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!)
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.
Okay, we’ve still got four days to go until it’s official, but I’ve been busy decorating my apartment all week and we had our first coolish weather day here in VA, so close enough, right?
As I was decorating this week, I snapped some quick photos of my favorite vintage and antique autumn decor items to share with you.
I know from experience that it can be so fun to head to a store like Homegoods or Michael’s and go crazy buying faux pumpkins and autumnal garlands. But, I want you know that there are other options out there for seasonal decor.
My style has been undergoing a major shift recently. I find myself weeding out all of those Homegoods decor items in favor of vintage finds or natural elements. I’m still keeping some modern things—like the collection of mercury glass pumpkins I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics years ago.
But mostly, I find myself wanting to use my limited space to display items that are really special and unique—handmade and vintage pieces, mostly. Pillows that say “Give Thanks” just aren’t doing it for me anymore (although I am still working on transitioning these out, tbh).
So, what fall decor am I loving? Let’s take a look at some of my favorite vintage autumnal things.
This amber glass cake stand was a recent $12 find from a thrift store here in VA. It’s perfect for displaying my scrumptious seasonal bakes!
Ceramic figures are something I’ve been collecting for years—found one or two at a time, usually for $1.00 or less each. These cuties are perfect for placing on small ledges and bookshelves, or for creating vignettes in lanterns. I also have a large collection of brass figurines—deer, birds, bunnies, etc.—that are perfect for fall.
This vibrant leaf dish is one of my all-time favorite thrifting finds. I don’t remember how much I paid—maybe $5.00?—but it was a Goodwill score from when we lived in the PNW. Right now, it sits on my coffee table and collects coasters and remotes, but it’s also beautiful as a candy dish or console bowl for keys, etc. Search “USA Pottery 809” or “USA Pottery Leaf Bowl” if you want to find one on Etsy or Ebay. I see similar pieces all the time when thrifting and they are so fun to hunt for!
I’m a little apprehensive to give away the secret of these gorgeous vintage light covers, but they are too pretty and cute not to share. My mom collected these Old World Halloween light covers in the 1980’s/1990’s, so I grew up with them being displayed for Halloween every year in our house. Old World also made Thanksgiving and Christmas light covers, which I collect as well. Sometimes, the prices for a set of these light covers on Ebay can be ridiculously high—especially for the Halloween ones! Hold out and look during the off-season—I usually spend about $20 to $30 for a set, not $100 or $200! They can be found at antique stores, but I don’t see them often.
My mom found this maple leaf pitcher set at a thrift store in Florida and gifted it to me. How pretty is it? I am sure it was less than $10 for the pitcher and four glasses because she usually gets ridiculously good deals.
Vintage planters and vases are another collection I have been building for a very long time. I mainly collect shades of green, but if I find a really special piece in a different color I will sometimes make an exception. Orange, yellow, purple, teal… all of these colors coordinate gorgeously with floral arrangements for the fall season.
Hello, Mr. Turkey. I decided to start collecting amber glass turkeys after seeing a beautiful table setting in an old Martha Stewart book (her turkeys were Jadeite, though). I’ve only found two so far, but both were from Goodwill and cost about $6.00 each, maybe less. Once I have enough turkeys, I plan to replicate Martha’s beautiful table setting for Thanksgiving. And yes, I also plan to collect the Jadeite turkeys, but they are proving very difficult to find (I think Mosser might still make them?)!
This cute, speckled chips and dip bowl is a Pfaltzgraff piece from the 1950’s. Another thrift store find, it was a whopping $3.99. You can find these easily online by searching “Pfaltzgraff Pear Bowl” and they come in all kinds of cute colors.
Lastly, here is one of my lovely, cozy vintage wool blankets—one that happens to be the perfect colors and pattern for fall. I’ve talked about these blankets many times now on the blog. They were thrift store finds from my vacation in New Zealand a few years ago. But, beautiful vintage wool blankets can also be found here in the US! I’ve found many at thrift stores over the years, usually for $5 to $10 each. Christmas and fall colors are pretty easy to find.
My plans for this weekend include mostly hanging out at home—cooking, baking and enjoying our freshly decorated, pumpkin-filled apartment. But maybe we’ll have time for a quick thrift trip too? I’m guessing we will.
It’s been almost three months since we moved into our little one bedroom apartment in an old converted high school. Our place is basically an old classroom remodeled into a one-bedroom flat. It’s got great historic features—like the brick walls and gigantic windows—mixed with modern finishes like high ceilings, exposed pipes, and faux slate flooring.
This apartment is small, but it still feels like a huge accomplishment to be mostly settled after being here only three months. All our artwork is hung, our things all have a place, and we’re ready to decorate for fall. But before I go pumpkin crazy, I want to give you a quick photo tour of what the place looks like now. To me, it’s so interesting how tastes can change over time and I love having (and sharing!) snapshots of my evolving style.
If you’ve been following along with the blog recently, you may have seen most of the rooms in our apartment already. It’s a very small space, so there’s truly not much more to share!
We’ll start in the ‘entrance’ area, which we ended up using mostly for kitchen storage (because the cabinets are seriously lacking in storage space and I may have too many baking gadgets. Let’s not tell Sam about the Williams Sonoma order I placed today, OK?).
I just found this antique baker’s (or cobbler’s?) rack in NOVA last month while I was antiquing with my sister. They were only asking $225 for it at the antique store. I scooped it up very quickly, no second thought given! The rack was a total steal because it’s gorgeous and is in excellent shape. These baker style racks typically sell for $400+, so I feel very lucky to have found mine for such an affordable price! The color and patina of the wood is just so beautiful and the wheels are really neat too.
I haven’t had too much time to play around with styling the rack yet. Right now it’s just overloaded with kitchen-y things that I thought were pretty. The large Stanley thermos is a recent find too. It’s made entirely of metal on the inside (exactly what we were looking for) and is in really excellent condition. We can’t wait to use it on our next fall camping trip!
You’ve probably seen the rest of our kitchen already, so I’ll keep it brief in here. I built that plate rack when I realized my Royal Doulton 1815 dinner plates were too wide to fit in the kitchen’s upper cabinets. Having a large English style plate rack in my kitchen is truly a dream come true. I am very proud of myself for designing and building it! As an update for anyone who is wondering—it’s been wonderful storage and was totally worth the effort. I love the configuration and wouldn’t change a thing about it.
I’ve been collecting vintage rolling pins for a while now and was happy to hang them up, en masse, for the first time in this apartment. My McCoy collection and vintage floral prints really steal the show in the kitchen. Thank god for high ceilings!
On the way to the living room, you pass by our pantry coat closet. Kitchen storage is such a major problem in this apartment. So we decided to forgo the convenience of a coat closet and just turn it into food storage. We added an adjustable metal shelving rack and some baskets, and poof! It became a pantry. It’s a good enough solution for now. All my cookie cutters, Nordic Ware pans and the baking supplies we hoarded need somewhere to live, right?
The living room and dining room are basically the same space. It’s such a small area that the only place our couch fits is pushed up against the kitchen island. Sigh.
My china cabinet is great for storing more baking tools on bottom and some of my pretty collections up top. That chalkboard above the dining table is actually built into the wall. It may be partially original to the property. They kept a lot of the original features but to me this seems like a very small chalkboard for such a large classroom. It also seems like it may be made of cement board or something—definitely not slate). In any case, it’s pretty. I hung that wreath over it the first week we moved in. It hasn’t moved from that spot, although I’ll probably replace it with a fall wreath soon!
My antique dining chairs are something I’ve talked about before here on the blog. They’re all mismatched, bought secondhand, and super sturdy. It’s an ongoing project to get them all painted green. The kitchen table is a temporary solution—I am actually on the hunt for a really old wooden plank farm table. Something early American that’s all wood—maybe oak, maple or heart pine. I’m very picky (and on a budget) so it may take me a long time to find the right one. So just ignore that 50’s metal top table in the corner—you don’t even see it.
My favorite armchairs
My living room came together nicely and is the coziest little space. Those mid-century armchairs are my FAVORITE pieces of furniture, ever. I found them in 2014 for $12 each at the Impossible Dream thrift store in Watertown, NY. At the time, I had no idea they were so valuable. I just knew they looked old and had lots of potential.
Although the chairs were only $12 each, I did have to pay a professional to completely redo the webbing (it was torn to shreds). I also had to pay for custom upholstery in the form of new cushions and cushion covers for the chairs. It was about $400 in total. This was a LOT of money for me to spend on a couple of chairs back in 2014. But, six years later and I’m still completely in love with them. I love the fabric, I love the teak, and everything is holding up very well. This was my first major furniture investment and I think I chose very wisely.
The couch in the living room is getting a bit old—we purchased it secondhand from a consignment shop a few years ago. I am thinking of sewing a slipcover for it, because although the fabric is showing wear, it’s still the comfiest couch ever. The media console was a $20 find from the Goodwill Clearance Center last year. It’s an 80’s office credenza that we painted green. It’s excellent storage and I still love it.
Our coffee table is a large ottoman I purchased on clearance from Pier1 Imports a few years ago. The tray on top is also from Pier1. I’m really sad that they are going out of business (jury is still out on their ‘new’ website). Although I try to shop mostly secondhand, I’ve always loved the holiday decor at Pier1 and will really miss holiday shopping in their stores.
We have two long-haired miniature dachshunds so I bought a pet-friendly rug from Home Depot that’s really easy to vacuum and clean. It works well in the living room and really ties everything together, decor wise. Vintage wool rugs are seriously beautiful and I would have loved to find one for this space. But the rate at which my dogs shed just makes the vacuuming seem too daunting a task. Does anyone have experience with pets and wool rugs? I still need something for floor in our bedroom—talk me into it!
The old box spring light is something I made years ago when we lived in NY. My husband hated it at the time (as did my realtor! Haha.) But it’s hung in every one of our homes since. Every person who visits our home loves it and ends up wanting one for themselves. Told ya so, Sam (he’s come around and now loves it, too). The antique corbels are a recent find and fit perfectly in that awkward opening in the wall. They really help to age the space too—without them it was a bit too much bright white, right angles and clean lines. We like old and crusty.
Hallway and bedroom
Heading to the bedroom, you pass by all our bookshelves. The orange one is actually built into the wall and was constructed from the bleachers they removed from the high school’s old gymnasium. The other two bookshelves are ours, although one of them is going to be sent back to storage when the holidays roll around. Unfortunately, it’s in the space where our Christmas tree is going to go—obviously tree trumps books.
In the past year or so I have begun prioritizing our bedroom space. Facebook Marketplace finally delivered on the perfect queen bed; I found those beautiful nightstands at an antique store (for $20 each!) last fall; and my gorgeous tattered armchair finally made it out of storage and into our home. I’ve also been busy collecting vintage pillows, bedding and floral artwork recently. All of these small decor items have come together to make a lovely room—one that makes mornings so inspiring and cheerful.
Last month I bought an old oak linen cabinet and organized my prettiest craft notions into it. Extra storage in this apartment is always helpful, especially when it’s so beautiful. The small wood chair is a designer MCM piece, worth about $200. Mine is an original, not a remake, based on the markings and finish color. I bought it at the local thrift store for $15.00—another steal. My large floor mirror was $20 at an antique store years ago.
Closet, laundry and storage
The closet area and laundry room in this apartment share a large space and give us tons of storage. But since it’s all open space with no closet doors it isn’t very pretty. I kept debating wether or not spend time and money adding curtains on both sides to hide all the clothes and stuff. But since we’re possibly looking at buying a house next year I decided not to bother. So instead of showing you our washing machine, clothes and all the other crap we store in this space, I cropped it out and am just sharing my pretty blue dresser instead. That green mirror is from Ikea and I found the last one when it was discontinued a few years ago. Can you tell how much I love green yet?
The bathroom is the last room I have to show you, but it’s really tiny and therefor difficult to photograph. I’ve got lots of cute decor in there—vintage planters and towels, floral prints, embroidered birds and dried flowers. It’s a pretty space despite the ugly plastic lighting fixtures and builder’s grade mirror.
So, that’s the entire apartment. Pretty small, huh? We’re happy and content here for now, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to move again soon. Let’s hope the real estate market picks up next spring and that we find the perfect little fixer upper close to Sam’s job. I could really use a project to work on for our next few years here in Virginia (and also, I want a garden! And a game room, garage workshop, and so many other things!)
Thanks for stopping by to tour our cozy little home! I’m gonna go dig all my pumpkins out of storage now.
If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you may have noticed the quirky, glorious masterpiece that is my rolling pin wall. This display has been in the works for over two years now, ever since I saw a very similar installation at The Rowdy Kitchen Bar & Eatery in Christchurch, NZ (we had a really yummy lunch there, highly recommend if your ever in the area). I’ve been busy collecting vintage rolling pins ever since I returned from my trip and now, finally—they’re up on my wall!
It’s such a pleasure to walk into the kitchen every day and see this little reminder of my wonderful trip to New Zealand. I’ve loved vintage rolling pins (and all vintage kitchen gadgets) for the longest time, so it was lovely to have an excuse to start collecting them.
I am thinking of switching out some of the brightly colored pins for more green and plain wood handled ones. I feel like going overboard with green in the kitchen would be so charming. The reds, yellows and blues might be too much variety and color for me. We’ll see what happens.
If you’re curious how I hung them, I simply predrilled a small hole towards the top of each pin and then used a screw to attach a picture hanger. Most of my rolling pins had chips or flaws in the wood already, so don’t be angry with me for ‘ruining’ them.
While on our campervan road trip vacation around NZ, my husband and I also spotted baskets of vintage wool blankets at many little cafes and coffee shops, especially in the Canterbury region. We spent a few mornings popping into thrift shops during our trip and were able to collect a handful of authentic vintage wool blankets—all made in NZ! Then we paid $200 to ship half of them home, and squished the other half into our suitcases. We looked like total nutters, but it was so worth it. The basket of cozy, brightly colored plaid blankets in our living room serves as another reminder of our time with the Kiwis, and they’re also super warm to cuddle up under during cold winter days.
All of these little reminders of our trip do leave us aching to return to New Zealand for another camping adventure. In fact, we’re already planning and saving for it!