What I See A Lot On Pinterest – Vintage Portraits

jestcafe.com-vintage-portraits-1Image Source sfgirlbybay

If you are an interior design aficionado, you know art is an excellent way of bringing life into a room. Photography and prints are a good place to start, but what I really like are paintings, especially vintage portraits.

Affordable portraits are not easy to find, so I always find myself foraging for them in thrift stores, estate sales or flea market. This habit can be scary sometimes because most of the art you find in these places is hideous, horrible, ugly, gross (no exaggerating) … until you find that gem.

Thrift stores have a LOT of paintings from wanna be artists that are unattractive. Sometimes, these stores want to charge a lot of money for a piece of trash! Don’t let them trick you, and try to bargain them down. I usually find a nice piece for less than $100. $50 is a great thrift store deal, but it all depends on the painting. As my uncle (a vintage expert) says ” if you like it and you are willing to pay the price, is a good deal.” No regrets!!

The ideal thrift situation is to have a relationship with the manager of such store. To do this, you need to be in that thrift store often and always be NICE. If they won’t come down in price, come back another day. The painting you want is probably still going to be in there. Art doesn’t sell that fast. On the other hand, if you are totally in love with the painting get it right away. Spending the rest of your life regretting that time when THE ONE got away is a stressful way of living. I have been there and done that, and it is not easy on the heart! Believe me. I still find myself daydreaming about that ugly man in that one painting that somebody stole away from me a couple of years ago.

Back to vintage hunting, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Practice is the only way to develop a critical eye that is able to find beauty in what others would consider average. Pay attention to some of the portraits below and imagine finding them in a thrift store. Some of them are outright ugly, but, once they are hanging on a wall, they work!

Here are some examples of vintage portraits that transform average spaces into interesting ones:

jestcafe.com-vintage-portraits3 Image Source Design Spongejestcafe.com-vintage-portraits4 Image Source Méchant Studiojestcafe.com-vintage-portraits5 Image Source sfgirlbybayjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits6 Image Source My Scandinavian Homejestcafe.com-vintage-portraits8 Image Source Designfilesjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits11 Image Source Jim Fairfaxjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits12 Image Source That Kind Of Womanjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits13 Image Source Ebayjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits14 Image Source Carla Astonjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits16 Image Source Apartment Therapyjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits19 Image Source Remodelistajestcafe.com-vintage-portraits21 Image Source Remodelistajestcafe.com-vintage-portraits23 Image Source Design Filesjestcafe.com-vintage-portraits24 Image Source Verdigris Viejestcafe.com-vintage-portraits25Image Source One Kings Lanejestcafe.com-vintage-portraits10Image Source sfgirlbybay


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2 replies
  1. Arielle says:

    I love these images! I’m always on the lookout for great at at thrifts stores, but it’s definitely few and far between. I think the hardest part for me is ignoring the thrift store setting and imagining the painting in my home – once I’ve dusted it off and it’s no longer stacked next to 80’s cat posters, what will it look like? Thanks for these tips and inspiring shots!

    • Mila says:

      80’s cat posters… HORROR! ha. I am lucky because I have one of the best thrifts stores in LA only some blocks away. I find myself there often, but I don’t find good art often… or, if I do, it is terribly expensive.


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