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Updated: Jun 8, 2022

If you know me, you know that I'm a huge fan of vintage and repurposed items. I'm going to tell you WHY.

Vintage decor isn't for everyone. It's perfectly imperfect and has a lot of interesting wear and tear that comes with it. But more than that, it has a whole bunch of stories to bring with it. I personally love showcasing vintage items that are strange, unusual, or whimsical and humorous.

Patience is key. Spend your time enjoying hunting for vintage items, and it will never feel like a job.

Decorating with vintage art and items.

Here's what's so great about it. Your pieces are unique to you. Everyone else has the same candle holder from Winners (I have a monkey candle holder from Winners. So do thousands of other people.) One vintage brass spittoon will make a great plant holder. One small collection of vintage books will warm a tabletop or bookcase. There is a certain special worn and comfortable look that accompanies vintage items. Even if your aesthetic is sleek and tidy, one small amount of contrast added in will make the sleek, shiny things sing.


Sourcing vintage items.

Facebook Marketplace is a great local-to-you resource for sourcing vintage items without even having to leave your home.

There are lots of people out there that just have too much stuff, and they want it gone. I assure you, I'm one of those people. Alternately, I am also the same person that checks FB Marketplace on a daily basis for items that I definitely don't need, but I end up finding many that I want. Conundrum.

Another great place to source items is of course thrift shops. Value Village (politics aside) has always been a favorite of mine. Lots of different items to search through, from bedding to toys to decor to framed art. Don't hesitate to pop into a Goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul along your travels.

Garage sales? Yeah, stop at them. Especially there, there is an option to discuss pricing.

How do I know what to buy? Korinne's guide to sourcing vintage items.

Make sure you're not buying junk. Especially when it comes to furniture. If you're looking at a wood piece that you like, check to make sure it's fully intact, and that it's sturdy. Sometimes dining chairs are missing a rung, or sometimes a dresser is veneer, not solid wood. Take your time when you look at the pieces you are coveting. Dove tailed joinery is also indicative of a good, quality piece.

If you're a big fan of vintage bedding and quilts, open the whole piece and inspect it for holes or tears. I have absolutely gotten home to discover that I purchased a quilt that had a fairly egregious tear in it. If wool feels exceptionally thick, and looks lumpy, make sure you open the blanket as wool often gets accidentally shrunken in the wash. You can repurpose these blankets, but stretching wool is a fairly big task, so be cautious.

Look for cotton, wool, wool blends, and feel the item to gauge the quality. You can deck out a beautifully dressed bed in extremely high quality cotton sheets and a beautiful antique quilt for very little money, as long as you're patient.

Borax and bleach are fantastic for crisp white cotton sheets. Also, hang them outside in bright sunlight to dry! Sunlight also brightens whites naturally. Borax also removes mildew smells like magic.

In the image above, I recovered a chair with a vintage Witney Point blanket, the 1930 Hudson Bay Blanket that is on the bed was purchased for 6.99, the trunk is vintage, the star leaning on the wall was pulled off of an old house, the bedside table was a vintage find, the bed was 14.99, the dresser was a flea market find, and the rug under the foot of the bed is 100% wool, which I found for 20.00. The cotton Ralph Lauren plaid pillow cases were thrifted for 1.99, and the sheets on the bed were thrifted for under 15.00. Also 100% cotton.
This was a spare bedroom at our old home, and I enjoyed the game of determining how inexpensively I could decorate it.

Again, I stress, patience is key. Vintage collecting is an art, and it takes time.

Structural vintage items.

Last but not least, consider vintage items when renovating. There is a reason certain items have never gone out of style. A) they last forever and they're well built B) they're practical in a very throw-away and impractical society.

Mirrors, medicine cabinets, clawfoot tubs... they all can be easily repurposed or rejuvenated for your space. The craftsmanship is unparalleled in most structural vintage items.

My new primary bathroom in my home features a vintage tub, vintage handmade rug, and a thrifted shower curtain.

So, what are you after? What do you collect? How do you display your vintage items? Please share and flood me with your ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Updated: Jun 2, 2022

As much as you believe that you're prepared for your bathroom renovation, you're probably not.

I have done a bathroom reno or two. Chris has done FAR more than I have. It's his job, of course, but, combined, we have some experience under our belts. As much as you feel that it's your "typical" renovation, it really never is. In fact, I think there is always one new or unusual issue with each job.

Bathrooms have serious little hidden issues many times. They'll either have you ripping your hair out, or cussing up a storm if you're brave enough to attempt the DIY.

Tip #1 - Assume your DIY renovation is going to be the worst one ever.

Trust meeeeee. Assume that the person that worked on your bathroom last had no clue what they were doing. EVEN if it was professionally done. Things change, codes change, people have bad days, and sometimes they just flat out forget important aspects of the job. OR you are dealing with someone like the person that worked on our bathroom prior to us - and they'll cut through the roof rafters in order to install an insert that does not fit in the space they're putting it in. Does that mean you should cut out the roof rafters? No, never. But hey, it didn't stop ol' JD that used to own this house.

Tip #2 - Assume that it's going to take twice as long, and cost twice as much.

We are professionals and we design and build bathrooms for a living. It is a bit of a blessing for us to be able to source items, figure out cool ways to use things, and yes, save money. That may not be something that you will be able to take advantage of, but don't hesitate to look for ways to trim some costs from your budget. The minute you open up walls, change plumbing etc., the costs start to pile up. Bathrooms are not an inexpensive endeavor, but there are ways to offset your costs. Check out the image below. We found an antique clawfoot tub for 125.00 and used it in our renovation.

Bathrooms aren't something you can skimp on. Any room with plumbing is not going to be an easy DIY. Especially if you want to move the plumbing, or change the layout at all.

Tip #3 - Consider your timeline.

Ask yourself if you're prepared to be without a bathroom for two months. Do you have another bathroom to use? Where will you shower or bathe while your bathroom is taken apart? Once the shower and toilet are gone, you need a place to "go" and hopefully you've thought of that already.

Tip #4 - Know your codes and follow the rules.

Depending on where you live, there are rules and regulations that MUST be applied during the course of a bathroom remodel. Everything from electrical, cutting studs, waterlines... it's important that you are well informed so that your remodel is safe, your structure is sound, and your pipes are where they're supposed to be. As we discovered during our own remodel, some folks have no issue cutting studs out completely, or cutting THROUGH roof rafters. That's not even a rookie mistake, it's dangerous and wholly irresponsible.

Do you have trades lined up? If not, don't assume you can call an electrician to "stop by tomorrow". If you create a plumbing emergency, it's going to cost you dearly to have someone show up to fix a burst pipe or find the leak inside of the wall. Be prepared!

Tip #5 - Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start.

Don't assume in this post-pandemic world that you'll be able to walk into a store to purchase half of the things you'll need during your renovation. Imagine your bathroom is ripped apart, and you're desperately trying to get the gorgeous tile that spurred this bathroom reno in the first place? You'll either end up waiting outside of your comfort zone, or you'll end up settling on materials you do not want because you didn't plan ahead to get the materials you did want. Timing is everything.

Great design has a lot of moving parts. From beginning to end, it can be daunting, frustrating, time consuming, and certainly costly.

Don't hesitate to reach out if I can assist in some manner.

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I had a client recently reach out to ask me this, and it's such a great question. "I'm starting to have larger family dinners again, and I am updating my space... where should I start and what should I look for?"

(If you want your home to look like a model home, please stop reading, this isn't for you.) I find that vintage lovers, and repurposing fanatics tend to pop in here, so let's just address that.

Comfort before staging.

Listen, if you do a lot of entertaining, why do you want furniture that just looks nice, but feels awful to sit on? The short answer is, you don't. You want to ensure that not only you, but your guests, are comfortable, feeling welcomed to stay and chat just a little bit longer. The arm of the sofa wants to be leaned on. The throw pillows should not be scratchy.

When creating your own style, you want to consider these things, absolutely. Do you love having throw blankets? Keep them in an interesting old cracked crock pot that you love. I have a large floor cushion stuffed inside of a huge brass and cast iron bucket.

Find a gorgeous lush old brown leather sofa that has just the right amount of experience. Brown is a perfect neutral to work with and build an entire room around. Add some cream throw blankets made from different knits and materials. Your colours can come into play when adding amazing and interesting artwork that you've found in your travels.

If you're building a room, start with excellent foundation pieces. If you're patient, you'll find them popping up on Marketplace all the time. My advice? Be patient!

Next, you'll want to add in some supplemental seating. Maybe your bff doesn't want to sit right next to you, but across from you. Armchairs are practical, and can also be very comfortable. Just again, consider how you want to use your room, and how long you want someone to lounge. A chair like the one below isn't conducive to sitting sideways or lounging in while having a mimosa or two. Consider chairs with padded arms for your comfy spot. If you want your company to feel relaxed, soft surfaces always win.

This is more like what you want to have a guest sit in...

Deep, nice high back, soft and welcoming arms that can be leaned on (or curled up against). If you have pets and/or littles, consider a deeper colour or a slight pattern. Scotch guard, too.


Everyone wants a place to put their drink down, or to rest their plate in between bites. End tables and a nice sized coffee table are just what you need. I have personally used all kinds of things as end tables. One of my favorites was a 100 year old shipping crate with all kinds of town names stenciled on it. Whatever you do, just make sure you have a place for your guests to put their drinks and phones down!

As for a coffee table? My coffee table has been my steady table for over a decade through many types of decor. It is actually an old farmhouse table that I stripped the top of, and cut the legs off of! I have been in love with it for so long. What's also nice is that it's a great size for magazines, candles, and we even sit on the floor and sometimes eat dinner at it!

Again, have patience. If you love a vintage and lived in look that is comfortable, welcoming and perfectly "you", then be patient and be creative! Your dream pieces will come along.

Don't forget to anchor your space.

For many reasons, you should consider an area rug to anchor your space. I have another blog post here with lots of tips and things to consider when looking into a rug to pull your space together.

Don't forget that I'm on instagram here updating our journey with our Little Black Creek House and my efforts to reintroduce sustainable decor and character back into our little disastrous project!

Thanks for stopping by!

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