My favorite parents-in-law had a ton of old nautical maps from years spent boating on Cape Cod (back before seafarers had GPS!) and since I’m their favorite daughter-in-law (obviously 🙂 ) they gave them all to me when they moved. The maps are not old as in antiques, but they’re beat up and wrinkled and have weathered a few decades (and the Atlantic Ocean) and they are the actual tools Mark learned to navigate the sea with.
I cut this one of the Boston Harbor in half and the framed pieces grace the walls of our newly remodeled bathroom. They face each other on either side of the laundry doors.
The charts are neutral in color and rather quiet but I love how they compliment the Kelly Witmer print and all the newness of this space. You can see one half of it reflected in the oyster shell mirror.
The fact that it’s of Boston is so meaningful – my parents-in-law both grew up in different neighborhoods of the city, and my parents immigrated to Boston from Ireland in the late 50s-early 60s and were married in Lower Mills, which is on the map.
I used another even more weathered map of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket on the back of the TV armoire that I turned into a bar cabinet.
The maps I used are from the 70s but the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) widely sells them everywhere. I bought these same (new) nautical charts here to frame for clients using one of their favorite destinations. For vintage/antique maps check out eBay, but read the fine print carefully and know what you’re paying for because there are a lot of reproductions on there (which is fine as long as you’re not paying antique prices!)
FURNITURE WITH HISTORY
Even if all brand new furniture for every room is in your budget, adding something with a story or a past life makes a room feel collected and gives it personality!
A vintage rattan side table in our living room.
This old side table below had me with that pretty pull!
Old pieces are often fantastic candidates for a makeover!
One thing I really love about this table is that it’s evident that it has history. It was originally bought by a US soldier who was stationed in Germany and brought back to New Hampshire where it spent many years in the more formal dining room of a farmhouse with a growing family. The table is solid oak and opens to seat 12 comfortably. We use it for our breakfast, lunch, dinner, office space, homework, DIY projects, dinner parties, holidays and writing very long blog posts 🙂 365 days of the year. It’s the epicenter of our home and I LOVE it’s character and patina mixed with a new light and rug!
Like your precious crystal, fine glassware or china, vintage linens aren’t getting any younger sitting in a closet never used! Even with their imperfections I love old linens that have been passed down and have history.
A vintage Irish linen tablecloth we received for our wedding got eaten by moths, so I repurposed it to cover Hannah’s headboard. You can see more of this teen girl room here.
Vintage tablecloths that are beyond repair can also be made into cloth napkins or a runner!
Before I built our wall of bookcases I had a gallery of old black and white photos. It never ceases to amaze me how old photos can add so much charm and LOVE to a space!
This photo above is from my parents’ wedding album that lives in our family room shelves – hands down the best old item I have in my possession!
It is truly these kinds of things that make a house a home, don’t you agree?
I wrote a post a while back on how to retouch, reproduce and frame old photos to preserve the original – if you’re thinking about framing some of your own family photos be sure to read these tips first.
I hope you enjoyed these simple ways to mix old and new!
Knowing Pam, Jennifer, Kris and Melaine they are going to have a million fantastic ideas! Join me to pop over and visit them today!
and our guest host