Welcome to my Vintage Heart Home
There are so many things that make a house a home, but what makes a Vintage Heart Home? I’ve been thinking long and hard about those decorating elements that recur and that I use time and time again to give my home the look that it has. Being a small cottage means that not every look will suit my home, and over time I’ve learned what will and won’t work.
My look is predominantly Country but with touches of Vintage Farmhouse, Danish and Nordic style thrown in… I just play about with things until they look right – and things do move about a lot in my home… often! It’s what drives my boys mad on an almost daily basis… but they’ve learned to live with it 😉
So here are the ten Country-style staples that go into creating my Vintage Heart Home.
1. A Country Style Dresser
It’s no secret how much I love a Country Dresser… For me it is the embodiment of a Country-style home and can be functional or pretty – being used for purely decorative purposes or as an essential item of storage. In any home however large or small, having somewhere to store kitchen items that get used seasonally or only occasionally (like large platters or serving dishes) shouldn’t be underestimated.
I use mine for both – my dining room dresser shelves are full of all my prettier display pieces while below I keep a lot of my cake stands and special serving bowls that I use for parties or at Christmas time. It’s the same with my living room dresser – all lovely decorative pieces up top…and all my filing, paperwork and other uglies I want hidden – in the bottom.
2. Beautiful Flowers and Foliage
Whenever I’ve not had time to buy flowers in the week, my home always seems like a sad shadow of its former self; flowers always seem to breathe life and beauty into a home – whether it’s a small arrangement of pale pink or white tulips (my personal favourites 😊) or a jug of Fresh, fragrant Eucalyptus.
My home always looks its best when there are flowers on display and in the Spring/summer when the garden is in bloom I’ll often pick bluebells or Lavender to display in a couple of smaller vases or glass jars that I have. Never underestimate the beauty of faux flowers and foliage; there are such beautiful, lifelike arrangements and wreaths around at the moment – I always have a few on display on shelves or next to photo frames.
3. A Country style bench or Settle
My Cottage is full of smaller pieces of furniture like this which are really versatile and can be moved from room to room or used to store stuff when needed. I have two of these in my home – a wooden settle in the tiniest hallway EVER… all our winter scarves, gloves and hats are kept in here till Autumn comes back around again – and a cream, wrought iron bench that sits next to my dining room Dresser. This gets pulled out and positioned at the end of my farmhouse table and benches when the house is fuller than usual. I often dream about owning a beautifully painted Gustavian bench… which is exactly that, a dream… unless I ever move to a much bigger house… 😯
4. A Country style clock…
If I had to name 3 things that I would hypothetically save from my home (other than my family…) if terrible disaster were about to strike, then THIS clock would be one of them..! The O.H always points out that it doesn’t work (Ha – when was that ever a priority). In my book, if it looks good, it’s staying!
But there are so many Vintage style timepieces (other than a Swedish Mora – style clock) that give a home this type of Country look… a large Station clock is always a good shape to go for, like the one on the wall in my living room or on a smaller scale there are lots to choose from. Either keep it pastel or go metallic for a more modern country and slightly industrial feel.
5. A Country noticeboard
We all lead such busy lives now (with far too many ‘tabs’ open in our brains at any given time!) and for most of us our phones, tablets and other devices help us keep track of where we should be and when. But for good old fashioned charm I don’t think you can beat a Country style memo board or noticeboard. So many of the invitations we get now are either handcrafted or so pretty that the LAST thing I want to do is shut them away in a drawer… (and with my memory, if I did that, I’d forget I had an event to go to 😕)
6. A Country- style storage chest
I don’t think my home could function without these workhorses of the furniture world… 😊 Mine have been with me for years, moving with me from a detached farmhouse, to a former Vicarage, and now to here. I store everything in them, from paperwork to DVD’s, and old photos. This is also where I store a lot of my home accessories in rotation, just waiting for the right season so they can be put out on display again 😊.
My favourite’s were bought from Battlesbridge Antiques centre in Essex and I’ve had to Chalk paint the one in my living room as it was so well loved… but I also own a large rattan one from Ikea. A good place to go for painted chests is somewhere like Dunelm, or there are some lovely linen- look fabric options available at Wilko.
7. Bring the wildlife in…
One surefire way of bringing a Country feel into your home is by filling it with reminders of our beautiful British wildlife; think Artwork, cushions and beautiful ornaments of hares, cattle, pheasants and deer. I love to decorate with Ornamental Dovecotes and birdhouses – they always look so pretty and are easy to find in the grey and white palette I love. Stags are a particular favourite of mine – for Christmas this year I hung a stone stag’s head on my dresser and loved it so much it’s staying 😊 There are so many brilliant sources for this both on the High street and on Instagram. Shops like Next home have embraced this country wildlife look and on Instagram, Steph @the_country_shed sells beautiful artwork and other pieces that showcase the best of British wildlife.
8. Love letters…AKA Country signs, words and Calligraphy prints
All of my life I have loved the written word. I was a total bookworm as a child, wrote endless stories as I got older…and now this. So it’s only natural I would want to look around my home and to see this love affair with words represented…’Love’ and ‘Home’ are a recurring theme…and anyone wandering around my home at Christmas time often asks ‘Who’s Leon…?’, as this is what the male contingent of my household class as ‘fun’ at this time of year…seeing what words can be made from all of the freestanding letters around my house 😩 (it’s NOEL spelt backwards, if you were wondering…).
My latest love in this category are Vintage and Farmhouse style Calligraphy prints. Go for a custom design or saying to make them personal to you or your family.
9. Lanterns and Candleholders…
My Cottage (or ‘Lantern World’ as my O.H affectionately calls it) is awash with, yes you’ve guessed it – lanterns. The exact amount thereof escapes me but I’m reliably informed that there are too many (whatever ‘too many’ might constitute in the mind of your average British male). I love lanterns and it is the one thing that I purchase so regularly as to almost be classed as an addiction. It’s the one item you can buy that will lend your home instant country style – think metal or wood – and whitewashed in a country palette of white, cream or grey. Storm lanterns, candle and tea light holders of every description also come under this category. There is no better ambience than that created by lighting the fire and all my lanterns on a cold winters night.
10. The Country Heart
My lovely friends, how could I ever conclude a roundup of things that every Country style home should have (and especially with Valentine’s Day just around the corner) without this? Every home should have a heart – be it wicker, wooden or made from a Vintage map… it’s just that mine happens to have quite a few. It’s a shape that I don’t think I’ll ever tire of. Just when I think I’ve seen them in every guise possible, there’s a new twist on the familiar, and off I go… falling in love with them all over again. Just like the real love of my life.
Have a Happy Valentines Day everyone.
Lots of love,