Make your space comfortable and inviting with these 10 tips.

By Jacquelyne Froeber
January 21, 2005
An assembly of home furnishings from different time periods will create an inviting yet individual ambience.
Dan Heringa

Be eclectic.
An assembly of home furnishings from different time periodswill create an inviting yet individual ambience. Accent with oldlamps, lanterns, clocks, or various beach finds on mantels and sidetables to enhance your style.

Remember when.
Lend your kitchen a nostalgic feel with vintage appliances. Arefurbished stove, manually operated toaster, and dial phone willforce you to slow down. A retro clock will ensure your culinaryefforts are cooked to perfection.

Get creative.
Construct funky curtains out of old tablecloths and cliprings. Choose from your own collection or visit a local secondhandshop for undiscovered treasures. Shades of cream and pastelsprovide a clean, simple look.

Find inspiration in old cottage photographs and area homes,or consult your family albums. Past generations can be an excellentsource of classic design, so ask relatives for suggestions orhanded-down furnishings.

Keep it casual.
Sun-faded slipcovers and plaid blankets give decor a lived-inlook. Try a fabric store for material with the stylishly fadedlook?or a thrift store for the real thing.

Know your limits.
Stick with a theme. Start with shells you?ve collected on thebeach or paint colors pulled from the ocean.

Be an individual.
Mix and match dining chairs for an innovative, inexpensiveway to gather around the table. Each family member can choose achair to decorate in his or her own style. The different chairswill become conversation pieces and add character to your diningarea.

Dive in.
Get your hands dirty at a salvage yard. Comb throughcarefully to find sinks, tubs, doors, and lights to complete yourcottage. They may not look like treasures initially, but these homenecessities can be revamped into something new.

Indulge your artistic side.
Decoupage a tray with brochures, old photographs, and otherhistoric memorabilia. Display the masterpiece so guests canreminisce.

Speak up.
Share your vision with friends and family. They may comeacross a desired item before you do. After all, achieving greatvintage style takes time.