Displaying vintage vignettes in a modern home

Displaying vintage vignettes in a modern home Author: Style At Home


Displaying vintage vignettes in a modern home

To say that Patti Redford has the eye of a collector would be a bit of an understatement—the homeowner has been amassing antiques and collectibles since childhood hunts with her father. But for all her years of collecting, through trysts with antique globes, tin cars and pots by McCoy, Patti has created an appealingly uncluttered home, a neutral haven only enlivened by vignettes of her myriad colourful collections. Patti has done what most of us only ever dream about being able to do: decorate a home with beloved collections while still maintaining a modern approach to style. We've discovered her secrets.

For Patti, falling in love with a collectible first and finding a home for it later is what comes naturally, but luckily that process has worked with her traditional-meets-modern aesthetic. She and her husband, Bill, moved back to their native Vancouver after 10 years in Toronto, their carefully packed bits and pieces in tow, and upon moving in, some of the couple's collections were immediately right at home. Patti's extensive green McCoy pottery collection, for example, was put on display as soon as the moving trucks left the driveway. "I was lucky—the built-in shelves in the living room were just ready and waiting, says Patti. Other pieces, however, had to be accomodated by retro-fitting cabinets, while still others adorn windowsills and tabletops.

Filling her home with stylish collections and antiques that work with modern decor may seem effortless, but Patti's best lesson for arranging her cosy space is surprisingly strict. For someone who loves the texture, shape and colour of a plethora of vintage pieces, every acquisition actually comes with restraint.

"Althought I love to collect when I travel, I've learned that it's really hard to carry everything home. So I've given up on that." her current collecting efforts remain confined to North American soil.

Keeping the look—and the collection—pared down goes hand in hand for Patti. Take the toy tin cars that sit neatly lined up in her upstairs office, for instance. The love affair with these tiny vehicles started with just one irresistible piece from a Vancouver antiques store. "It looked a little like a mobster car from the 1920s—I just had to have it," she says with a laugh. "And then I had to have more! But now I keep myself in check by only collecting cars in red, blue and white."

Recently renovated, the kitchen now has more storage and counter space. Better still is the minimalist white-on-white palette. "I've always done neutrals," Patti says. The spare look creates a gallery-like space, and is the perfect foil to colourful vintage items. Patti also likes to juxtapose modern with antique, such as pairing this classic antique wood table from the Fort Langley Antiques Mall with white plastic Eames chairs from Vancouver's Inform Interiors.

A fuss-free floor
"My old house had white tile on the floor and I hated it," says Patti. "I'm happy now to have a slate floor that doesn't show any dirt."

Mixing and matching in the bedroom
Nowhere is Patti's yesterday-meets-today sensibility more apparent than in the couple's bedroom. The vintage Herman Miller chair at the vanity creates the perfect transition between the eras. "I tend to go through phases where I could get rid of everything," Patti admits. "I could easily go through a whole new stage of being a complete minimalist."

The furniture in the guest room was picked up years ago at Yorkdale Mall's antiques show in Toronto. Its spare lines and neutral colour look just right in this spare home.


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Displaying vintage vignettes in a modern home