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Antiques: Styled in The Kitchen

Antiques truly elevate and ground a kitchen by offering a sense of familiarity and instant character. You can aid this by being purposeful and intentional with your selections when buying antiques for your home.

I will often think in advance what items I am looking for or what would be my dream piece in a space, and then I spend time looking. When I see the right piece, I don’t hesitate to snatch it up. When styling a vignette in our 1920s farmhouse, specifically here in the kitchen on these original shelves in a creamy white, I focus on a few key things to help me paint a picture, if you will: 

1) Theme: think color palette, or aesthetic.

This is the overall feeling you get from a vignette. In the two variations shown, you see a tonal theme; cool tones in blues and grays paired with a base of whites, and a separate theme which includes warm tones with reds and tans also balanced out with whites.

My personal aesthetic is more French or European inspired. This can look different for everyone and may even feel more eclectic at times as we add in objects that we are specifically drawn to. I try to focus on what I love most, that feels true to myself and that may vary a bit - but that’s the fun of it! Finding pieces more specific to your theme can really increase your intentions for the space, for example: where it was made, subject of a painting (is it depicting the French countryside or a still life filled with colorful fruit), an items original purpose, etc…

2) Visual Interest: considering textures and layers.

This is something that may take a little time to gather as you thoughtfully select items that take your vignette from a one note, to a symphony. Paintings are an easy way to add interest - and what a fun way to do so as you can hunt for just the right piece that speaks to you, and fits in with your theme. Baskets are a wonderful way to bring in texture - this can vary in materials of course based on your theme (wire, wicker, straw, wood, ceramic, etc…) and the color of the basket will lend itself to that theme as well. Linens of course also bring in both visual interest and textures based on your selections, and a mixture of materials like glass, ceramics, cutting boards, as well as everyday household items like graters, brushes and soaps all offer the depth of interest you crave in your vignette.

3) Practicality: in an effort to keep this simple, which I always opt for, my last point of focus is practicality of placement: this maybe doesn’t feel so much about design but for me it fits right in.

Having a vignette in a space like my kitchen, means it needs to work for everyday use. Our kitchen is a workhorse, we spend a lot of time there as I love to cook and it’s our family’s central hub. But, it is also a social zone, one our guests flock to when we host. As well as a pass through, as it’s the main point of entry in our home. So it needs to be both inspiringly beautiful and incredibly practical.

Some thoughts on incorporating this into my vignettes are considering what is most useful to me. I avoid cumbersome objects that block me from being able to reach items quickly. For example if I have stationary pieces, those tend to be in the back, like paintings or beautiful dishes only brought out for special occasions. I love to have these items displayed for my theme and visual interest, but they do not hinder the efficiency of day to day tasks. Your vignette should inspire and bring life to your home, but they shouldn’t take away from your ability to live comfortably and practically in that space. 

Some take aways…

Thoughtfully considering what pieces you want to bring into your home, based on your own personal themes, allows you to make quick decisions on buying antiques when you see the right pieces. Likewise you will know when an item isn’t right for your home goals which saves you time, money, and stress. I strongly believe that how our homes are decorated really impacts our health and well being. When I walk by an object that I can’t stand to look at everyday (ie a dresser or chair…) it means I’m never quite settled.

Home is a sanctuary, and when we walk through that door no matter where we live, we should feel safe and comfortable in that space.

Another important take away, one I have learned over the years is that this takes time. Curating a meaningful home means taking the time to consider what items we bring into our homes. Antiques are such a special way to add meaning and character to your spaces and defy trends for many years, but this may look like one piece at a time. In my opinion this process should be fun, life giving, and even exciting as exploring and discovering pieces that feel so special to you is an adventure! 

I hope you enjoyed this post, a little more in depth look at how I do vignettes in our kitchen, though there is even more that could be said and many ways to have fun playing with styling. Would love to hear which color palette you may gravitate more towards shown here today? 

You can view our recent video showing how I styled the two vignettes in our kitchen here.

Shop some of the items shown:

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