Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Vintage Means to Me

There is actually quite a debate on the web about the definition of vintage. It can be defined as anything that is outmoded. Others describe vintage items as once outmoded but now back in style. Still others say it means anything less than 100 years old (anything over is considered antique), while others say an item has to be more than 50 but less than 100 years old to be vintage. Aaack!

Well, as a lover of vintage things, I have my own definition. Vintage means more to me than just age. I define a vintage item as anything that is from the past that inspires feelings of nostalgia, familial connection, and/or creativity. Tada! That is my working definition for the day.

Now, the photos above and below are of a special vignette in my home that highlight several vintage (by my definition) pieces. They each inspire a memory and/or connection to a loved one. Let me tell you why...

The dresser: This dresser was picked up by my mother and grandmother at an estate sale when I was a child. They painted it green and gave it an antique finish. (They also did a bed to match.) This has served as my dresser throughout my entire lifetime. As I grew older, I decided I wanted to refinish the piece. My dad and I worked on the dresser together for hours. So many fond memories!

The jewelry box: The jewelry box was hand-crafted by my great uncle for my mother when she was a girl. She used it for many years and then passed it on to me. I cherish it greatly!

The lamp: Now the lamp is from the late 80s or early 90s. It was a Christmas gift from my grandfather on my dad's side. It was initially a grey-blue color with a brassy base and a pleated lampshade. At some point, it received a coat of creamy paint and a new lampshade from Target. Vintage? You decide!

The ballerina: The ballerina figure is actually an AVON cologne decanter. It is the last remaining piece of a collection that my grandmother started for me when I was young. I was never a dancer, but this piece was always beautiful to me in a feminine and elegant way.

The couples figures: These are not "old" by any means, but they are gifts from my husband and are very special to me. In that sense, they have a vintage feeling about them.

The mirror: The mirror is clearly vintage in age. I picked it up recently at an occasional sale in Carver, MN. It works perfectly in that spot!

So, what does vintage mean to you?


Denise Elizabeth -HopeTreeStudio- said...

Funny Love your definition of Vintage! Vintage to me anything is anything chippy, rusty recycled, repurposed falling apart treasure from the past. Great post! Denise

Melody said...

Since I'm old now, and it seems a vintage peice from the 60's, I always thought anything that was over 25 years old is vintage. Even some makes of cars at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions follow this rule...imput from auto tech hubby:)....but, I think anything from the 70's back to the 30's are vintage, anything 80's to date is modern. Anything dated before 1930 is an antique. See there is also a method to my thinking...I will not be antique.

trash talk said...

Ok, I guess I qualify as vintage! I love that jewelry box. Debbie

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Excellent post. I have always considered vintage at least 30 years old and antique, a 100 yrs. old. But now I am hearing lately vintage as 20 yrs. old. But I like your description the best. It's right on!! And like Debbie, I quality as vintage. LOL.... It really shakes me up to go to antique shops and see my kids baby toys for sale. :)

Joy said...

I'd say when I think of vintage I'm thinking of a couple of generations ago or so.

Debbi said...

Thanks for sharing this, obviously everyone has a different opinion of "vintage"! But if I love the piece, it just doesn't matter to me anyway!

Margaret Cloud said...

I am with you, I think vintage is things from the past, it sparks a memory of who might of owned it and what they did with the things. Have a great weekend.