Something old, something new

Patchwork wallpaper project, featured in Vintage Home by Sarah Moore. Photography by Debi Treloar.
Patchwork wallpaper project, featured in Vintage Home by Sarah Moore. Photography by Debi Treloar.

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If you’re secretly yearning to give your home a charming new look, it’s time to hark back to the past.

Remnants of vintage fabrics, old wallpapers, a little imagination and some basic craft skills are all that’s needed to conjure the fashionable atmosphere of a bygone age, according to vintage expert Sarah Moore.

Her new book, Vintage Home, is packed with 50 handmade projects, from furniture to decorating.

All the essentials can be cheaply found in places like charity shops, car boot sales, flea markets, house clearances and reclamation yards.

‘As you build your collection of thrifty and gorgeous vintage finds, you can customise them and decorate your entire home at a fraction of the cost of buying things new,’ she says.

‘Slot a little bit of vintage into your home, or fill it with retro finds.

‘You can get a huge amount of pleasure from finding just the right materials to add colour, character and individuality.’

Moore has plenty of tips for vintage style.

Recycle vintage fabrics and use them to make curtains, duvet and cushion covers, or for jazzy details like a new ironing board cover or towel edging, she suggests.

She advises choosing strong materials and washing them in a colour-kind detergent, then ironing them before use.

‘Mix and match old fabrics with new. Striped ticking, dyed linen and calico sit really well alongside old fabrics,’ she says.

‘Use them for linings, which will then allow your vintage finds to go twice as far.’

Simple beanbags offer a great way of using up smaller pieces of fabric.

You could make parts of the cover out of simple patchwork panels, too, says Moore.

Make the bottom panel out of a hard-wearing fabric so it can withstand wear and tear, she advises.

Rolls of old wallpaper can work wonders pasted onto the interiors of cupboards, or to decorate the risers of wooden stairs, says Moore.

‘I have a passion for old wallpapers, from the tiniest scraps which can be made into a patchwork for walls, to the Holy Grail of wallpaper finds – rolls and rolls of one pattern of genuine vintage paper.’

Old wallpaper used to be rolled with the pattern on the inside, and required trimming before use, so there’s a high chance you have a vintage find if you spot those signs.

If you can’t face the toil, buy a few pieces to give rooms a fast vintage feel.

Check out the Lucky Chair, with patchwork effect upholstery, £595, Loaf. (0845 459 9937/loaf.com).

Also worth a look are a set of four Vintage Flower Print Magnets, £7.50, Hampton Blue (07989 573 171/hamptonblue.co.uk), Vintage Cream Cushion (Applique Birds), £13, Home Treats (0845 5577 564/home-treats.co.uk).

Vintage Home is published by Kyle Books, £17.99.