Use this cheat sheet to score the best vintage items for your home.
Don’t pass up these timeless finds and valuable antiques! Here are the furniture pieces, accessories and decor items you should search for at estate sales — and how to fix ’em up when you bring them home.
Soaring in popularity since the 1600s, its “wings” were designed to block smoke from the fireplace.
We love it for: Its heft. A wingback chair has enough presence to act as a decorative counterpoint to a sofa. Place it (still) near a fireplace.
Update it with: Upholstery in a large-scale pattern. Or try a two-tone approach: Solid (or small-scale) on the inside; large-scale pattern on the back.
This 18th-century staple of French drawing rooms is known for its wall-hugging “half moon” shape. (Jackie O was a fan.)
We love it for: Its compactness. Try it in an entry, in a hallway, repurposed as a vanity in a powder room, or flank a window with a pair.
Update it with: Paint. In a small space, consider coating it with the same color as the adjacent wall.
Often referred to as a love seat (designed to accommodate large skirts, not lovebirds!), this two- seater dates to the 17th century.
We love it for: Its versatility. Try one at the foot of the bed, on one side of a dining table, or below the stairs in an entry.
Update it with: A plush (and durable) cotton-velvet in a statement-making solid color. Or offset an ornate shape with simple stripes.
Used for making bread, these hand-carved bowls (sometimes called trenchers) were passed down for generations.
We love it for: Seasonal elements. As with the cloche (see far right), you can swap out natural items (pumpkins, pinecones, moss) as desired.
Update it with: Its one-and-done decorative punch. Place it on a kitchen island, an entry table, or on a dining table as a centerpiece.
The precious metal has been coveted for centuries. Silverware sets became popular in the 1600s and 1700s.
We love it for: Its heirloom cred. A full flatware set is a shopper’s Holy Grail — even better if monogrammed. Old trophies are prizes in their own right.
Update it with: Ketchup. (Seriously.) Submerge tarnished flatware in it for 5 to 10 minutes, remove, rinse with warm water and buff dry.