How-To Series: Style a Vintage Portrait

Adding artwork to your home can be pretty pricey, but we’re all about finding stylish, low-cost solutions to the interior décor dilemma.  One of our new favorite pieces is the vintage portrait, which adds some rustic style to any gallery wall and also makes a curious statement piece. Here are some tips for finding a great vintage portrait and styling it in your home.

·      Know where to look. Chances are, your great-great-great-grandfather wasn’t some kind of duke or general who had his own portraits commissioned, so you’ll need to search to find antique portraits. We’ve had lots of luck at our favorite Nashville Flea Market, but you may also want to find estate sales on Craigslist or visit a local antique store to find your own.

·      It’s all in the frame. The frame makes all the difference between an old, junky painting and a killer vintage piece. Make sure that the wood isn’t cracked or rotten, or if you’re lucky enough to find one framed in metal or bronze, give it a good dust and shine before hanging.

·      Make the necessary restorations. If you find a really great portrait that you just can’t part with, it may take some work to get it looking wall-worthy. You can always remove the frame if it’s in bad shape and replace it with a new one, or even cut the portrait out using an X-Acto Knife if it’s really stuck in there. 

·      Keep the rest of the wall simple. Since most vintage portraits are pretty large and tend to catch the eye right away, we like to keep the rest of the wall simple. Hang it alone in an empty nook, or style it with an otherwise minimal gallery wall filled with more modern pieces.

·      Get your story ready. It’s inevitable that once you hang that bad boy (or lady!) up on your wall, you’re sure to get some questions about it from your guests. We strongly encourage making up your own background story to keep things interesting.