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Let’s bring back… | Centsational style

I pulled this old book off the bookshelf and flipped through its text. The title is Let’s Bring Back, and it’s about all the wonderful things from the past that we’ve forgotten in our quest to become modern. The book is an encyclopedia of memorabilia, things like grandfather clocks and fountain pens, model airplanes and music boxes, pocket watches and kitten heels. This delightful book has been on my bookshelf for a decade.

There is a way to take back some of the charm of bygone eras and weave it into our contemporary interiors. I’m all for decorating with things that are nostalgic, have historical value and contain heirlooms from generations past.

When I travel, I often visit places where you can see and feel history. Palaces in Europe contain artifacts from hundreds of years ago, but even touring historic homes like Ernest Hemingway’s on a trip to Key West will fill one with a sense of nostalgia as one can’t help but stop and admire the antique pieces and the early Admire 20th century 19th century objects.

Whenever I watch a film set in another century, I am struck by the furniture, the paintings, the moldings and all the decorative elements that bring that bygone era to life. I’m not suggesting that we bring back overly ornate decorations or frescoed ceilings or excessive gilding à la Versailles, but I do believe that a few traditional touches in a room can add warmth and character and make a room feel like it has a story.

Just because we’re living in 2022 doesn’t mean we can’t take inspiration from past centuries when it comes to our decorative accents. We’ve seen some historical elements regain popularity, like botanical wallpaper, vintage paintings, and gilded mirrors. What else should we bring back?

How about …

cabinets of curiosities

It’s a universal truth that everything behind glass becomes more interesting. I remember walking through a lobby on a road trip to Oregon and noticing the collection of seashells in curiosity cabinets. They seemed to be on special display that way. Modern curio cabinets are becoming increasingly popular and recently several brands have made them a part of their furniture collections. They’re pretty handy for keeping dust off your treasures.

wildflowers home

Cabinet: Mcgee & Co

Charcoal sketches and figure drawings

If anything speaks of the timelessness of things, it is charcoal drawings of landscapes or nautical scenes or figure drawings that remind us of the beauty of the human form.

let lauren

k Mathiesen brown

Decorative busts

Whether in a traditional base shape or as a modern planter, sculptural faces add personality to any room! I hid some busts in a closet that reminds me of my kids when they were little, I’m reminded to bring them out again, especially since my eldest bird flew out of the nest.

about country life


vintage tubs

What’s better than a long soak after a hard day? Little. A hot bath is part of my nightly routine, so I’m a big fan of making a tub extra special. Vintage shapes tick that box, right?

St Giles house

source unknown

library walls

Before phones and tablets, we had books to educate and entertain us. There’s something so wonderful about walking into a room filled with bookshelves, it feels more sophisticated, more elevated, more sophisticated. Many modern bookcases are filled with decorative objects, so it’s refreshing to see shelves that are only used to store and display books.

Henry Churchill


Gilded thick art frames

I’m not a big fan of ornate versions, but the thicker gold frames with straight, clean lines are great for showing off original art.

jaime arlene

Michelle Kobrin

Cloches & Bell Jars

The cloche has an interesting history dating back to 19th century gardening in France where they were used to protect plants. Today we use them decoratively to create a focal point on collected objects that are placed underneath to increase their appeal.

Claire Reeves

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Repurposed vintage furniture

This is a trend that’s been around for at least a decade, and it’s a smart and stylish use of old furniture. Chests of drawers and sideboards can be repurposed for a variety of storage or practical purposes, e.g. B. as a bathroom vanity, or placed in unexpected places such as a kitchen, dining room or living room or in a boutique store.

Steve Cordony

inspired about it

Simple lace curtains

Nothing too frou frou or overdone! Just simple panels that add a touch of romance, ones that sway in the breeze on a warm day with the windows open, ones that make you think of European cafes and New England inns.

spirit of home

beautiful lace shop

ostrich feathers

Ostrich feathers always make me think of burlesque dances, but they bring glamor and soft texture to interiors.

a modern grand tour

lola doo

The bedroom vanity

In so many films from the 1940s and 1950s, women would get ready in front of their bedroom furniture, brushing their hair or dabbing on perfume. Modern bathrooms are bigger and we use more beauty products today so it makes more sense to keep them in bathrooms where we shower. But if you have the space, a vanity in a bedroom is an elegant addition and can still serve a useful purpose for layering jewelry and scents.


then austen

gas lanterns

Spotting gas lanterns reminds me of strolling through Charleston’s French Quarter or the lampposts in various European cities. Some states are moving away from natural gas for new construction, but there will always be something appealing about the flickering light of gas lanterns.

Charleston Home & Design

home heap

Which objects or design elements from the past would you like to see again? What would you add to this list?

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