I have quite a collection of interior decorating books taking up space on our shelves. As much as I love my blogs, there’s simply nothing quite like flipping through the many pages of beautifully styled, artfully arranged and expertly photographed inspirational images they provide.
Unfortunately, some do occasionally fall short of my expectations, namely that very little in the way of actual context (or content) is provided despite the high prices these volumes often command. If you, like me, enjoy a little actual reading matter in an interiors book and not just a sequence of highly creative but seemingly unrealistic ideas, then Judith Wilson’s The Vintage Home might be a book you’d enjoy. While there’s a heap of design books dealing with the currently trendy vintage style movement, this one has more depth than many other books on the subject.
Ms. Wilson has contributed to the usual heavy hitters in the shelter magazine world (Living etc. and Homes & Gardens among them), but more important than her credentials is her ability to accessibly analyse the various sub-styles that are often all lumped into the “vintage style” category. Country vintage, boudoir vintage, retro vintage, and urban vintage are the main streams illustrated in the book, along with tips that allow you to piece together the looks on your own and make your vintage furniture hunt more focused. Wilson doesn’t stop at giving you an idea of the type of furniture you could look for, but also gives useful advice on choosing textiles, accessories, flooring, and wall colours. Not just living rooms and bedrooms are examined through the vintage lens, but kitchens and bathrooms too, including tips on how to source things like vintage bathroom fixtures or kitchenalia.
The interiors featured display a great mixture of styles and objects, from rustic to modern. Yes, the ubiquitous (and beautiful) Saarinen table makes an appearance, but there are plenty of ideas here that could be replicated in anyone’s home even without the budget for vintage design classics.