Giving your kitchen a country charm
I have a few vintage items in my kitchen, some canned food labels and vegetable seed packets that I had framed and are now hanging on my walls. Some are authentic, others are cardboard reproductions.
Vintage mixed in with the contemporary in any décor adds a certain flair and flavor. This juxtaposition has a way of connecting you to the past but keeping you grounded in the here-and-now.
I purchased most of those labels long before I began attending auctions, and by the time I started, I was off and on to another area of interest. But I’m still drawn to the vintage, especially the old kitchen tools – love the ones with the Bakelite handles – that people seem to toss at random and end up on the auction tables. Some are still in good condition and usable, but I see them more as decorative additions to a kitchen.
You don’t have to smother your kitchen in any one item from a particular period; that would be much too much. But incorporating them – and not just dropping them anywhere there’s a blank space – can enliven it and offer a fresh feel. And there are so many to select, from cookie jars to molds to trivets.
On the very top of my kitchen cabinets, I have displayed old license plates from two of the states I have lived in: Florida and North Carolina, along with a metal Georgia sign I purchased at an antiques show. I’ve always loved old mason jars, and if I had a windowsill wide enough, I’d line a group of the aqua pint jars in a row with plants or flowers or herbs.
Here are some of the kitchen tools and other items I’ve come across at auction. None of them were expensive; in fact, they cost very little money because they were in box lots.
A decorative tin mold.
Red-handle egg beaters and other tools with wood and plastic handles. Bakelite handles are more desirable.
An advertising flour sifter.
Wooden utensils, including butter pats or paddles (left), and scoop.
Kitchen towel calendars.
White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer, circa 1923.
Hoosier kitchen cabinet jars.
A masher and strainer (left), and heavy metal tongs.
Figurative cookie jars.
Here are two tools below that I just love but have no idea what they are. They resemble whisks, but the wooden mound in the center and the pop-up lever on the side indicate that an attachment is missing. Do you recognize it?
I’d love to hear your ideas or see photos of what you’ve decorated with vintage items in your kitchen. Drop me a line and send photos here.