How to make a house a home with vintage or handmade pieces - Maison Flâneur
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How to make a house a home with vintage or handmade pieces

Pinterest and mass-produced furniture means that a lot of homes lack the character they did in earlier decades. But home should be where your heart is, not anyone else’s – a space that looks like every trending Pinterest pin just won’t feel as cosy or inviting. When you shop vintage or handmade, each piece you pick up will have a story to tell – meaning it’s one of the easiest ways to inject character and charm into a room.

Look in the right place

If you want to add more authentic vintage pieces of furniture to your home but don’t know where to start, the first rule of thumb is to make sure you’re looking in the right place – if you have the time, visit antiques dealers, flea markets or vintage fairs. But you can get really great antiques online too – just be sure to do your research. Just because something is described as ‘vintage’ doesn’t mean it’s an authentic antique. If there’s more than a few in the same style available, that’s a good indicator that ‘vintage’ is just referring to the look, not the era it was produced in. 

Wear and Tear

Another thing to look for when you’re shopping for a real vintage gem is wear and tear – if it’s truly an older piece, it’ll have been put through its paces! Wooden vintage furniture will have other giveaways too, like the use of multiple different types of wood, and dovetailing – signs of hand-craftsmanship as opposed to mass production. You should also look for stickers and labels – early furniture makers, like artists, would date their pieces and add their name, and you’ll usually find these on the underneath of the piece.

Mix and Match

If you’re on a tighter budget, you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds on an original Eames chair to create a unique space. Look instead for handmade or small-batch furnishings – they’ve got just as much character, helping you to create the anti-cookiecutter look at a more affordable price. Then, you can use smaller vintage pieces to bring charm to your existing high street furniture – a vintage table lamp or vintage ashtray goes a long way.

Vintage chairs from Pierre Chapo (found at Le Pigalle Hotel)

Pierre Chapo Wood and Leather Chair S24

Pierre Chapo Wood and Leather Chair S24

Le Pigalle £979

Pierre Chapo’s design have been heavily inspired by works from from the Bauhaus period and designers like le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. By studying his pieces one thing clearly stands out: his focus on details, craftsmanship and the relatively bulky and rigid shapes used in his furniture. Pierre Chapo is widely considered as one of the most recognized designers from the French Modernist period.

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This season, we’re seeing a really big push towards sustainability in interiors, so vintage and recycled pieces are really on-trend, along with natural materials like stone and wood. We’re also loving the global influence that’s big at the moment, things like bold prints, patterned weaves, and patchwork. Places like Morocco are home to lots of artisans handcrafting one-off or small batch pieces, so look for brands sourcing a lot of their pieces there to be sure you’re getting something authentic. And as with every autumn/winter season, jewel tones are in too, in particular rich greens and lighter shades like sage and olive.

Moroccan vintage handmade pieces (sourced in the souks of Marrakech)

Vintage unique Moroccan rugs from le Riad Yasmine (also sourced in the souks)

Unique handmade to order bamboo chairs made by an NGO in Malawi, to promote local and sustainable crafts: 

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