What is it about old stuff that we are so attracted to? For me it is the thrill of the chase, finding a diamond in a old pile of what someone else might consider junk. It reminds us of our history. It is a strange feeling when you come across something in a vintage shop that your parents or grandparents may have had. It makes you reassess items that you took for granted or maybe even disliked because they were a little worn, chipped or torn (smelly even!).
Perfect example. If you told me back in the 1980's (my high school years) that I'd be coveting old test tube stands one day and using them to display floral arrangements I would not have believed you. But there you have it. These are simply too cool for school no? And I love the botanical specimen feel about this; again referencing old ideas. This is an etsy find, they do ship around the world though. Here for more.
on etsy, click for details
For me, decorating with random old finds is creative expression at its best. I am more interested in the small details like old jars, shoe lasts and cotton reels than i am in the couch, the rug or the dining table. The fun extends equally well into the children's rooms. These are old flash cards which have been cut up and strung together to make a bunting. The typefaces found on old school supplies are fabulous.
Martine Booth of Vintage Prints (yes a Mag Square retailer), has created an entire business around putting to good use, old papers. Who'd of guessed the old Jacaranda atlas with dog eared pages could reinvent itself with such style!
image by little bird photography
I also LOVE vintage ephemera and thanks to a digital age these old bits of paper, tickets, receipts et al can exist in perpetuity (in cyberspace anyway). I love this curated collection on flickr called instant ancestors - view the slide show here.