Interior Decorating by Elaine Burns

My 5 Favorite Vintage Pieces

I've been pulling together some of my favorite home items and knick-knacks to have on hand for styling and design board purposes, and in the process have been stumbling upon some of my favorite antiques.
Below are my 5 favorite vintage pieces in my home & the stories to go along with them.

Watering Can

Photo by Erin Fikentscher

Photo by Erin Fikentscher

This is a flea market find that my mom gifted to me when I moved into my first apartment after college. I had just moved to Manhattan, and as a way to brighten by super small living room, she brought me a peace lily (which is still alive!) and this antique watering can as a housewarming gift.
This watering can was used at my parents' house for a couple of years before it became mine, so it serves as a reminder of home and my mom every week when I water my ever-growing plant collection (and attempt to channel her green thumb).

Card Tray

This is one of my favorite decorative elements on my desk. It’s a bridge tray from the late 1950’s/early 1960’s and while I only purchased this single item, most trays from this era came in a set.
I bought this last summer at my favorite market in Worcester, MA: Crompton Collective. It’s the perfect size for miscellaneous office supplies.
On the bottom of tray is a sticker (still in mint condition) that reads “alcohol-proof”. Ironic since the bridge-playing ladies before me were probably enjoying plenty of cocktails while meeting up for games.


Photo by Erin Fikentscher

Photo by Erin Fikentscher

A truly amazing Craigslist find. When I was moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn, I wanted to find a special bed frame that would be the focal point of my (still) very small room. This is an authentic 1950’s brass frame and was going for only $100!! It’s dented a few places and needed a little shining up, but it dictates the feel of my space and complements the muted green, purple, grey and cream palate of the space.


This converted planter was originally a chicken feeder! One of the perks of my corporate job is that we have prop sales about once a year, selling off any props or furniture used in stores that the team no longer needs.
The first of these sales that I ever attended was during my first week at the company. While most of my peers were buying chairs, tables, lighting fixtures, or art prints, this was my only purchase of the day and I definitely got some strange looks. But, now it acts as the focal point of my kitchen table and helps to add something special to an otherwise blank wall space.

Cow Creamer

I had been searching for a perfect vintage cow creamer for months, so I was so excited stumble upon this one last fall. I whip it out for all of my brunches to hold either coffee creamer or maple syrup, and the rest of the time it lives on an exposed shelf in the kitchen to be admired.