Get vintage pretty with Sarah Moore’s guide to revamping second-hand finds
Turning the pages of Vintage Home is like opening the door of a (very pretty) house where, with a bit of ingenuity and Sarah Moore’s expert tips, you could live too. It’s a super-pretty book with a vintage-inspired illustration on every pale pink (or pale blue, or polka-dot) page, and it’s also stuffed full of a purse-friendly 50+ ingenious ideas for upcycling vintage finds.
The author of Homemade Gifts Vintage Style and owner of old-fashioned pretties emporium, sarahmoorevintage.com, Moore’s ethos is about recycling, revamping and rejuvenating second-hand finds, whether on a big scale (“you can decorate your entire home at a fraction of the cost of buying things new”, she says) or simply making paper chains from old wallpaper.
Vintage style can be simple, accessible and easily slotted into modern homes
First of all she advises on the best ways to find your goodies, including fairs, markets, auction houses, online and even in skips. She also advises on what not to buy: pretty but nasty synthetic fabrics, oh-so-cute wallpaper that just won’t unroll, that entrance-to-Narnia wardrobe which won’t fit through your bedroom door.
Then come the projects. In the Pretty & Practical chapter, there are storage solutions such as granny-style hanger covers; Child’s Play has ideas for kidlets including a cupboard-turned-doll’s house; and the Decoration chapter advises on upcycling furniture and painting floors. There are also projects for the kitchen, such as flowerpot loaves and crochet-edged napkins; and for the bedroom, stripey bolster cushions and a rainbow pebble mat made from recycled woollen blankets. Lastly there are decoration ideas for Christmas and other hols.
Avoid buying that entrance-to-Narnia wardrobe which won’t fit through your bedroom door
This is the sort of book to keep by the bed for last-thing-at-night dreams of a house with patchwork quilts and hand-printed wallpapers. It has also had a lot of care lavished on its design – it’s crammed with beautifully styled photographs and careful details such as a rose-pink ribbon bookmark and textile feel to the cover.
But while Moore’s aesthetic brings to mind country cottages and Enid Blyton adventures, she also makes it clear that vintage style can be simple, accessible and easily slotted into modern homes, whether it’s lining your shelves or decorating your files with scraps of fabrics, old stamps or recycled maps.
Some of the projects may be a little whimsical – the chandelier made from teacups and wire looks like a smashing catastrophe waiting to happen – but pretty much every one is make-right-now gorgeous and genuinely inexpensive. The projects are also clearly laid out, and include Sarah’s thoughtful commentary on the provenance of her finds, and the best way to replicate her look.
Vintage Home is a real treat, and we’ll definitely be making the salt dough decorations for Christmas, while that tatty old lampshade better watch out, the hot pink dip-dye is coming…