Reclaim Magazine – Decorating With Vintage Portraits

Hello everyone!

It has been half term week here, and for the first half the children were away skiing with their dad.  So I worked my socks off to try and get as many projects finished and deadlines met, so that we could really enjoy the second half of the week together.  This morning we went for a lovely ramble through the woods, and we felt the sun on our faces.  The children climbed trees and had a game of spies, which they chattered about as we meandered through the woods.  I feel so grateful to have this huge nature playground on our doorstep!

I really wanted to share this month’s Reclaim Magazine feature with you today.  (In case you didn’t know, I now have my own monthly feature in Reclaim Magazine!  You can see my January feature here.  I’m so proud to be involved with such a beautiful magazine, please do check it out, all the details are below.)  For the February issue, I shared how you can decorate using vintage portraits.  Romantic portraits look beautiful even in a modern home, and help to create a sense of history. Gather collections of old photographs, portraits and figurines, and style en masse for a whimsical display.  As always, I source most of these items from car boot fairs and vintage emporiums.

China figurines

This sweet little china figurine was handed down to me by my Grandmother. I do believe that at one time, she would have had a skirt that would have doubled as a brush, and she would have sat on top of her dressing table. You can find them on Etsy by searching ‘half doll brush’.  Make a sweet vignette by gathering tiny vintage family treasures and heirlooms, and an old handwritten letter.

Pastel Shelfie

Use soft, vintage pastels together for a whimsical, pretty display on a shelf or dresser. Gather treasures such as figurines and old haberdashery tins and ephemera.

Old Photographs

If you are lucky enough to have old black & white and sepia tinted family photographs, find imaginative ways to display them rather than leaving them in the attic. Make a sweet bunting style garland by pegging them onto a length of twine. Use to display across the top of a dresser or mirror, and if you have lots of photographs, change them around according to the season.

Portrait Wall

If you prefer a bolder look, then search for portraits to make a gallery wall. I absolutely love the work of Sir Gerald Kelly, and his portraits have a very timeless feel, with their dusky pastel shades. He was a favourite painter of the Royal Family and a member of the Royal Academy, but his series of paintings of a Burmese Princess named Sao Ohn Nyunt will always be one of his most famous works.

(Sao Ohn Nyunt print and Burmese Dancer in Yellow print – there are plenty of these vintage prints still around as they were very popular in the 1960’s. Ebay is a good place to look, as are car boot fairs.)

Do check out the Reclaim Magazine website here, where you can subscribe and find stockists. You can find them on Instagram here.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Tamsyn x

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Please do leave a comment, I love hearing from you!

  • Gorgeous and I love the portrait wall! Have a great weekend x

  • So pretty ! I love the half doll figurine !
    Congrats on the Column too

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