Integrating antiques, vintage items, and family heirlooms into a home’s interior design aesthetic sparks memories and brings dazzle to a room.

Don’t be afraid to place something old alongside something new and contemporary.

While there are traditional ways to decorate all four walls of a room—paintings, prints, wreatharts antiques Wallpaper Map 600s, and the like—there are also some non-traditional solutions that can make your walls wonderful.

And, when it comes to making bedroom walls say wow, use vintage objects in new ways. For instance, to make a built-in storage area or shelf space on your wall, try using whimsical vintage objects.

Take a few well-worn yet vintage suitcases—available at flea markets for $15 to $50 each—and carefully cut them in half using a hand saw. Use sand paper on any rough edges that will touch the wall.

Then, attach the half with the handle to your wall studs using wall-bracket hardware. A few suitcases hung near each other will give your guest bedroom a travel-ready look. To complete the look, use an old makeup-carrying case on a nearby table as a catchall for jewelry and other small keepsakes.

The result of reusing these vintage travel items will be a nifty and stylish space that even travel-accessory designers like Louis Vuitton would love.

Forget painting one wall a different color than the other three and consider this feature-wall technique: wall world map! Cut out various pieces of printed wallpaper in the shapes of the world’s continents.

Apply the wallpaper shapes as they would appear on the pages of an atlas and create a cool and decorative feature wall. Enhance the cutout shapes with rub-on lettering to indicate famous cities, landmarks, or places that you have visited.

Also, use this feature-wall method to make wallpaper cutouts of a color wheel for the bedroom of a budding artist, a map of the United States for a geography fanatic, or a baseball diamond for your favorite Little League player.

If you want to make a wall of your craft room both functional and fancy, use a hanging, metal plate rack to hold rolls of wrapping paper; blank, stretched canvases; or empty flea market frames, which are ready to be filled with mirrors, needlepoint pictures, or vintage prints.

When it comes to antiques, don’t cry over broken antiques or family heirlooms. Don’t trash the broken pieces, either. Pick up the pieces and make something useful and special.

Broken china frameBroken china plates are a common craft source, and you can also make a good-looking picture frame from old transferware plates of ironstone ceramic or from red terracotta pottery pieces. Be sure to use a tile grout in a secured wooden frame surround.

Don’t forget to wear gloves in order to protect your hands from the sharp, broken ceramic pieces.

When it comes to antiques, make them part of your home design and keep the memories of loved ones close to heart.


Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality on History channel’s hit treasure-hunting TV show, The Curse of Oak Island, Dr. Lori Verderame hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Visit,, or call (888) 431-1010.

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