Kristena with daughter Emily
I'm Kristena Derrick from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My home is a 1950s ranch-style house.
What is your favorite part about each room that you share with us?
In the living room, I love the hand-me-down greenish-gold couch and the pine trunk.
In the dining room, I arranged family paint-by-numbers with Grama's needle-points and paintings, and I love it. I want to keep adding onto it!
The children's room has a pink felt flower picture that I found at the local thrift store for $6.
I love the charming pink tile in our 1950s bathroom, although I can't claim to have always felt that way. I wanted to rip it out when we moved in 2 1/2 years ago. Now I adore it & want to retro-renovate the entire room.
The kitchen was refurbished by a previous owner, but I still enjoy putting bright old objects in there, like the set of vintage red canisters I found on eBay.
Do you have a favorite vintage item?
I really love the quilt I've been working on with the help of the Twelve Square quilting bee. I found a box of old fabric bits at a yard sale in my neighborhood last year, and it has slowly transformed into a vibrant piece (with bits of my family's clothing worked into it too) of nostalgia.
Where do you find inspiration for decorating your home?
I find inspiration all over the place! I read far too many blogs, for one thing. Some of my favorites are Alicia Paulson's Posie Gets Cozy, Amy Karol's Angry Chicken, and Tamar Schechner's Nest Decorating. But my vintage obsession really started when I found Lucinda Ganderton's book Creating Vintage Style in 2006. I realized that it was possible to step outside of the big-box store and have style & sentiment.
How do vintage things play a role in your room/home?
I try to choose vintage items that will fit in seamlessly with the new stuff and be equally useful. I want to drink my coffee from flowery Fire King mugs, dry my hands on a days-of-the-week towel from 1960, and cover up with a cheery and bright old afghan while napping on the couch. And I want to hang the kitschy 1970s needlepoint alongside the gorgeous new photo from Abby Try Again. This is the world of which I dream. ;)
Where did your love for vintage come from? How has it influenced your decorating style?
I credit both of my grandmothers as the original sources of my style. One is an artist who paints all her walls bright white and then adorns them with huge, wildly colored paintings. She always seems to have roses blooming in the front yard, and she decorates her tiny Christmas tree each year with her old pearl necklaces and other sparkly costume jewelry. My other grandmother recently passed away, but her kitschy style will forever be a part of me--the lemon-people bobbleheads from Florida, the ceramic chat noir, the colorful rooster lamp, the starburst clock, and the fruit-embroidered curtains that filled her home of 50+ years. I guess that kitschy-artfulness is just in my blood.
Any advice on creating your look?
Frequent a good thrift store. Snatch up whatever catches your eye. As long as you're buying from a charity shop, you're not investing too much, and you're helping people. It's a win-win. Once you get an idea of what you really like, you can start filling in the gaps in your home with bits and pieces of nostalgia. And you can try out the infamously more expensive antique stores near you. You just never know what you might find!
For my specific look, paint your walls light grayish-blues or other cool tones, paint your trim shiny white, keep the furniture creamy or white for the most part, and then you have a great canvas for various brightly-colored artifacts. I learned the hard way (by painting the walls Granny Smith Apple Green) that too much is really too much. A little pop of color here and there works wonders though. :)
I don't have an independent business yet, but I hope to start selling refashioned clothing pieces soon. Visit me at Thimbly Things .
Sarah Dunlap of Sarah's Adventures did the photography for my house tour.
A special thank you to Kristena Derrick and her adorable children for sharing your home with us. Also a special thank you to Sarah Dunlap for the beautiful photography.