House Tour: Vintage Finds in a Smooth Southern Style

 Nothing feels better than finding an incredible piece at a steal, but how to do you combine your new favorite antique with your home’s decor? Take a tour of these stylish rooms, filled with flea market finds, for great ideas on how to display your own vintage treasures.

Blending rich and rustic, old and new results in beautiful and interesting spaces. In this room, old doors, an antique rug, lamp and column are accented with new pillows and natural elements. Freshen up any room quickly by covering sofas and chairs with simple slipcovers.

 Susan Ellison is no stranger to hospitality. Her easy, laid-back charm was cultivated as a child amidst the natural beauty and graceful ways she found growing up in the Deep South. Childhood games included playing store where she was “always the proprietor and merchandising my goods,” she recalls. She started collecting as a teenager, and when people began asking to buy things, she found herself in retail. “Although there may be some things I could never part with, I realized there was more out there, and the hunt was always the most fun part—even more than the possession,” she says. Today she discovers treasures to share at her home-furnishings and fine-bedding shop, Blue Springs Alabama. 

An 1870s weathervane takes folk art to high style on an antique table still sporting its original paint. Don't be afraid to mix high- and low-style items. Mixing things up will keep your rooms interesting.

 Not surprisingly, her home is filled with attractive arrangements of favorite finds she has gathered throughout the years. “My house is definitely eclectic. I don’t think I have a certain style.” Weathered pieces create a timeless ambiance throughout the home. “My passion for old things has always been with me. Items can be new, but I want them to look like they have been around and enjoyed for awhile,” she says. “I think I was born loving old things.” 

If you prefer uncluttered spaces, keep your collections organized behind doors. This 1870s cupboard holds antique stoneware and glassware.

 One of her decorating favorites is old painted cupboards, also called tall sideboards, or hutches. “The focal point in households of the past, cupboards are interesting to me,” she says. Susan has three large antique cupboards in her bedroom and others throughout her home. “They hold so many different things, from clothes to food,” she says. Architectural and found objects add interest, too. “Some of my favorite things would be no value to someone else, but I love old paint, old weathered wood and old metal,” she says. 

Create vignettes with your favorite finds to infuse spaces with warmth and style. Worn, weathered pieces add character to a space.

 While she utilizes timeworn pieces to great effect, Susan’s eye for displaying her items and arranging furnishings keeps her home from feeling like a museum. One way she achieves this is by updating favorite furnishings. “I keep reinventing some of the older pieces that I have had for years,” Susan says. Fresh slipcovers update a Chippendale sofa. New paint on old chairs make them pop. She easily gives favorite lamps a new lease on life by replacing the style of their shades. “I just changed the shades in the living room from linen to a light-colored burlap that gives them a more updated look,” she says. “Changing rugs, or adding a new rug, can freshen an outdated room, too.” 

The weathered texture on this country table mixes well with modern chairs made from reclaimed wood. Changing lampshades is an easy way to update favorite lamps and freshen up a space.

 Rearranging furniture regularly keeps the look fresh. “It’s recreation to me. Finding a new spot for an old piece can be like getting something new,” Susan says. By Hillary BlackPhotography by Mark TannerStyled by Jacqueline deMontravel

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