute pups when I’m photographing these home tours. I’ve gotta share the cutest part, right?
I painted this antique china cabinet earlier this year and the mustard is obviously perfect for autumn. Not sure I’ll love it as much when it comes time to put Christmas up, but it looks daring with my pheasant soup dish up top for now.
I have a serious addiction to beaded table runners. This one is a favorite—gold beads, velvet fabric and maple leaves. It’s so pretty.
I bought this wall hook at an antique store in September for $15 ish and intended to hang it in my bathroom for towels. Then I realized it would be perfect in the dining room for our Christmas stockings, so that’s where it ended up. A bit odd to have Christmas stockings on your dining room wall, I know—but we’re limited on space so I’m just doing what I can with what I’ve got. I’m sure it will look lovely, so check back in a few weeks for my holiday home tour!
Another photo, another beaded table runner. Plus my pretty goodwill candlesticks (remember them from my apartment tour from a few years ago?) I searched forever to find the perfect pair and I still love them.
We’re still on the hunt for the perfect antique farm table. It’s been on our thrift list for months and we’ve found a few that were close to what we want but not perfect. So for now, this metal top 50’s table is sticking around.
Did you see my post about how I made that pretty autumn wreath from dried leaves, acorns, pinecones and walnut shells? It was a fun and simple project—the best kind.
That’s it for the autumn home tour, folks. For Christmas I am really planning to go ALL OUT this year. Our pretty holiday things have been packed away in storage for too long and it’s time we dig it all out!
We’re so excited to set up our miniature Christmas village this year for the first time (a new tradition in honor of Sam’s grandparents and some other lovely family members).
I’ve also never given a holiday home tour here on the blog, so I have tons of vintage Christmas decor that you’ve likely never seen! Can’t wait to share it all with you.
(We’ve actually already decked the halls here and the house looks so unbelievably gorgeous and magical! Head over to my IG for some sneak peaks!)
Nothing is more fun to me than a crafty project, and I especially love ones that involve being outdoors or using natural elements. The weather in Virginia finally started to cool off about a month ago and ever since we’ve been spending more and more time outside—hiking, playing fetch with our pups and exploring some local parks.
I’ve also been busy collecting lots of acorns, pinecones and dried oak leaves—the perfect assortment of goodies for creating a pretty autumn harvest wreath.
Tips for scavenging
When hunting for the perfect pinecones and acorns for craft projects, be careful to find newly fallen ones. Pinecones that have been on the ground for months or longer are going to be more difficult to clean and sanitize. They also won’t be as sturdy because they’ve essentially been decomposing in place. Old pinecones are just a bit yucky, so avoid them. Instead look for ones that are fresh, dry and fully opened.
Wait until you’ve had several days of sunny weather in the fall to ensure you’ll find dry, fresh pinecones. October and November are perfect months to go scavenging. Windy days help blow down a lot of goodies as well, so check after wind storms.
For acorns, it’s perfectly find to collect green ones that haven’t fully matured yet. All acorns will shrink during the drying process, so you may have to hot glue the centers and tops together after baking. Green acorns will brown while baking.
Before using them for crafting, all acorns and pinecones need to be washed and then baked. This will kill any bugs that may be hiding inside and prevent mold or mildew from forming.
How to Sanitize Pinecones + Acorns
To sanitize your pinecones and acorns, first wash them in a solution of warm water and vinegar. Fill a bowl with warm water and add 1-2 cups of vinegar. Soak the pinecones and/or acorns for about half an hour and scrub off any dirt.
After soaking, drain and remove to a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. The pinecones will leak sap while baking and you don’t want this to get all over your baking pans, so make sure they’re well covered!
Bake in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes until dry. The drying process will cause the pinecones to open up, so don’t be worried if they close up while soaking. The pinecones may be sticky with sap when you remove them from the oven. Let them cool and the sap will harden, leaving you with pretty, shiny pinecones.
When leaf collecting, I look for brown oak and maple leaves that have already dried out naturally. You can collect leaves in beautiful autumn colors and try to preserve them, but it takes weeks to do this and the results are not always stellar. I don’t have a guide for drying colorful leaves as I haven’t tried it yet.
It’s a good idea to go hunting after a few days of dry, sunny weather, just like with pinecones and acorns. You want to look for freshly fallen leaves that have no weird water spots, holes or dirt. It was pretty easy to amass a large collection of pretty leaves after just a few minutes of hunting.
Leaves do not need to be washed or sanitized and can be used for crafting as long as they are clean and dry.
Walnut shells are a a really pretty addition to autumal decor. I purchased two packs of in-shell walnuts from Walmart and spent a few hours carefully cracking them all open.
Buy more than you think you’ll need for walnut shells because most of them won’t crack open well and will end up…. smashed to pieces. Working slowly and carefully is the best way to end up with usable shells.
Make sure you remove all the edible parts of the nut from the shell. For some shells, I was able to glue the halves back together so that they formed whole shells again. I did NOT use whole shells with nuts still inside—please don’t do this or you’ll probably end up with a very buggy wreath!
Making the wreath
I purchased an 18″ grapevine wreath form from the craft store to serve as the base for my harvest wreath. The first step was to hot glue a layer of dried leaves on the wreath form. I covered most of the wreath in the dried leaves but left a few small spots open.
Starting with large elements like the pinecones and whole walnut shells, I started to glue a layer in between and on top of the leaves. Then I used smaller elements—like acorns, walnut shell halves and some tiny pinecone—to fill the holes and cover the gaps. I used the same process and worked my way around the wreath until it looked full.
To finish the wreath off, I tied a burlap loop around the top and formed it into a cute bow. Then I hung the wreath up and filled a few last holes with acorns and hot glue.
I’m really pleased with the result—it’s exactly the warm, natural look I was going for and was a very simple and fun project!
For more natural wreath inspiration, check out Pinterest! Next year I’d love to make a wreath that’s covered entirely in dried acorns like this one.
Have you gotten creative with any home decor projects this fall? Are you over autumn yet and ready to move on to Christmas? I’m very torn. I’m so excited to unpack Christmas, but it’s always sad to put away my pretty vintage autumn things. For now I think I’ll just enjoy my new wreath, finalize Thanksgiving plans and maybe start sneaking some Christmas in.
I am beyond excited to be collaborating with Best of Roanoke today to bring you my favorite thrifting spots around the greater Roanoke area! If you’re from Roanoke (or want to plan a visit), go follow this awesome account! Genya and Stan are a couple who newly relocated to the area and do an amazing job of highlighting all the best places, events, and things to do in the greater Roanoke area!
Now let’s talk about the best places to thrift here in Roanoke, Virginia!
Did you know there are more than forty secondhand stores in the greater Roanoke area? The list includes dozens of thrift stores, antique stores and consignment shops, plus used books stores, architectural salvage yards and used game stores.
Today I’ll be sharing the best thrifting spots around town, including all of my go-to spots for furniture, homegoods, artwork and more. I’ve been finding some amazing treasures lately!
Located at 3425 Orange Ave NE in Roanoke. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This store is PACKED with decor items and homegoods—especially china and anything kitchen related. Prices are decent here and you will find some really pretty options if you’re looking to shop secondhand for holiday table settings or trying to create a gallery wall of vintage artwork. Plan to spend a good amount of time in this store and be prepared to dig—they’ve got bins and boxes full of treasures and it’s really fun to work your way through them. If you need a kitchen item like baking pans, casserole dishes, measuring cups, etc—check here first. They’ve seriously got it ALL. This thrift store also has an automatic markdown policy—the longer and item has been there, the more discounted it is,. Check the color of the price sticker and you might find an excellent deal!
Located at 543 Salem Ave SW in Roanoke and open Tuesdays to Fridays, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This is a great little secret of a thrift store! They’ve got lots of vintage goods, a great book selection and tons of home goods and seasonal decor. The prices are excellent and it’s well organized and very clean.
Located at 2381 Roanoke Boulevard in Salem. Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This is a pretty large thrift store and it’s packed! They’ve got a bit of everything here, but I especially love checking out their linens, homegoods and clothing. They do get good quality furniture donations and this store is clean and pretty well organized. The prices here are excellent—I’ve found some really great deals!
Located at 5511 Williamson Rd, Roanoke, VA 24012 and open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Salvation Army has always been a favorite thrift store of mine no matter where I live. Their prices are always very fair and sometimes you can even score a bargain on vintage home goods. This location is a great place for craft supplies, linens, glassware and small home decor items. Furniture, artwork and holiday decor are some other things you might find, and aside from Goodwill this is probably the best place for secondhand clothing.
Located at 3435 Melrose Avenue NW in Roanoke. Current hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I’ve lived and traveled all over the country, and everywhere I go I’ve always had a local Habitat Restore. The Roanoke location is one of the largest, cleanest and most well organized Restores that I’ve ever been to. They have a good rotation of vintage furniture, art and home decor. They’re also a really awesome place to visit if you’re doing any type of home improvement project. Salvaged wood, bolts of upholstery fabric, new flooring, reclaimed cabinets, vintage drawer pulls—they’ve got it all. It’s always my first stop when I’m work on a creative project. Books and records are two more things they have in spades—they’re tucked away in the back of the store so don’t miss this section!
Head over to Instagram later today for some exciting giveaway news—you won’t want to miss it!
If gaudy, over-the-top and sparkly aren’t your style, you may not want to read (or look) further. If the repurposing of vintage jewelry would be deeply upsetting to you, please click away.
Otherwise, let’s take a look at the prettiest, sparkliest lampshade that I’ve ever seen!
The quest for dramatically embellished lampshades began when I spotted this amazing vintage pottery lamp at an antique store in Texas last January. I was antiquing with my sister and it took me two seconds to snap this cutie up. Then six months later I found a similar lamp on Etsy and ordered it for my husband’s bedside table. They’re a cute coordinating pair.
In my mind, I imaged the lamps paired with lovely faux flower adorned shades—something similar to this Anthropology shade that I’d been in love with for the better part of a decade:
Although I still loved that Anthro shade, it wasn’t exactly the right size or color combo for my room (and they also stopped selling it many years ago). What I really imagined was a lamp shade bedecked with handmade wool felt flowers and possibly some botanic-themed embroidery.
I pulled out my collection of vintage flower brooches last week for an Instagram post I was working on and the idea hit me—why not use the brooches for my lampshade?
I had already found the perfect shade for $1.00 at a local thrift shop and I figured it would be a fun experiment if nothing else. When I bought the shade, it was very dirty and had some stains, so I gave it a quick clean before painting on two layers of DecoArt’s Chalky Finish Acrylic Paint in “Primitive” (I watered the paint down and allowed it to dry overnight in between coats.
It took me a while to figure out how to attach the brooches to the lampshade. This is NOT a tutorial, but I did take some photos of the process just to serve as inspiration for anyone wanting to create something similar.
To begin, I used a piece of wool felt as a base, cutting it to fit one panel of the lampshade at a time. I wanted the shade to look as if it had been unevenly “dipped” into the sparkly brooches so I cut my felt accordingly—just a thin, imperfect border on the bottom of each panel.
Next, I gave each felt panel more texture by layering it with bits of floral lace and sequin-embroidered scrap pieces. It was lucky for me that I have lots of scraps and crafty things to work with. Being a hoarder does come in handy sometimes.
After the felt had a base layer of lace on top, I carefully arranged brooches and jewelry pieces until I was happy with how it looked. It was not a very technical process. I simply played around with the pieces until the color combinations and sparkle factor met my expectations. The last step was to hot glue each jewelry piece in place and then glue the entire panel to the lampshade.
I only had enough vintage jewelry for one lamp shade (I wasn’t willing to use most of the pins from my collection—some pieces were just too special to hot glue to a lampshade) so I’ll have to figure out something else for Sam’s side of the bed.
Well, there you have it: my over-the-top floral brooch embellished lampshade. What do you think, gaudy or gorgeous?!
Note: I did remove the pin and earring backings from most of the jewelry pieces with a pair of pliers before glueing them down. If this upsets you, just know that I mostly destroyed pins that were already broken or deformed. I also destroyed many pairs of vintage clip-on earrings. They look prettier on my lampshade and no one wears clip-ons anyways, so you’ll have to forgive me.
This week I’ve got lots of new finds to share with you and I really mean share.
Today I’ll not only be showing you the wonderful treasures I found for keeps, but also a sneak peak of some lovely vintage pieces that I’ve thrifted to GIVE AWAY.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be scouring secondhand shops to curate collections of items for two distinct and beautiful vignettes that you’ll have a chance to win. Each ‘vignette’ will be a curated collection of five or six small pieces, styled together into one decorative statement. You’ll get to vote on which vignette you like best and simultaneously enter to win all the items in it.
I’ve found a few really special pieces already—here’s a little sneak peek!
Now that you’ve seen some of the goods, let’s talk about why I’m putting together this fun, thrifty giveaway.
Mostly, my goal is to show you exactly the kind of style you can accomplish by shopping secondhand. I don’t live in a place with exceptionally great thrift stores and I promise I don’t have better luck than you—anyone can create exceptional spaces with a little patience, perseverance and experimentation.
Finding your ideal home style is a learning process and your home will evolve throughout it. While I’m not any luckier than you I probably do spend moretimethrifting and I understand not everyone is able to hunt as regularly. All this means is that the process will take you a bit longer and that’s ok—slow decorating is a good thing.
So often I find that the items in my home that hold the most value to me are the ones that took the longest to find. They’re usually items that have a story attached to them—the story of where I found them, the story of the restoration process, the story of how the item was handed down to me.
This is slow decorating at its core. Home style shouldn’t be about ‘filling a space’ or matching a Pinterest picture. It’s not about quick fixes, trends or seasonal decor rotation (ok, I am guilty of a *little* bit of that). It’s not about hurrying to finish the next space in your home. In fact, your home and the rooms within it should never really be finished.
So many young adults, women especially, feel this pressure to have picture perfect lives and the picture perfect home to coordinate—and we always seem to be in a rush to accomplish it. Instead of taking the time to explore what really makes us happy in our home style, we pick a pretty picture out of a magazine and try to emulate it.
The problem with copying a photo of someone else’s idea of home is that it’s not going to feel like you. Finding the home style that will make you happy isn’t a process that happens overnight.
This is where secondhand shopping comes into the equation. Trust me—I understand that shopping at thrift stores isn’t for everyone. Luckily, thrift stores aren’t the only way to shop secondhand or embrace slow decorating.
Why does shopping secondhand make a difference, though? Aside from the obvious benefits—saving money, environmental stewardship, supporting charity organizations—thrifting has the added benefit of exposing you to the largest possible variety of home decor styles. We’re talking about decades (and sometimes centuries) of styles all piled onto the same shelves at your local Goodwill (or antique store).
Online marketplaces like Etsy are great when you know what you’re looking for. But when you’re starting out I think it’s really important to see items in person—to feel them and look at them up close. To play with them, arrange them with other items and to imagine them in your space.
What better environment could exist to explore and discover the items that really catch your eye? To see what pieces make you do a little happy dance inside when you spot them?
Over time, your choices will evolve. You’ll decide that mid-century lines are really cool but you’re looking for something less modern and more cozy. Or you’ll realize that while you find vintage linens to be really pretty, they have no practical use in your home and the clutter makes you anxious. Both of these examples are actual realizations I had after years of curating my home style.
If I hadn’t experimented, what would I have learned? And where would my home style be now?
In 2020, I am really happy with my home and most of the things in it. I wouldn’t say my style is perfect and I’ll never say it’s done evolving. I have things I am ready to let go of and at the same time I’ve been starting new collections left and right. Mostly I am just ready for a space big enough for me to actually unpack all the things I love. Overall, my home feels like me and I can honestly say it’s not something I copied from a magazine spread. It’s also something that evolved over time, which brings us back to slow decorating.
When I say slow decorating, I mean slow. This isn’t the first time I am writing about the fact that sometimes it takes me years to find the right piece. Sometimes it takes so long that I end up not needing the piece anymore (because we move to a new house, the space is different, it doesn’t fit, etc) and my list completely changes. Chalk it up to military life.
Remember when I talked about my thrift list last month? Well, I’ve crossed exactly one item off that list. It was a lampshade that I found earlier this week (makeover post coming soon). That’s it—all of the other items from my list are still on it and I’m just waiting for them to find me.
This is why I love secondhand shopping—to find pieces and become a part of their story. Sometimes a piece is with me for a few months, sometimes a few years, and every once in a while it’s destined to be with me for a lifetime. However long I keep a piece, I learn something from it—either that it is the epitome of my style and makes me outrageously happy or that it served me well but doesn’t quite fit anymore. Then I get to pass it on to someone else and hope it will become a part of their story.
That’s why I thrift.
I am beyond excited to be hosting my first giveaway here on the blog this fall. It’s so fitting that I’ll be giving away a few vignettes of items that I’ve thrifted especially for you—my readers!
I’ll be making a full post soon detailing the giveaway dates, how to enter and what items are included. Be sure to follow me on the blog or on Instagram so you don’t miss the announcement!
Winners will be drawn at random and the items will be shipped to you free of charge (within the continental U.S. only). Entries will be accepted through Instagram, email and Facebook. Full rules to follow.