In a room that’s just a little bit too perfect and too ‘done’, a vintage painting or drawing in a slightly tatty frame can make all the difference – adding much-needed charm and character to a space and in some cases, pulling an entire decorative scheme together. Likewise in a room that feels empty or lacking in some way, a new kitchen, for example, a small vintage artwork hung in an unexpected way or propped on a shelf can really elevate the space and make it feel finished.
In photographs of rooms that you love because you were drawn to a particular piece of artwork on the wall, try covering that with your finger and seeing how you’d feel about the space if it wasn’t there. The difference that a great piece of art can make is often staggering, and vintage can be the best way to add just the right amount of imperfection. Plus buying second hand can be much more affordable than buying new works from a gallery, especially as framing alone can be extortionate and vintage paintings often come ready-framed. In some cases – especially if you’re buying Swedish or Mid-Century pieces – the frames themselves are so lovely, they’re as much of a reason to make a purchase as the paintings themselves.
You don’t need to spend thousands on vintage art – especially if you’ve already thrown your budget to the wind on big-ticket items like bathroom suites or sofas. Below are some of our regular haunts when we’re in the market to fill empty walls or make a space feel entirely different by changing the artwork.