the Vintage Modern shop – vintage, budget chic style for your home & wardrobe

The Vintage Modern shop offers curated, vintage style at budget-friendly prices. It’s like shopping with a team of interior designers without the designer price tag. And you never even have to leave your couch.

the vintage modern shop

7 Easy Steps to Build a Gallery Wall

Pamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

As someone who loves to decorate (and redecorate) her house, this week I thought I would share some tips on how to create a gallery wall.

There are multiple ways to design a gallery wall, but here are some of my favorites. Let me know in the comments section, if you have any other ideas to add.

1.      Start with one piece of art and build from that. This is often a bigger statement piece, but it could just be your favorite piece of art.

2.      If you want to go for a particularly clean gallery look, use frames that are all the same color. Or if you prefer a more eclectic look, mix in different styles and colors of frames.

3.      Lay your artwork down on the floor and practice arranging it. You can even take pictures with your phone to help you decide what arrangement you like best.

4.      If you are a graphic design pro, you could lay it out in InDesign, or whatever program you like. It might be more time consuming, but if you are very particular, this is a good option.

5.      Another option is to use painters tape to outline the art on your wall. This will give you a good idea about how the frames fit together, but you won’t get the visual element of how the art mixes.

6.      Make your significant other, roommate or Mom hold up the art in your desired location. (This requires a patient significant other, roommate or Mom.)

7.      Get out the hammer, nails, a pencil and a level. It’s time to hang some art! Remember, you can always fill those nail holes later if you change your mind.

Below I have shared some photos of the galley wall in my living room, as well as a link to a beautiful home featured on Design*Sponge with its gallery game on point.


This is the gallery wall in my living room. Please forgive the glare on some of the pictures. I am working on my photography skills.

This is the gallery wall in my living room. Please forgive the glare on some of the pictures. I am working on my photography skills.

Here is a closeup of my gallery wall. I went with a mixture of frame styles and colors. Also don't Jeni's prints look great?!

Here is a closeup of my gallery wall. I went with a mixture of frame styles and colors. Also don't Jeni's prints look great?!

The Vintage Modern shop's Top 5 Sources for Creative Inspiration

Pamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

Inspiration is probably the most important element of creating. Without inspiration, you are just a writer sitting at a desk, a musician staring at the keys or an artist with a blank canvas.

Like most creators, I find inspiration in a variety of ways. This week I thought I would share my top 5 sources to get my creative juices flowing.

1.    Design Blogs

My favorite design blog is Design*Sponge. It was started by Grace Bonney in 2004, and it features home interiors, recipes, DIYs, before and after projects, art, business tips, and just about any other type of design you can think of.

I check out Design*Sponge not quite every day, but close. It keeps me up-to-date on the latest trends in interior design, inspires how I decorate my home and also inspires the pieces I create for the shop.

More than just the content she shares, I find Bonney herself a source of inspiration. Her blog has turned into a wildly successful company and brand. She has published two books, and the most recent book, In the Company of Women, is a New York Times Best Seller.

But Bonney does more than market her own brand, she also encourages other women to succeed. She regularly features other creative women on her blog and shares their secrets of success.

When I was creating the Vintage Modern shop, I often looked to Design*Sponge, and Bonney particularly, to figure out the best practices for launching a new business.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I also really enjoy the design, DIY, food and fashion blog, A Beautiful Mess. Sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman have fabulous taste, and their homes are impeccable.

I can also credit this blog for cementing my love for all things blush pink.

2.    Books

I have always loved reading. Reading helps me recharge my batteries. Reading helps me disappear into another world. Reading teaches me to be a better writer. Reading teaches me more about the world I live in.

I try to read every night. And when I start a really great novel, I can wile away a whole Saturday curled up on the couch reading. It feels like the ultimate luxury.

I am currently reading Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. Gay is one of my favorite writers, as well as a feminist icon. With her book Bad Feminist, she not only coined a much beloved term, but also created a legion of devotees. Difficult Women is a collection of her short stories, and it does not disappoint. I aspire to be half the writer she is.

I am also reading In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, as mentioned above. In the Company of Women, as the cover states, contains “inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs.” Also as the name suggests, all these creatives are women.

My favorite profile so far is Genevieve Gorder’s. Gorder is an interior designer and a host on HGTV. She is also from Minnesota. (Twin Cities!) Gorder is beautiful, talented and she seems like just a genuinely lovely person.

When asked what success means to her,” Gorder replies,

“The simplest answer I can think of is to able to live my imagination and give it away to as many people as possible in one lifetime. I’m never worried about having enough inspiration. I’m worried that one lifetime will never be enough to execute it all.”

As a woman who has multiple creative passions, this answer really resonates with me. I worry that I am pulling myself in too many directions, and I will never have enough time to get it all done.

At the same time, being able to create and share my art with the world is the most amazing feeling.

Last Friday, I sold my Shoe Collector Curio Cabinet. After I delivered the piece, I followed up with some care instructions for the customer. She texted me back, “I love it so much!! Thanks for dropping it off…Even my 2 year old said PRETTY when he saw it.”

Receiving that text was so rewarding. She loved the cabinet as much as I did, and I was so happy that I could share my creation with her.

3.    Music

Music is such an important part of my life. I listen to a little bit of everything, and I often listen to music while I write. It helps set the mood for the creation process. (I am listening to the new Bon Iver album, 22, A Million a lot.)

Music can also inspire what I create. Sometimes a lyric from a song will inspire me to write a story or a poem.

But more than just inspiration, music helps soothe my soul, provides me focus and helps me unwind. I mean, is there anything more cathartic than a five-minute dance break?

4.    Pinterest and Instagram

I find so much inspiration scrolling through my feeds on Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest has a lot of good DIY ideas, and there are so many insightful pins about refinishing furniture on the site.

And personally, Pinterest is my go-to source for recipe ideas. As someone who loves to cook and try new things, Pinterest is a great resource.

Instagram is more than just a photography site. It is an online community where people can share their art and interact with other artists.

And believe me, they are so many people making great art. The beauty shared on Instagram continually blows me away.

5.    Thrift stores and flea markets

I love the thrill of the thrift store hunt. Scouring through racks and racks of used clothing, and then stumbling across that perfect vintage coat is quite a high.

Finding thrift store treasure takes patience, perseverance and a good eye. Through my twenty odd years of combing through racks and shelves, I have developed a very good eye. I am always on the lookout for that diamond in the rough!

Hope you enjoyed my top 5 sources of inspiration, and maybe found some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

How to Fail and Win Anyway

Pamela Dewey

Hi friends.

I make mistakes. Ok. I make a lot of mistakes.

It is human to make mistakes. And I am human certainly. (No robots are employed at the Vintage Modern shop.)

Like I said last week, I like a little imperfection, a little character. But when I am working on projects like writing or refinishing furniture, I like complete those maybe not perfectly, but somewhere close to perfect.

Perfect with character. Perfect with personality. Handmade perfect.

But the only way you to get close to perfect is practice. And as you practice, you make mistakes.

You hit the wrong note. You cut the board too short. You realize no matter what the paint label said, use primer.

And from these mistakes, you learn.

You play different notes. You measure twice. You always use primer. (Seriously, just use primer.)

And slowly, your songs sound better. You cut your boards the right length. Your paint covers perfectly.

You get better.

But before that happens, you make those mistakes.

Over the last two weeks, I got better at some things. I saw this cool banner DIY on A Beautiful Mess.

I thought, I could make that, and I could sell that at the shop.

But I had a tweak in mind. I wanted my banner to be not quite so Christmas-themed. So instead of NOEL, I decided my banner would say ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.

So I went to the fabric store to buy my supplies. I agonized over the type of sheet moss to buy. Cost, how much I need, etc. Sheet moss cost more than I anticipated.

I went home and unrolled my moss. It was completely see-through.

I went back to the store and bought something that actually resembled a sheet. Mistake made. Lesson learned.

Since I was adding more words to my banner, I also decided to scale down my letters. Instead of doing the word LOVE 8 inches tall like the blog post suggests, I made the word LOVE 6 inches tall and the rest of the words 2 inches tall.

I cut my banner out of felt and cut and glued my ribbon down to the felt. I printed out the letters, taped the letters to the cardboard and then cut these letters out. Then I cut the letters out of moss and glued these letters to the cardboard letters. I arranged ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE on my banner, and I glued the words down. Then I hung my banner over the edge of a door and glued two wreath hangers to the back of the banner.

I stood back and looked at the banner. Something was off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I took a couple pictures, and I sent one to my mom.

“Kinda on the fence about it.”

“Doesn’t seem to have the same pop as the other one. Are all the letters moss covered?” she wrote back.

I had, of course, covered all the letters in moss. But with this text, my mom essentially identified the problem.

She couldn’t tell for sure if all the letters were moss-covered, so the green was not nearly as bold as it should have been. By making the letters smaller, I had thrown the scale off. So the banner didn’t have as much “pop" because the size of the banner wasn’t proportional to the letters.

This letter re-sizing amounted to a mistake, and one that was not as easily fixed as returning the moss to the store. The banner was maybe not entirely ruined, but certainly not usable in its current state.

So I failed. But I also learned.

Some tweaks are good. I still like the idea of using “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.” I also like the rose gold ribbon I bought. But the letters must be bigger, or the banner must be smaller to correct the scale.

I haven’t decided how I want to try to salvage the banner I made. Or if I want to try to make more banners for the shop.

As I get older, I have accepted there are plenty of things I won’t ever be great at. But it doesn’t mean I want to stop pushing myself to try new things.

Some of these things I will be good at. And some of these things I will fail at.

Making mistakes and failing is what makes us human. Failure helps us grow. And no matter how old I am, I don’t ever want to stop learning and growing.

These are my work-in-progress moss letters. If nothing else, I had a fun time playing with the moss.

These are my work-in-progress moss letters. If nothing else, I had a fun time playing with the moss.