8 Vintage Pieces Used in Unexpected & Brilliant Ways

published Jul 12, 2017
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(Image credit: Design*Sponge)

I’m a big fan of vintage furniture: well-made and well-loved, the right piece can add a focal point to any space. But keeping in mind the old adage of having nothing in your home that isn’t beautiful or useful, you want to be sure that you aren’t just adding vintage pieces for the sake of them being, well, old. Check out the following for examples of vintage being brilliantly repurposed, reused, or just given the right surroundings.

(Image credit: Simply Grove)

The vintage cabinet as bathroom vanity has been trending for a few years now, but I’m not tired of it yet. Mid-century design works especially well in the bathroom, thanks to its sleek lines and likelihood to be made of teak (one of the most naturally water-resistant woods). The vanity above was designed by Simply Grove, and found via SF Girl by Bay.

(Image credit: Design*Sponge)

The same idea works in the kitchen, too. In this Oysterville, Washington, home featured on Design*Sponge, a vintage sideboard forms a sink that looks right at home among the country style units.

(Image credit: Bo Bedre)

But in my personal opinion, vintage really shines when it’s set in contrast to more modern pieces. In this spare Icelandic kitchen, featured on Bo Bedre and found via Nordic Design, old document drawers form an eye-catching (and actually quite useful) bespoke island.

(Image credit: Fantastic Frank)

Vintage doesn’t need to be repurposed to look fresh and new. I’m fairly certain the upper cabinet doors in this Swedish kitchen, found via Fantastic Frank, are original 1950s joinery (my childhood home used to have the same ones). By pairing them with a modern, bespoke version on the lower cabinets, this kitchen melds old and new seamlessly.

(Image credit: micasa)

I’m fairly certain I’ve shared this gorgeous dining room, from micasa via SF Girl by Bay, before—I just love it. And while yes, the room itself reads traditional, the tiles vaguely vintage and the chairs definitely mid-century, all together they serve as a contemporary backdrop to that drop-dead-gorgeous antique dining table. Proving that even among their own kind, vintage pieces can still steal the show.

(Image credit: House & Garden)

For me, this room from House & Garden is all about the contrast between that vintage chandelier and those ultra-modern, barely-there coffee tables. Both glass, both visually light, but utterly different. If you have something vintage that you want to make a feature of, consider finding it a modern counterpart to play against.

(Image credit: Ideal Home)

In Jamie Theakston’s London home (from Ideal Home), it’s the grouping of vintage art—all portraits of women, all colorful—that is the focus in the living room. Reading as one large piece, the collection draws the eye in the otherwise monochrome, mid-century space.

(Image credit: Thomas Mayer)

And finally, how’s this for cool? Dutch architect Piet Hein Eek created a wall entirely panelled in whitewashed vintage doors in this lobby to a residential building (from Azure Magazine via Poppytalk; photos Thomas Mayer). On a smaller scale, I think this could also work with window frames, maybe in a dining room?