conscious consumer, relaxed home with vintage decor

5 Tips for Creating an Intentional Home Using Vintage Goods

Hello! I’m Mary Lou, the owner of Rush Creek Vintage. We offer a selection of beautiful old objects from the past for people with a thoughtful approach to living life.

I'm always up for sharing a few thoughts about creating an intentional living space, and why it’s important to incorporate vintage goods into your home. 

1. Want to Create A Home That Reflects Your Personal Values?

Of course, who wouldn't? But like many of you, there was a time I didn't even think about it. With the daily chaos of raising a family, working, and household duties, I was just happy to survive each day.

Living with intentionality is simple, in theory. It’s about intentionally cultivating more of what you value, and intentionally saying no to the things you don’t.

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But figuring out what is most important to you takes (quite) a bit more work. It requires a certain mindset, digging down deep, being vulnerable and deciding what you stand for. Deciding how you really want to live and feel. And, how you spend your money. We’ve heard it said: ‘How you spend your dollars represents your morals’... it's something to think about.

Goals for an intentional living space might include:

  • Buy less, but buy better (quality items translate to less)
  • Shop local, shop small and support businesses that share your values 
  • Embrace simplicity; adorn your home with quality essentials that embody home
  • Accept trial and error as part of the learning curve
  • Involve the whole family in the process

Trust me, this is NOT a weekend project. Rather, it’s a life-long process, one that will change and evolve with you as you grow and change. But one that’s well worth it. 

2. Enjoy the Journey

Creating a relaxed, cozy home where you can rest and recharge is important to many of us. A place where you are free to be yourself. A place of comfort and sanctuary. 

But, where to start? Bring in some pieces that you like, let others go. If you’ve held on to an item that no longer serves you, say goodbye. Give your home time to evolve naturally. Allow yourself to slow down and let it happen organically. Experiment, play and have fun. The journey is as enjoyable as the end result. 

There is always room for vintage objects, mixed with newer elements, in every living space. The combination of old and new can be quite striking aesthetically, lending an unconstrained informal vibe that is uniquely yours. 

Layering textiles is a favorite strategy to create that cozy vibe we all yearn for. Mixing in vintage throws, blankets, pillows, cushions and rugs is a no brainer: all easy to find and fairly inexpensive. And don’t forget the joy of vintage tablecloths, placemats and other linens to add color, texture and soften the edges.

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Shopping at local thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, and antique shops opens up possibilities that you simply will not see in large chain stores. And of course, online vintage stores are open 24/7 for your convenience AND you can shop in your PJs. (True fact: I get many of my orders at Rush Creek Vintage in the middle of the night!)

3. Avoid the Comparison Trap

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re NOT fans of big-box home decor trends. Why? Trends lead to throw-away consumerism. Oftentimes, decor trends last only a season or two. When no longer ‘popular’, some people feel the urge to discard perfectly functional objects and buy another round of new stuff. 

I’ve done that. Once, my neighbors showed off their latest family room decor, I thought “I need that, too!” It’s exhausting and expensive and a little embarrassing to admit (but I chalk it up to being young and foolish.)

We live in an era of picture perfect Instagrams and a plethora of TV shows dedicated to the perfect makeover. No wonder we are continuously setting our sights on newer, bigger, better. Sigh.

Instead, why not focus on progress over perfection?

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antique pottery, vintage pottery, mixing bowls


When you develop a living space that aligns with your personal values, it is MUCH easier to avoid the comparison trap. Decisions are based on fewer choices and you know you’re making the right ones. More importantly, you are doing your part to reduce overconsumption, a modern day epidemic. 

4. Include Things That Have Been Touched by Human Hands

TBH, this may be THE secret ingredient to a thoughtful home space. Cooking a meal at home with vegetables from your garden, displaying your kids' or grandchildren’s art, visiting the local farmers market for fresh flowers - all so important. Include personal touches like family photos, found objects from vacations or tramples in the woods, even heirlooms passed down through generations, to create the essence of love and memories filling your space. 

kids art, kids photos, grandchildren, family

Using thrifted or vintage objects, with all their imperfections, can really make the space when used intentionally. As a vintage seller I am blessed (or cursed, depending who you ask, LOL!) with an abundance of old stuff.  

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robin zachary, prop styling, vintage vignette


I’m a fan of ‘groupings’ and you should be too! Setting up a vignette of preloved objects such as old studio pottery, antique books or mixed candle holders with hand dipped candles will bring more satisfaction than mass-produced home goods.  

5. Maximalist or Minimalist? It Doesn't Matter

I’m not here to tell you to pare down to the bare essentials. (no offense, Marie Kondo!) There is no right or wrong way to live intentionally, as long as you feel in tune with your home vibe.

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gallery wall, vintage art, vintage paintings


Personally, I’m a collector of Vintage Art. And I’ve got A LOT of it. Grouping various pieces together in a gallery situation has transformed our home. I FEEL HAPPY every time I look at my art. Some might think my collecting addiction is unnecessary clutter, but for me it’s what I need to enjoy my home. 

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Deciding what fits your space and fills your heart happens over time. And remember, you don’t have to categorize your home design or style (ie: farmhouse, industrial, mid century, etc.) By pulling elements from all of them, you create a seamless and unique space that’s all your own.

Thanks SO much for stopping by! 

If you LOVE vintage as much as we do, subscribe to our weekly newsletter where you’ll enjoy EXCLUSIVE discounts, get tips and articles about living the intentional vintage life, and see the newest additions to our shop.  

For our local friends - skip the shipping hassle:  if you live in the Columbus, Ohio area, we are happy to forgo shipping charges +/or wait time and meet you to drop off your purchase. Just send us a message, and we'll coordinate local delivery or pick-up! 


Be well, Mary Lou 🌱

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