Sprucing Up Your Vintage Home

Sprucing Up Your Vintage Home

You want to enjoy your home and savor your space, but living with the same interior décor year after year can feel boring. Furniture you once adored can seem tired; decorations may get dull.

Yet if you have surrounded yourself with antiques and cherished vintage items, you do not want to get rid of them. Chances are, you still love what you have. Here are three ways to unlock their magic again.


One key to cleaning antiques is to start with the gentlest methods and increase your efforts if necessary. Begin with a dusting cloth and vacuum.

Dull wood finishes can often be brought back to life with a quality beeswax polish. Use more elbow grease than polish, and wipe off all remnants of wax so the wood will not attract excess dirt and grime. Metals may require soft brushing, but avoid chemical cleaners; even specially formulated products may remove gilded finishes. Remember that imperfections in the patina add character.

Repair, Restore Or Refinish

Old, hand-built pieces can be treasures, but even the sturdiest furniture sometimes needs help. You may wish to restore your piece or refinish it.

When it comes to heirlooms, restoration is usually best. Restoring an item involves repairing structural issues so that it remains usable, and fixing small cosmetic imperfections sparingly. The goal is to get it as close to its original condition as possible. It should still look old and tell the “story” of its life.


Refinishing refers to stripping the item completely and applying new finishes. Wood is sanded to a smooth, bare surface with no blemishes; upholstery is redone with modern fabrics. The goal is to transform the item so that it looks updated and new.

Many items become useless if they are not repaired properly. For example, rugs can take a beating, from spills, pets and traffic patterns. You can arrange furniture to cover bald spots, but the rug may continue to deteriorate. For tears, holes and burns, find someone experienced in rug repair Atlanta GA. The earlier you act, the better.


When everything is in good shape, you may fall love with your space again. The gleaming wood and rich upholstery may be improvement enough.

If that is not the case, try different furniture configurations. Move pieces from room to room, or group items differently within a room. Sometimes a pop of color can transform a dull area. A set of curtains or throw pillows may brighten the space, and you can never go wrong with potted plants and a vase of fresh flowers.