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Design ideas
The Secrets to Creating Vintage Vignettes
How to arrange and curate vintage finds to make creative displays.
Written by Kris Christensen
Photography by Bret Gum
  • Carol and Steve Cook’s 1928 beach cottage in Ventura, California is a haven for inspiration. Partly because Steve uses the home as a gallery to showcase and sell his artwork inspired by the ocean and their coastal community. But also partly because of Carol’s ever changing vintage decor and styling.

    Carol enjoys decorating with vintage pieces, beach finds, and sentimental objects. “I have fun creating vignettes and I change things up way too often,” she admits.

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  • Tell a Story

    Throughout the cottage, and outdoors as well, Carol groups items together to reference important memories and coordinate with her husband’s artwork. She chooses colors or themes that bring out the best in his pieces and makes the arrangement of several objects look like a cohesive whole.

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  • Keep Inspired

    “I get my inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, blogs and Instagram. When I see a look I like, I try to make it mine with items I already have. My method is to ‘shop the house’ first.”

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  • Always be Gathering

    Working with items she has collected and saved over time keeps redecorating affordable and she can change things around by trading items back and forth between storage and display.

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  • Having assembled her objects,

    she plays with arrangement options until she settles on a look. Her vignettes are simple, sentimental, and usually have a sense of humor about them.

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  • Change it up!

    Carol is constantly arranging and rearranging the furniture and accessories, but this turnover suits her style and she thrives on the ever-evolving nature of her home.“It’s always a work in progress, I’m always redecorating and I don’t think I’ll ever be finished,” she laughs.

    To keep up with her decor projects, follow Carol Cook at artandsand.blogspot.com or on Instagram @artandsand. Her husband’s portfolio can be viewed at www.stevecookstudio.com.

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