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Brimfield: Transform your kid’s room with vintage finds

Brimfield: Transform your kid’s room with vintage finds

We are always wanting to mix up our living spaces, constantly buying more and more things to jazz up the rooms in our house. What ends up happening, however, is that we are left with an extremely cluttered household. We have items in our homes, both new and old - some that we have held on to for memories sake and others we just can't seem to let go of even though they seem so outdated. While our first instinct when wanting change is usually to go out and buy more, we know that instead we should try to be more responsible and recycle the old instead of consume the new. We should embrace our clutter and do something with it in a stylish way. Though we don't always know exactly how to recycle our mom's old type writer and our very first doll house, or even the little kid chairs that are far too small for anyone in the house to sit on anymore, Lora Appelton from kinderMODERN seems to know how to make it all work and is teaching us how to recycle our clutter.

-- Lora Appleton
Co-founder and Curator of kinder MODERN

Brimfield is the Super Bowl of flea markets. There are thousands of venders all in different areas. Each area opens at different times and on different days of the fair, and they each present an interesting feat to see everything in the hot summer months.  Suffice to say it takes a certified addict or interested buyer to dig through countless venders and find the gems…and yes, I fit one of those catagories. I am those people that love unearthing the finds no matter how small or big or how hot or rainy. As the owner of a vintage gallery for vintage children's furniture, kinder MODERN, we make it our business to dig and discover vintage treasures for children from all over the world. Brimfield is one of our favorite USA markets, and each year we are met with new discoveries. Whether you are a vintage lover or just want to inject a little bit of historic design into your children's spaces, it is super important to think about things from a child's level; both figuratively and literally. It is also amazing what a little bit of vintage history can do to a modern room; it creates a fun balance and can inspire creativity. Bringing vintage into your child's life does not necessarily have to be strictly "child vintage," all types of old and classic items can work.

how to spot awesome vintage items for your kid's spaces.

Vintage injection can be as simple as finding small items that inspire you and displaying them on your shelves. It is good to have a sense of what things are worth, but really working with your taste as a guide and your kids as inspiration is a great starting point. I think an easy place to begin with vintage collection is with a small kids chair or rocker…these items, as they are super mini, lend such a great element of nostalgia to a room. If your kids are older, you can still use "kiddie" chairs as side tables by a bed, or use them as a seat to stack magazines or towels in a bathroom, or just to add a fun child like element into your front entry under a console table, or even next to the same type of larger chair.  Size perspective can add such a fun touch to your design. As for other furniture, outside of the cute play sets or desk & chair combos that we often see, cool vintage coffee tables are the perfect play table height. The key to using different pieces of furniture for your kids is to have your measurements on hand, or your kids with you and you can easily find some treasures. Heywood Wakefield round coffee tables from the 50's are a great height for play tables and there are lovely blonde wood ones that are a perfect fit for this idea.

from furniture to plain old objects

If furniture feels like to too much of a commitment to begin, find objects that relate to where your child is developmentally.  I think the best kind of vintage is functional vintage. If you want your child to learn more about the world around them, globes are a great way to learn about countries, and other cultures. You can spin a globe and use it to inspire all types of play. Using old objects for inspiration, color and adding a historic feel is a fun way to bring old stuff into a new space. Once you find something you and your little ones are into, for instance blocks, tin toys, army men etc, grouping these objects or like items together can make a significant statement…it's amazing that even three items together can create a lovely vignette, and can also start you and your children on a lifelong pursuit of collecting.

 

When you shop as much as I do, you start to see trends for the little ones; sometimes I see trophies everywhere…or animals…we love to paint animals all the same color, and it's pretty cool to buy something for cheap and turn it into a cool project you can do with your kids and then display it. It's a great memory together and also a chic way to decorate, and encourage children to get involved in the making of their own space. 

Brimfield is a treasure trove for all kinds of vintage items for your family home, just keep a good eye out for what inspires you, and start small. Collections are meant to take a long time, and mini items are everywhere if you just keep an eye out for them.

CREATe A FUN AND MAGICAL ENVIRONMENT FOR PLAY, SLEEP & WORK

One of my favorite things to work on is a themed room. It is super key when devising a theme to make sure that the choice you make can really grow with your child. Decorating can be costly, so think about longevity and how to expand on an idea as they get older. For instance, if your kid is into sports, you can expand on the theme and use a collection of old time sports pictures, mixed in with black & white pictures of your own kids playing sports. You can add in awesome badminton rackets turned into mirrors, college megaphones from the 50's are pretty cool and can really be a great starting point for a theme. You can also pull out your own childhood memorabilia, your college varsity jacket (does anybody wear these anymore?), or your own old trophies, your grandfather's war collection…you get the point.

WHAT WE SAW AT BRIMFIELD:

INSPIRATION STARTERS

INSPIRATION STARTERS

We saw tons of vintage racquets, varsity letters, sports equipments, cast away circus pieces and more. We found these awesome wooden 'tattoo arms'; that were retrieved from an old carnival….I can't even begin to imagine the possibilities with these, a nautical room, a nature inspired room with birds as a theme, a circus feel room, and more.

LETTERS

LETTERS

Oh did we see a lot of options, letters are a wonderful way to inject play and fun into a kids space. We saw vintage metal letters, plastic, old large letters that were peppered with lights.  You can spell out initials, a name, or work a theme in, the possibilities are endless: spell out things like: FUN, PLAY, GABBY, WELCOME, FOOD, FLIRT, SUNNY, LION, PRIVATE, etc depending on the area you bring the letters into.

TIN TOYS

TIN TOYS

These were everywhere. These can get costly, as they are often collectibles, but even a few on the shelves make such a lovely vignette for a baby room, or displayed in a shadow box, worth the money if you search for the good ones.

MIRRORS

MIRRORS

We saw a ton of cool mirrors. There were mirrors set into pottery, vintage car mirrors, oversized mirrors, we even thought it'd be fun to turn items into mirrors (like the rackets I mentioned). This is by far one of the easiest way to get some vintage fun into your life. A 1960's lamp can add such character, there are lots of chrome ones with awesome ball fixtures, as well as funky ones. Just think with a new shade, anything can feel more modern. Be creative and have fun.

AWESOME HOOKS

AWESOME HOOKS

Last year at Brimfield I found some cool silver-like old hooks that I had a welder saw off a piece that didn't work and when I got back to NYC I had them dipped in "faux rose gold" for our front entry…they're amazing & were $20!! Its important to think about what you can do with an object if you're not happy. You can use all kinds of fun vintage hooks to display fun and necessary items in your kids room; from toys, to athletic equipment, to hanging toothbrushes on cord on hooks in the bathroom…its a great way to store supplies, like ribbon, beaded necklaces, whistles etc. Think outside the box!

COOL VINTAGE MAGAZINE RACKS.

COOL VINTAGE MAGAZINE RACKS.

These are great for kids' book display and present easy access for smaller children (the ones from the 70's are super glossy and bright colored and are so much fun; a perfect placement next to the bed for evening reading. A magazine rack is also great in a bathroom (who hasn't read to their kid during a potty training session). A good partner to this is to add in a vintage desk/office sorter (these are great for the bathroom (necessity storage) or art storage, or for mini toys.

RANDOM FUN FINDS

RANDOM FUN FINDS

We found these awesome die cut candy and sweets images from an old diner printer, I got so excited thinking of all the ways these could be used. Framed they'd feel more special, punch holes on top and turn them into holiday ornaments, tuck them behind other collections on your shelves to present a fun remembrance of that last yummy milkshake. Bottom line, have fun & be creative.

OLD TYPEWRITERS

OLD TYPEWRITERS

A new vintage trend I've been seeing a lot of, and certainly saw at Brimfield, were old typewriters. They are so much fun to look at and if you make sure to buy one that works, it's a great addition to any growing child's room. Imagine all the craft projects that you can incorporate actual 'typing' into.

DOLLHOUSES

DOLLHOUSES

These were everywhere…and not the traditional kind. We saw vintage military forts, fire houses, actual cool doll houses and more. What kids doesn't love a house to play with. The key is to make sure that the house is in basic sha[e (no mold, the bottom is stable & you're in business, though you may need to give it some TLC & make it your own.

Posted in: Discover & Learn   

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