How to Source Vintage Interiors for Sustainable Set Design

Posted by: Ruby Hall - 12.05.22

When it comes to set design and sustainability, our styling team’s first port of call is always vintage interiors. 

Not only is this circular life cycle more eco friendly, but vintage is also a sure-fire way to inject storytelling, character and originality to an interior or set. 

And the best bit? Vintage doesn’t have to be expensive.

What to think about when you’re searching for vintage interiors 

When sourcing for a project – as well as keeping a keen eye on environmental impact – we often have a few key things in mind, such as an era, sustainable materials, or overall look and feel. 

We scour charity shops, eBay and local antique shops to find unique pieces – and, as with all best-laid plans, we tend to find hidden gems where we least expect it.         

Check out some of our best finds and top tips for sourcing sustainable interiors and vintage treasures for your projects:

1. We struck up a conversation with a local antiques dealer whilst sourcing for a rustic, country theme shoot. He pointed us in the direction of this antique bedroom chair and table – vintage furniture at its finest.

2. We came across these unique glass oil lamps whilst rummaging through some boxes underneath a table in a little antique shop. The colours are stunning, and they will work across multiple design styles as stand-alone pieces. Don’t be afraid to go through all the boxes and piles around the shops; often, it’s where you can find the hidden gems.

3. Charity shops are always top on our list to go to for vintage finds. We popped into a local shop whilst sourcing for a minimalist editorial set to try and find some interesting ceramics and vases. Buying something of this size and style on the high street or in designer shops would cost around £40-£50. We picked this retro West Germany vase for just a snippet of the price.

4. We were on the lookout for unique items that could bring a sense of personality to a set. 

This retro film camera – which still had a film strip inside – could’ve cost a fortune to source from a specialist but was discovered whilst hunting for vinyl in a charity shop. 

It’s all about seeking out unusual items that can help bring some life into the space. 

5. As well as being treasure troves for interior pieces, antique markets are a great place to find unusual and interesting old books. 

While some antique leather-bound books can be pricey, a few can go a long way if you’re looking for key colours. We came across these retro cookery books tucked away in a corner. The illustrations inside also provide the versatility of using these as book props or opening them up and utilising the colour inside.

So there you have it! Our top tips for sourcing hidden gems for sustainable interior design. 

Want to learn more about interiors? Download our latest 2022 Interior Trend Report here.

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