"Shabby-Tize" Your Kitchen with a Fresh Vintage Look

by C. Dianne Zweig


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Softening the hard edges and industrial look of newer style kitchens by using original vintage tables and chairs from earlier generations or transforming existing furniture is very popular today. According to C. Dianne Zweig, author of the upcoming book, Hot Cottage Style Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes, there are many different vintage styles you can choose from . “Cottage”, “retro”, “country” “Bohemian” and “ Romantic Victorian” are all great options.

Zweig tells homeowners that whether you fall in love with a quirky painted table, a re-purposed cottage style table, a Formica top retro table, a forties enamel top table or a distressed wooden farm table, all of these looks can bring warmth and creativity back into the kitchen. Many home owners are discovering that buying “vintage” is paying off and can often be a terrific alternative to purchasing higher priced newer manufactured table and chairs.

So where can you find these wonderful relics of past generations? If you want painted cottage style tables, there are numerous antique dealers who have on-line stores that feature older tables which have been repainted in white or pastel cottage colors. Zweig features over 50 of the top cottage dealers in her new book, Hot Cottage and Home Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes as well as an easy to use resource list. In fact there is a “cottage industry “of cottage themed shops. You can also find resources on Zweig’s website www.cdiannezweig.com

Retro and country tables can be located in the same way. Metropolitan areas are usually a good source for funky Formica topped tables. For ideas about retro accessories refer to Zweig’s first book , Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s. Also consider searching Craigslist and on-line auctions. Farm tables will show up in the antique shops in “the country” and off the beaten path.

Perhaps you already own a very functional kitchen table that you acquired a long time ago and now you are tired of it. Or suppose you inherited a family member’s table years ago and now you wonder if it still “matches” your new kitchen. Wait, don’t call your neighborhood thrift shop just yet........”shabby-tize it! ”

In other words, change the character of your current kitchen table and chairs by changing the color, stain, fabric or even style. For example, brighten up a dark table and chairs by painting it white or another light color.

Another idea is to consider keeping your original table but
adding interesting vintage chairs. Mixing and matching periods is very “in” right now. Or make adjustments to the style of chairs by replacing the seat cushions or seat covers with updated fabrics. Even vintage chairs can look amazingly “modern” or “Urban Chic” with a funky geometric patterned fabric used on the seat cover.

If you have a large family and require a lot of seating , than you may find that an oversized Farm table is just what your room needs. Add some old Country style benches with comfortable cushions to match your color scheme and you are on our way to warming up your kitchen.


Another great way to bring charm into today’s “contemporary” kitchens is to accessorize your kitchen with a unique piece of vintage furniture such as an old Hoosier cabinet. which was used as a baking cupboard in the early 1900’s.

You will find many more terrific ideas in Zweig’s new book Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes and her website www.cdiannezweig.com. Zweig’s retro and cottage collections can be found at her shop “Kitsch-n-Stuff” at The Consville Antiques Co.located on Route 44 in New Hartford, CT.