Reinventing Traditions: 4 Essential Vintage Items to Jazz Up Your Modern Home

huge-oversized-chandelier-decorating-ideasPhoto: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Great design is timeless. This means that even if you’re dead-set on creating a home filled with the latest high-tech gadgets, you can still decorate it with vintage pieces. And this doesn’t mean purchasing antiques. Here are four vintage items (and their modern reproductions) that are great for dressing up your house without looking dated!

Hand-blown Glass Chandeliers


The mere mention of the word chandelier evokes visions of a ball in the grand hall of a palace, with royalty and noble families waltzing to music. This perception isn’t entirely wrong, as the art of creating glass manually reached its peak during the medieval ages and then Renaissance. Hence, people can be forgiven if they think that a hand-blown glass chandelier isn’t suitable for their modern home.

However, this is not the case. Since each of these intricate lighting fixtures are made to order, clients can have a more contemporary piece made to suit their home’s minimalist or modern aesthetic. In fact, there are many hand-blown glass chandeliers nowadays that have streamlined designs. Clients can also order these pieces in the colors of their liking.

A Kodekama Plant

Photo: Gergely Hideg

Indoor plants have always found a space in most homes. However, simply sticking a generic shrub or fern in the corner of your home won’t cut it. So why not try a unique take on the bonsai tree—a kodekama?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#fa116b” class=”” size=””]Literally meaning “moss ball” in Japanese, a kodekama is simply a type of bonsai tree or plant that grows from a ball of soil and moss—instead of a pot. As such, many of these plant balls are hung from a string to create hanging gardens. It can be also used as a coffee table centerpiece, with the kodekama placed on a plate instead of a pot. Definitely makes a great conversation starter, doesn’t it?[/perfectpullquote]

The Grand Comfort Armchair

grand-comfort-chair-modern-steel-frame-decorating-black-leatherPhoto: Guggenheim Bilbao

Designed by three legends of design—Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand—this was a modern take on the traditional club chair. And by modern, we mean the early 20th century art movement; the chair itself was designed in 1928.

Photo: Thirdstone Inc.

With its cube shape, steel frame, and leather or fabric upholstery, this classic piece of furniture (or its many imitations) is still found in many contemporary living rooms. In fact, this chair was on the stage when Steve Jobs was presenting the first iPad back in 2010.

A Vintage Mirror

gold-vintage-mirror-bathroom-decorating-ideasPhoto: Sara Tuttle Interiors

While clean lines may define the modern aesthetic, having too much of them can be boring at times. To break the monotony of this design, hang up a large, vintage mirror in your living room. Not only will the mirror help create the illusion of added space. Its ornate frame can be also a refreshing break from the abundance of straight lines. To top it off, these aren’t expensive—you can easily find these pieces for a few bucks at a garage sale or flea market; just repaint the frame to make it look less worn.

These four items are just some of the things you can add to spruce up your home. Do you have any other things to add to this list?