Guest Post by Meghan Plowman from The Orchard: Tips for Decorating with Vintage Finds

Good morning and welcome to a special guest post feature!

Today I am really excited to introduce Meghan Plowman, lifestyle photographer and author of The Orchard blog! Meghan and I became virtually acquainted in a really neat kind of way… Believe it or not, I know Meghan’s aunt, Barb Nugent. Now having an acquaintance in common may not seem so unusual, except that Meghan lives in Perth, Australia… and as you know, I live on the west coast of Canada! Who knew our worlds would touch in this way? And for those of you living in the Cowichan Valley, you might know Barb, too. She’s a volunteer and fundraising organizer extraordinaire for our local Hospice Society – did you attend the recent fashion show fundraiser Barb organized?

From one thrifting vintage lover to another, thank you so much Meghan for being my guest today, and thank you Barb for the introduction!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Hello readers! I am thrilled to be contributing to sZinteriors blog today. I’d like to share with you some images of my own styling work and some tips about decorating with vintage finds, and what to keep in mind when looking for items to decorate with.

I am a lifestyle photographer and stylist living and working in Perth, Western Australia. You can see more of the work I get up to over at The Orchard blog as well as my Facebook page.

I particularly love bringing a mix of items into my styling work and tend to lean upon my ever-growing props cupboard for inspiration and interesting additions to imagery. Quite often you’ll find me either in a vintage market or peeling through layers of verge side household piles!

This first example shows an image I was asked to put together that had a real Autumn story.

Autumn, Meghan Plowman Photograph

For the sake of putting together this vignette I brainstormed all of the things I love about Autumn including:

  • Cooking
  • Fallen leaves and spending time camping in nature
  • Hot drinks
  • Rustic, earthy colour and texture
  • Reading indoors

It’s my belief that you can find the perfect touches for little or next to no cost, sitting just outside your door or at your nearest thrift store. For example, I found the pine cone and leaves from my garden, used a bottle I found at a garage sale and a camping cup I managed to find on the side of the road.

Next, this Easter table setting was created to inspire readers to dress their table for the holiday.

Easter table, Meghan Plowman Photograph

My table was inspired by the florals, fruits and textures of the cooler months of Autumn (it’s Autumn here in the land of down under when we celebrate Easter!)

Some inexpensive and thrifty ideas for dressing a table for your next soiree:

  • Use butchers paper or left over fabric roll as a table runner
  •  Place brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as a centre piece or scattered along the centre of a table
  • Try a collection of glass jars in different heights and finishes for e.g. amber, frosted, textured, jars with labels or logos, grouped together with loose florals cut from the garden to create interest and an eclectic decoration.
  • Branches and twigs are an easy way to create height to a centre piece and act as a ‘tree’ for hanging decorations, name tags and sweets.
  • Add some quirkiness to your setting by adding a figurine or interesting knick knack. It will create a talking point for guests and makes things fun.

If you find yourself with a collection of seemingly unrelated finds that you are unsure what to do with, perhaps take a step back and look at what the items have in common visually, if anything.

  • Are they similar colours or textures?
  • Were they bought or found in the same location?
  • Do they tell a story, for e.g. are they items found at the beach or are they all travel mementos?
  • Can you create a visual story with the items?

The next two images show examples of how I grouped a mix of random, found objects together to create a story, one based on the idea of reading books in a cozy corner, the other a seaside tale. The reason these two work well is because I tied them together through their similar colour and textures.

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

Items I used for the first image:

  • A road side chair which we painted grey
  • A discarded old book with the pages carefully peeled away and taped to a wall to create a background texture
  • A stack of my favourite design books with the spines showing text
  • An ampersand gift tag to create drama and a focal point
  • A vintage camera –why not display your picture taking equipment?
  • A ball of garden twine, and
  • A favourite scarf

Vintage Vignette, Meghan Plowman Photograph

The second idea:

  • Thrift store found vases
  • Left over soft rope
  • Found twigs, feather and pine cones
  • Mixed teatowels and scraps of art canvas roll
  • Garlic peelings! – These create a lovely texture for still life
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Found bottles
  • Old book pages
  • Found sea urchin and shells

I hope I have given you a few ideas for decorating with old, found or simply scrap items you have lying around your home! I am a believer that beauty can be found in anything, it’s just keeping your eyes open to seeing it. I’d love to hear your ideas and feedback! I can be contacted through The Orchard blog.

Have Meghan’s tips enticed you to head out and see what treasures you can find? I bet you have a corner, a mantle, a wall, a porch, a __________ (you fill in the blank!) waiting to be freshly styled. I love the theme that it’s not necessarily what so much as how you choose to display your objects. Mixing up textures and telling a story is the key! If you get a chance, please pop over to The Orchard and introduce yourself! And if you check out Meghan’s Facebook page there’s a certain connection posted there to my post from yesterday! Do you think you can find it?  😉

Thank you once again Meghan, for sharing at sZinteriors today. 🙂

3 Replies to “Guest Post by Meghan Plowman from The Orchard: Tips for Decorating with Vintage Finds”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *