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How to use old items in your home

 Follow these basic rules for incorporating antique and vintage décor trends into your home.

Home design trends come and go. Give them some time, and they'll come back often, as the antique home trend showed.

While all-white kitchens and open floor plans are still prevalent on the wish lists of many homeowners and home hunters, last year's furniture and décor are showing up as interesting and often colorful accents.

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How to use old items in your home

Everything old is new again

According to Mary Patton, owner and designer at Mary Patton Design in Houston, the term "antique" is used to describe anything over 100 years old. On the other hand, the old-fashioned has a looser definition as it relates to shorter thrust cycles; Button says it usually applies to items that are at least 40 years old.

“Due to the impact of supply chain issues on the home industry, we have resorted to buying antique furnishings and decor because there is not a long lead time,” says Patton. "It's a trend we love because it's so good for the environment - you're reusing something in a unique way. Plus, it adds an interesting, casual look to the home."

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Lance Thomas, lead designer at Thomas Guy Interiors in Lake Charles, Louisiana, agrees. “Supply chain issues, increased furniture prices, and 40 weeks of production times for new pieces were the main catalysts for the upswing in the vintage and antique goods markets,” he says.

"The elements are already there, so they don't have a carbon footprint," Patton says. "Plus, the history and uniqueness of antique items is unlike anything else."

How to add vintage items to your home

The classic trend, like many home decor trends, is as much about functionality as it is about beauty. "People can incorporate already existing furniture into their décor without the headaches involved in buying a new one," Thomas says.

If you're not committed to the retro trend, here's something to consider: According to HomeAdvisor, an average homeowner will spend $47,923 on a home renovation or remodeling project. Of course, the most accurate look depends on what you're returning and the level of finishes you've chosen. If all you want to do now is give your home a new look, spending some money on throw pillows and a new area rug is more acceptable than diving into the bathroom or remodeling the kitchen.

Here are some ways to add vintage items to a home on a budget:

  • Replace photo frames. "Look for vintage frames that can be repurposed with some great modern art that has beautiful contrast," says Patton.
  • Hang an antique mirror. Mirrors are a time-honored trick of reflecting light and making a room appear larger. Choose one that evokes a bygone era for your wall.
  • Replace door handles and kitchen cabinet hardware. Even a DIY novice can easily swap out cabinet and door hardware in an afternoon.
  • Add a piece of antique furniture. Thomas says he likes to incorporate Belgian-inspired box goods into his designs, although you can easily remove Grandma's Chinese dresser from the attic, too.

Note that none of these suggestions involve hiring a contractor and spending a lot of money on a comprehensive renovation project that you wouldn't even be able to enjoy if you were selling your home. The real beauty of the old fashioned trend is that you can add and subtract easily. Best of all, you can take most of it with you to the next place, if you so choose.

Preserve the ancient architectural elements of your home

It's one thing to pull off the wall-to-wall jagged rugs that have been around since the 1970s. But if you have features like bay windows and curvy floors, keep them, says Vicki Barron, an associate real estate broker licensed at Compass in New York City. She says that if your home has "good bones" like these, they'll likely match the vintage vibe and architectural style of both the home and neighborhood—which will appeal to resale buyers.

The same goes for old kitchens that haven't been renovated in decades, Barron says. It's true that buyers like to update kitchens, but Barron explains that even homes with original metal cabinetry can find a buyer who likes this kind of thing.

This sentiment even applies to the pink kitchens of the post-war period. The latest Barbie-core trend celebrates all things rosy in fashion, and it's also been making waves in home décor.

And if they don't, they'd probably prefer the opportunity to uproot everything and re-do it the way they like, Barron says.

Telling the story of a house

“Residential real estate is an emotional process,” Barron says, and explains that when first-time buyers walk into a place, they may gravitate toward one feature or another without really understanding why—they just feel drawn to it.

Real estate agents may work in sales, but they also work in storytelling.

"You have to understand what's on the outside to compliment and respect what you're doing on the inside," says Barron, when it comes to decorating the home or, most importantly, organizing it for the best resale value. Remember working with sellers whose home was renovated and had nice furniture, but didn't mesh with the home's overall aesthetic.

"No one was answering her, because she didn't tell the right story," she says.

Barron has both antique and vintage decor and is known for helping clients organize their homes with key décor pieces that catch the attention of buyers. She says that while many of the items are there for staging purposes only, the look still "speaks" to buyers.

"They (sellers) end up getting a higher price for the property when it's done appropriately," Barron says.

Old trends and home resale value

If you're preparing to sell your home, you've probably heard that less is more when it comes to staging. While the trend has been toward neutral colors and décor so that buyers can visualize themselves in the space, Patton says that including vintage items "would absolutely help" the seller in attracting buyers, especially "if it's done frugally and in a nice way that stands out from the sea of ​​white houses."

"You don't want your home to look like a garage sale," says Patton.

Barron stresses that it's about organizing an appearance, not buying a catalog of vintage furnishings and accents' worth.

If you decide to go bold with color or wallpaper—another trend that's popping up again—Barron recommends not taking this look throughout the entire home. It's one thing if you enjoy it and intend to stay in your home for years to come. She explains that if resale is on the horizon, the trend or fashion may change.

It's a good reminder to homeowners: You are allowed to enjoy your home the way you want while you live in it.

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