The objects we collect and display in our homes are more than just decor. Finding that next piece for a collection is a treasure hunt… inventing a way to display the collection is an art… and what we use to add personality to our homes can help explain who we are without words. What you decorate your walls with can speak volumes about you — what’s your style, how sentimental you are, your sense of humor even the extent of your imagination. That’s why I had so much fun looking through the 249 uploaded photos of vintage are and wall decor in readers’ homes — and getting to “know” some of you a bit better! Going through all the pictures, I was able to come up with six different categories of ways to collect and display vintage wall decor — perhaps there’s just the idea here for the little wall space in your house that “needs something”. Read on –>
My six categories:
1. Sentimental wall art
If you’ve read the posts I’ve written on my personal blog documenting the cool retro stuff my Mom gave me, you knows that I’m a sentimental type. So of course I thought it was cool to see so many readers proudly displaying wall art that was made by or given to them by beloved family members. Above: An original painting by a reader’s grandfather, circa 1960.
2. Collections as wall art
I’m a huge fan of retro collections — especially when they are nicely displayed. There’s just something about a grouping of like objects all lined up in tidy, pretty rows or arrangements that is exciting and fun to look at.
Above: Reader Rhonda has been collecting vintage advertising keychains from the 50s and 60s — and many other types of keychains — since she was 13 — impressive! She’s been displaying some on the wall and keeps the remainder of her collection in a vintage dental cabinet.
3. Making a style statement with vintage wall art
If your style is anything from mid century modern to vintage kitsch, a wide range of vintage wall art can be found in thrift stores and estate sales. A great piece of art or a grouping of smaller pieces can be just what is needed to elevate the decor in your space.
4. Using unexpected objects as wall art
Sometimes the most unexpected art pieces are the objects that weren’t initially meant to hang on a wall. Making wall art out of things that were never intended to be displayed as decoration can help make your room memorable.
Above: Reader Michael scored an amazing vintage Kroehler Furniture Do-It-Yourself Decorating Aid Kit at an auction. They rotate to change the style and color of the furniture in the room, how’s that for interactive? The best part is that Michael decided to display them in his rec room as wall art — which is imaginative and unexpected.
5. Using cooking and serving pieces for wall art
Everyday kitchen objects, such as pans, plates, trays, salt and pepper shakers can be used as accessible art in the kitchen. Making decorative displays for your kitchen collectibles can do double duty — storage and decoration.
Above: Scott’s collection of copper cookware makes for a sparkly bit of wall art. I’ve thought about hanging some copper jello molds on the soffits in my kitchen, this lovely arrangement is making me want to start collecting them for my house.
Above: This reader’s collection of thrift store plates is artfully arranged on her kitchen wall. The variation in color, size and shape work well with the texture of her painted white knotty pine walls (which she assures us were painted by the previous owner).
6. Making unifying themes with color or content
Diverse collections or tastes can be made to feel unified by repeating elements — color, shapes or content — to help mix styles and create a unified look.
No matter what type of wall art or collection you choose to display in your space, adding vintage pieces can really up the wow factor — injecting that bit of uniqueness that just isn’t found in today’s off-the-shelf art and decoration.