24 February 2012

what does vintage really mean?

Design Sponge
Have you noticed that all things "vintage" is selling for a mint these days? But do we really use that term in the right way in every instance?  I know I throw the word vintage around without really thinking about it and it got me thinking: what is vintage, as opposed to antique? 

Mod Pieces
It's generally agreed that an antique is at least 100 years old or more. Think stoneware crocks and wing-back chairs. Think handmade, from real craftsman and artisans. 

Honeycomb Creative Co.
Vintage seems to be a little harder to pin down. Some sources claim anything between 20-80 years old qualifies. So I guess that awful heart-shaped pine step-stool that I toll-painted hunter green in 1992 is vintage? Ha! I don't think I'd get rich putting that on e-Bay! 

Vintage Seekers
I like the definition that Lucy Evans, co-founder of Vintage Seekers, gives: 

"To me, vintage means classic design with enduring appeal. It's what falls between antique and contemporary. A vintage piece is original, authentic and between 25-100 years old." (courtesy Living Etc.)

Schoolhouse Electric
  There are also different kinds of vintage, from farmhouse ( milk crates and baskets), to kitschy (bold groovy colours), to elegant (white linen tablecloths), to industrial (architectural salvage). 

Vintage Seekers
When I think about the kind of vintage I'm drawn to it's modern minimalist - pieces by mid-century modern designers that were mass produced and available to all. Classic and simple.

nest goodies
Then again, I might classify my '80s Strawberry Shortcake collection as priceless vintage! 

What does vintage mean to you?


  1. Great topic. I never really knew the meaning of vintage myself though I see it all the time to describe things.
    I can still remember what that strawberry shortcake doll smelled like so many years ago. Definitely vintage:)

  2. THat's a terrific question to consider. I also never really thought about the different "types" of vintage stuff that's out there, but there are so many. Have a great weekend!

  3. It's a good conversation - I'm much pickier about the use of "antique" rather than "vintage", mostly because it annoys me to no end when I'm looking for something truly antique and someone has just thrown the word into the title of whatever they're selling to catch more page views.

  4. Love that school house electric image! The bed, the art, love it all!

  5. It's a tough one I think. I do agree that it's somewhere between antique and contemporary. That Strawberry Shortcake doll brings back memories but for me, when I run across a Holly Hobby I'm instantly transported back in time:)

  6. I do love all things vintage (within reason)! Things from childhood memories, things that are made well, that reflect good design. Everyone has things that speak to them from the past - embrace them and collect them for it's those unique things that make our homes meaningful and unique.
    Happy to be a new follower

  7. I guess that makes me vintage??? Hard to say but I think that term is loosely defined! I am with Carol though, Holly Hobby all the way along with a Bionic Women Barbie doll!

  8. First of all...at 46 I'm vintage! I never knew my love of old stuff would catch on one day. I have been picking up "junk" for 25 years, some I kept, some I wish I had kept. Love reading your posts, Lori


I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for making my day!