One of my favorite parts of homemaking is curating beautiful decor in my home. It’s no secret that I love coming across a great vintage find at an antique shop or on Facebook Marketplace. I’m so glad to have Deb of Seeking Lavender Lane joining me on the podcast again to talk all about how you can curate an elegant, vintage look in your own home without making it feel cluttered or junky. For those who aren’t sure if decorating with vintage pieces is right for them, we chat about defining your style and honing in on what you truly love. This is such a fun and practical discussion for anyone hoping to take their home decor to the next level!
In this episode, we cover:
- How you can shop at Deb’s new online antique mall
- How to begin curating your home when you aren’t sure what your style is
- Thoughts on evolving your style over time and following trends
- Taking design risks in your home
- Should you define your style before you begin curating and decorating your home?
- How assessing your lifestyle can help you define your decor style
- Ideas for sourcing vintage finds based on Deb’s personal experience
- The beauty of slowly piecing your home together over time
- Figuring out what kinds of vintage art you like and how to find quality pieces
- Favorite sources of inspiration for home decor
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Deb is a mom to two amazing children and married to her best friend. Deb started her blog, Seeking Lavender Lane, in 2013 when she and her husband were purchasing their first home. She shared about how they turned their 1985 cookie cutter home into a cozy farmhouse style home. In 2018, they began their next adventure of living in a camper for six months while renovating their fixer-upper home. They turned a run-down foreclosure into their dream European farmhouse. Follow along with Deb as she shares her love for faith, family, and design through Seeking Lavender Lane.
Deb’s vintage dish rack replica
Seeking Lavender Lane blog posts: Inspiring Movie Homes, Favorite Movie Homes
Favorite design inspiration: Amber Interiors, Studio McGee, Country Living, Milieu, Veranda, Better Homes & Gardens
Deb Foglia of Seeking Lavender Lane | Website | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook
Lisa Bass of Farmhouse on Boone | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Pinterest
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Lisa Bass [00:00:00] Welcome back to the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. I’m sitting here in my kitchen today, not my normal podcasting area. Actually, at this point, I don’t think there’s any normal podcasting area for me because we have kids napping one place and another, and so you never know where I’m going to be. But today I’m going to be chatting with an old time blogging friend, Deb, from Seeking Lavender Lane. She is one of my first blogging friends. When I first started blogging, I really got into the home decor, interiors blogging space, and that’s what I pretty much thought I’d be going for. Now, my content that really fuels my blog, fuels my YouTube channel is mostly food. And so you probably just know me as sourdough, food from scratch, but I also just love interiors and design and vintage finds. And so occasionally I have people on to talk about our homes and how we want our homes to make us feel, how we collect for them, make them cozy. I feel like that goes—in so many ways—with simple farmhouse life or any lifestyle really to make your home feel and reflect how you want your lifestyle to be. And so without further ado, I’m bring on Deb from SeekingLavenderLane.com and @SeekingLavenderLane on Instagram to chat vintage finds, design. Her blog is heavily focused on that. So if you want some inspiration in design, her Instagram is absolutely beautiful. You will find lots of ideas there to incorporate into your own home. So let’s chat.
Lisa Bass [00:01:35] My name is Lisa, mother of seven and creator of the blog and YouTube channel Farmhouse on Boone. Join me as I share with you my love for creating a handmade home, from-scratch cooking, and a little mom and entrepreneur life along the way.
Lisa Bass [00:01:47] Hey, Deb. So glad to finally have you back on. It’s been a while since I’ve had you on here, and so I’m really glad that we decided to finally sit down and do this again. So for those of you who don’t know you, which if you’re in the decorating space, if you like old world design, like I like so much— this podcast, we talk about homesteading and from-scratch food, but also I bring in my love for old and antiques and all that. So Deb is in that space and so you probably know her, but go ahead and tell us a little bit about you and your home and your blog and all that good stuff.
Deb Foglia [00:02:27] Yes. So I was on I guess maybe about two years ago, I think, Lisa. Right? So I have been blogging for about nine years now on Seeking Lavender Lane, which started out as our first home we bought as a family and we took a very cookie cutter home and turned it into a very farmhouse style home. And since then we renovated a new house about four years ago, and I kind of incorporated more of my recent love, which is like European farmhouse. So kind of combining both that casual feel of farmhouse, but with the old world touches of that European lifestyle and lots of great vintage finds and warm colors and just that comfort and old world together. And we did that about four years ago. And we’re constantly still making changes, and I share all about it on Seeking Lavender Lane and our Instagram. You could see a lot of now reels and all of that over there. And also on Pinterest, I’m always pinning, whether it’s my own decor or also just different old world inspired interiors that I just love to look at and be able to apply.
Lisa Bass [00:03:42] Yeah. And if you are looking for some inspiration, Deb’s home is absolutely beautiful. She combines antiques, vintage finds, some new things, color, but then also some patterns. So it’s very beautiful. Tell us a little bit about your— you have a new venture. Am I understanding that it’s kind of like an antique mall, but online. Like there’s vendors, maybe?
Deb Foglia [00:04:02] That’s like that perfect description of it. So it is a vintage marketplace. So the concept is that we created a website that you can easily browse and shop all your favorite vintage vendors through. So just like going through an antique mall where you could look at one booth to the next, well, it’s the same idea, but online. And so we currently host different vendors from all throughout the country, a couple in Canada, and it’s really fun, and we’re really excited about this new venture. I think it’s something that the vintage world really needed. And for us—vintage enthusiasts that just love the hunt and love finding great vintage items—I think it’s going to be a really great place to shop and then for our vendors to sell through.
Lisa Bass [00:04:47] Yeah, that sounds really awesome. I’ve been checking it out, and there’s definitely a lot of good finds. I’m excited to keep following along because a lot of times with my house, there’s something very particular that I’m looking for, and it’s really hard to find. And sometimes it’s better even just to reach out to somebody online or find something that’s more curated. You can always find something for a bargain. You can find it over time, but usually it just takes forever. That’s been my experience when I want something very specific.
Deb Foglia [00:05:14] Yeah, yeah, it’s true.
Lisa Bass [00:05:15] I think for most people, the thing that’s most intimidating and confusing about incorporating vintage pieces is defining a style so that it doesn’t look like it’s from the thrift shop or garage sale. What are some of your curating tips so that does not happen?
Deb Foglia [00:05:28] Yeah. So with Vintage Keepers, too, we have an online quiz that we developed because I know that this is where a lot of people struggle with, whether they like multiple styles or they just can’t figure out what it is that they like. And so we have a quiz on our website that you can take and it can spit out exactly what your vintage interior style is. But for curating a space, I think the key that I always try to tell people is really just go with what you love. And I know sometimes it’s a little harder for people to know what they love. But when you look at something, whether it’s art or a sculpture or a picture or anything like that, try to find things that draw you in, and that’s what becomes your style. I think sometimes when we get so focused on following trends and following other accounts, sometimes we can lose our own personal style because we’re just trying to incorporate what they’re doing. And so I think that that’s a really good tip is what draws you in? But I do think inspiration photos do help to give you some type of guideline. So that way if you— I love using Pinterest just for my own to try to keep me on track. And so by pinning different photos that might feel— like for me, like European or old world, I know when I’m going out and curating a style, I know that those homes are showing a lot of copper and maybe some great old world pottery and portrait photos and things like that. And so those are things that I will keep my eyes out for when I’m curating a space.
Lisa Bass [00:06:58] Yeah, I sometimes struggle with doing what I love because I feel like it really does morph over time. Like as you’re exposed to maybe more books or more images or different influences, I find that, oh, I actually really love that, but maybe I didn’t know that I loved it ten years ago. Have you saw that with your own style? Like it evolving over time, even though some people say, “Well, this is what I’ve always loved.” And they almost say it as if that there wasn’t any influences that actually fed into that love. So how has that shaped for you over time?
Deb Foglia [00:07:33] I love that. I feel like that’s so true. I think our style is allowed to evolve. And I think sometimes it’s based on where we are in our life. So when I think back at like 21-year-old Deb— I got married at 21. And when I look even just like at my wedding style, I’m like, oh my gosh, what was I thinking? You know? But I was 21. I was a kid still. So there’s that. There’s the time and just growing up and all of that. But I also think trends have influence, and I think it’s okay. Like, I think sometimes people get afraid of that word trend, and they feel like, oh no, I’m not trendy. But trend is important and we do have influence with that. So I do think that definitely has something to do with it. I think seasons— I really do feel like seasons, whether it’s in your life or seasons like real seasons— you know, I just recently changed something in my house where I had done— me and my husband had built a plate rack back in the winter, and I liked it at that moment. And then now that it’s summer, I started feeling like it felt too cluttered and I wanted simplicity. And so I swapped it because I’m in a different season. Maybe more was better in the winter, and now I want something fresher. So I think that those are all good things. And I think it’s okay to grow with your style and fall in love with different things. But I think there’s always still part of us— like I will say for myself, even as a kid, I used to love going into old homes, and I’ve always loved vintage. I’ve always loved old things. And so I’ve always carried that. Like, I don’t think I could ever be somebody who likes a modern style. I just don’t think that I would go that extreme. But like maybe— you know, all of a sudden I started incorporating some red in my house recently, and I’m not a red girl, but for some reason in this chapter, I’m like, I’m open to red, so I think it’s okay.
Lisa Bass [00:09:36] Yeah, I totally know what you’re saying there. So yeah, when I think about my style— I was trying to sort of define it. I know that it is country, vintage, comfortable, like kind of relaxed. But that particular style—I find in my own home—can take a lot of different forms. So there was a time when I went through sort of a minimalist but still very country, and then now I just ordered 15 rolls of wallpaper and like 25 samples. And so my question to you with you saying, okay, you put up this really cute plate rack— which it was. It was adorable. I remember seeing your reel that I think it went really well. Got a lot of views on it. And then you know, you change your mind. What am I going to do if I don’t like this green floral wallpaper that’s going to go up my Victorian staircase and have to go like 20 feet high? What then, Deb?
Deb Foglia [00:10:21] Well, it sounds amazing, by the way.
Lisa Bass [00:10:25] Maybe don’t do wallpaper?
Deb Foglia [00:10:26] It’s so hard because sometimes— like especially being a creative person, too, I feel like sometimes we just want to take those leaps of faith in our creativity, and we just want to test the waters. You know, I get bored and so for me, I’m always up for trying something. And I guess maybe this is not great advice, but I’m kind of like, well, we’ll figure it out down the road if I want to change it. Like I did wallpaper in my daughter’s room, oh gosh, maybe it was a year and a half ago. And my thought was, well, she might not love that forever. And then, will I love this forever? And it’s permanent wallpaper. It’s not that peel and stick kind. And so I just was like, you know what? I love it now. I’m going to do it. I’ll figure it out down the road if something changes. I mean, you can remove wallpaper, so it’s not a bad thing. But I mean, I feel like my advice might not be good, but I’m like, just do it. I feel like you’re going to love it now, and then you’ll figure it out. So I actually— the wall behind me used to have wallpaper, but it was a peel and stick. So just do it. I think it’s going to be great.
Lisa Bass [00:11:33] I’m totally going to. Well, so I’m going all in. I’m not only doing the staircase. I actually have chosen— this is how I guess I do things, I don’t know. I’ve chosen four different wallpapers, and they’re going to go in the entryway, the bedroom, the kitchen, and the staircase. So I’m not just starting. I did a poll on my Instagram where I was showing the different options. And obviously people weigh in, but I’m like, I don’t know why I asked. I don’t care. I’m doing it. I’m doing all of it. People are like, “Why don’t you just try one room?” And I’m like, “Love your advice. I’m not doing that.” I don’t know why I asked for advice on that one.
Deb Foglia [00:12:08] Sometimes it’s that impulsiveness. You just have to do it. You have to see it. You have the vision right now. And I think with the architecture of your house, it’s just going to feel so classic. Maybe if you had a brand new house, it would be hard because maybe the style of that home— it could look nice with wallpaper, but maybe it’s not authentic. That feels like it’s going to be authentic with your house.
Lisa Bass [00:12:31] Yeah, that’s I think what I’m struggling with is I came to this house, we painted it, and brought all of— like right when we moved here, we redid the floors, painted it, and brought all of our furniture from our last house. And I thought, oh, that’s great. I’ll just transfer my entire style to this house and it’ll be done. And it’s very wrong. Like it does not do well with just off whites and these very boring minimalist colors. The ceilings are tall, everything’s a little bit grand, and it doesn’t work. So I know I already did it wrong. And so I guess I’m not too hesitant to try something else, but we’ll see. I might regret it, but it’s one of those things where, like you said, I can always just take it back down. It’s not that big of a deal.
Deb Foglia [00:13:10] I think the key to what you said was that you lived with your house this way. And I really think that that’s so true. Even in my own house, there were decisions I made early on, and living here has taught me that actually certain things don’t work. And so I think sometimes you do have to give yourself that time to sit with things and decide if it’s going to work or not. How long have you been in your house? Like two, three years now? Your current house?
Lisa Bass [00:13:34] Three and a half.
Deb Foglia [00:13:37] Oh, wow. Oh, my gosh. That went so fast. So, yeah. So you lived with it and you’re like, “It needs something different. This is our old house style.” So I love that.
Lisa Bass [00:13:45] Yeah. So, okay, talking about vintage finds and collecting and going back to this idea of not buying all the wrong things that it looks not curated and it looks not like a garage sale. Do you recommend for people who don’t have a knack— because I feel like some people have a natural knack to know what pieces go together, but then some people need a guideline. So do you recommend defining a style?
Deb Foglia [00:14:08] Like finding a style first before jumping in and curating or shopping?
Lisa Bass [00:14:13] Yeah, just being— like, okay, so on your Vintage Keepers, you have these mood boards like rustic, eclectic, farmhouse, grand millennial, and it looks like maybe for some people, if they want a certain look in their house, but they really don’t have an eye for how that would all piece together, maybe looking at something like that or collecting together a Pinterest board or some way of defining what you’re going for. Is that something you typically recommend?
Deb Foglia [00:14:39] I definitely recommend that. Again, not to keep bringing in Pinterest, but I think Pinterest is such a key for people today. So I did this design class two years ago. And one of the things that I had taught the women that took the class was really study what you like. Create a board that feels like your style. So you collect all these different images that feel like you, something that draws you in. And when you study those pictures, you’re going to notice right away what seems to be constant, you know? So for me, I love copper. And so I just seem to always either save through Instagram or pin, so many kitchens that have copper. And so I know that that’s my style. I know that that’s something that’s drawing me in. And so that’s going to help me to source items that are similar. I feel like with Vintage Keepers, we’re trying to do a few different things with it. Obviously it’s the shop, right? But we also are trying to kind of educate our customers. And so with our Instagram account, we started doing these different boards. We have the quiz. So we’re trying to teach people that. And I think that that’s going to really help because I think a lot of people—like you’re saying—love vintage, but they love how other people do it, but they’re like, “Okay, but how do I do that? How do I know that if I look at this piece, it’s good?” But I will say one of the nice things about vintage when you do start looking at items is that quality stands out. You can see when there’s quality of something. And so I also always look at the bottom of where something’s made. So if it’s made in France or Italy, I’m usually like, “Okay, well, it’s made in France. It’s probably a good piece.” So looking at things like that— signatures. Quality will help you realize when you are collecting things to look for that. But just to say with Vintage Keepers, what we’re doing too is— you’ll see if you go to our website, it’s shop by style, and you can also shop by product, and then you can shop by shop. And so you can go into all of our different shops on there, and every one of our vendors kind of has their own curated style. You’ll notice that. And so what I love about that is it’s kind of like when you go into your favorite booth at an antique mall, you know I like her stuff. And so you kind of seem to return to that same booth. Well, same thing with Vintage Keepers. It’s just the online experience. You might say, “Oh, I love this person’s shop so you can follow them and you can continue to shop from them to kind of curate that style too.” So I think those are all different things that we’re trying to do to help our customers really navigate on what they should be shopping for.
Lisa Bass [00:17:27] Yeah. And I think, too— I was thinking about how your home style is really such a reflection of your lifestyle. So when I say I like country, well, that embodies my whole life. Like what I enjoy doing is having a farm and living in the country and having a lot of children. And so obviously your home style is going to reflect your lifestyle. So if there’s just even certain hobbies you’re drawn to, it comes out in how you want your home to feel. I don’t feel like I’m saying that very well, but it made a lot of sense in my head.
Deb Foglia [00:18:02] It’s 100%. And one of the big things that I always just say is like, “Experience your home.” And you’ll see that on my Seeking Lavender Lane Instagram. I truly believe we should experience our homes. I mean, we spend every day here, right? So vacations are nice, but we spend—what?—maybe a week on vacation somewhere. So I really believe that we should experience our home every day. And so obviously there’s hustle and bustle. We’re doing, we’re working, we’re raising our children. We’re running here, running there. So we’re doing all those other things. But you can make time in your home to experience it. And so by the way you style your home, it just all kind of comes together of just like this is my lifestyle. I would love to live in Europe, but I don’t live in Europe, so, okay, I’ll bring Europe home. So all those kinds of things like having a great rocking chair on your porch because you love the slow moments with coffee in the morning and your Bible or things like that. So those are all things to experience your home. So I definitely think decorating your home like that is key. If you’re a minimal person, you don’t like a lot of stuff, you might not be somebody who’s a collector. But if you love that farmhouse feel, you love seeing—like your shelf behind you—the collection of all your spices and your pantry and things like that. So it’s definitely— it should go together, and even the way you dress, too. All of it. It’s part of your lifestyle.
Lisa Bass [00:19:33] Yeah. And if it doesn’t go together, it’s something that you’re going to be fighting a lot too. Like with me having a lot of kids, this house— it just is very— it has to almost look pretty while also being a little bit messy. And so I created this feel—at least I’ve tried to create this feel—to where there’s a lot of cozy things that are— almost if they’re not perfectly in place, it still looks nice. Whereas if I was, say, a single person in the city, I might have this aesthetic that it’s very polished in how it actually looks best, whereas mine fits in with my lifestyle and a lot of things being out and exposed and showing. I enjoy being in this kitchen a lot with cooking, and so I have herbs hanging and spices readily accessible and cast iron skillets stacked on the stove. Having it seamlessly fit into your lifestyle means it probably is more your style just because of where you are in your life.
Deb Foglia [00:20:28] 100%. I love that.
Lisa Bass [00:20:31] So what are some of your favorite vintage finds in your home? I know you have a lot of them.
Deb Foglia [00:20:36] Mm hmm.
Lisa Bass [00:20:37] Any good finds?
Deb Foglia [00:20:38] I do. I would say— so, a couple favorite pieces. I’ll give you three. I mean, there really— there’s a lot. And basically my whole home has been curated with vintage, and I just love shopping the flea market. To me, it’s become my favorite pastime to do. It’s become a hobby. I mean, I’ve sourced so many things for so cheap, and it just comes together so nicely. But I would say the three top favorites is I have a great pine cabinet and it’s kind of like this between our dining room and our hallway. It’s like an awkward space since our house is— we have an open concept, but it was also an addition. So the way our layout is a little different, but it’s a great pine piece. I got it on Facebook Marketplace a few years ago. I can’t even tell you how much I paid for because it was so ridiculously cheap, and I think the guy— there’s a long story with it, and some of my followers know this because the guy actually called me about a month later to ask for it back because his wife freaked out that he sold it to me for so cheap. So it was this long story, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, but I’m so in love with the piece. I can’t part with it now.” So anyway, that was a crazy experience, but greatest piece. I love it. It’s one of those staple items, too, for me that just feels like my style. It’s just really beautiful. And I took some of the drawers out too, which I kind of love because it just feels a little bit less heavy for that space. And I could kind of decorate in between where the drawers were. So that’s definitely top. Another one is I have this great moody floral painting that’s in my bedroom, and I love this piece so much. I got it for a great price, and I don’t know what it is. I just love moody artwork, and I love oil paintings a lot. And it just feels so perfectly placed in our bedroom and it’s above our bed, and I just really love it. It’s just another great piece, and I sourced that at the flea market. And then the last one is I have my dish rack which sits on my counter, and that was a Facebook marketplace find. And the funny thing is I bought it on Facebook Marketplace but became friends with the lady who sold it to me because she has an antique booth in a beach town close to us. And so we’re friends now and everything, and I had bought it from her. Just love it. I love that it also— because our kitchen’s kind of newer, and it kind of gives us more of that collected feel, like brings an antique piece to it. And so it’s probably one of my number one asked questions of sources in my house that we actually ended up finding a carpenter to mimic the piece. And so we sell it on my website now because I had been asked so many times and I’m like, “It’s vintage.” And I think that’s the hardest thing about having a public home is that if something is vintage, you can’t really point somebody in the right direction where to get it. And so in this case, I was like, “We have to find a way to recreate this because it really is so great.” And so we now sell it on my website, which is awesome, but I won’t give up the original. And it’s a really, really beautiful piece. I keep my everyday dishes there, so it’s like usable, too.
Lisa Bass [00:23:57] Yeah, I know just the one that you’re talking about. And I was actually getting ready to say, I bet you get asked about that thing all the time, because I know as bloggers, whenever people see— like just this salt thing behind me, I get asked constantly. I’m like, “I’m sorry, it’s just from an antique shop. You’ll have to look.”
Deb Foglia [00:24:13] That’s always a hard thing. It’s kind of nice because it feels original in your house. And that’s what’s so great about antiquing is finding things that you couldn’t find anywhere else. It feels so original, and it tells a story which I love. But then, like in our case, where we’re sharing things, you kind of wish you could help somebody like, “Hey, you could just go get it right here on Amazon,” and then you can’t. It took me like two years to find somebody to build it, and I’m excited that he’s been helping me out for the last couple of months. So it’s cool.
Lisa Bass [00:24:43] Yeah, that’s a good idea, especially when something wood like that.
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Lisa Bass [00:26:30] With your house, with decorating a room, what’s your process like? Because with vintage and collecting, it’s really hard to just bring a room together because you can’t really make this moodboard and really— you don’t know what you’re going to find. So do you make a list of all the things that you need to find and DIY? Or how long does it take for you to bring a room together?
Deb Foglia [00:26:52] Mm hmm. So there’s a few different ways that I decorate. And just for me, just because decorating is my creative outlet— this is for my own home versus if I was doing an interior design job, which I which I don’t do but very, very rarely. But in my case, if I’m going to start from scratch, I usually do do an inspiration board. Usually it’s like Canva. And I’ll put together just some ideas of what I would create. So even if that means it’s not necessarily finding the item. Let’s say I wanted to put a vintage portrait in there, maybe I would find a vintage portrait just from online and know that that’s what I’m going to look for. So that’s if I’m super organized about it. But then, not all the time. So I would say probably when it comes to buying vintage, I buy what I like, and if it’s got a good ticket price on it, and I know it’ll fit with my style, I buy it, and I’ll find a place for it. And I will say probably a good percentage, I find the perfect spot for it. It’s almost like it’s meant to be. Every once in a while it’s like, “Oh, why did I buy this?” You know, like, “Oh, no. I don’t have a spot for it.” The good thing is you could always resell it on Facebook marketplace or something like that if you did have an item like that. But I think my advice is never pass something up if it really speaks to you and it feels like a good price. I mean, there’s certain things that you’re like, “Oh, it speaks to me, but that is way over my budget.” But when it’s like in budget or less than maybe what you would have thought you would spend on it— I think when I’m always antiquing or at the flea market, I always have like— I see something. I’m zoned in. It’s like hawk eyes on this piece. And I see it and I’m like, “Okay, I think I might pay like $15 for that.” And then I’ll ask, “Oh, how much are you selling that?” “Uh, I don’t know, $8.” “Ooh, yes. Okay.” And so that’s kind of my whole process is just if it’s less than what I was thinking or around the same price, I scoop it up or I negotiate. But I kind of love the collected feel. I think I’ve learned to do that, though. I don’t think that that was necessarily me maybe about five years ago. But the more recent Deb feels like I love the process of collecting and making my home feel different than what’s out there and building my style from found pieces. Because I think that’s the cool thing about decorating with vintage is they really do tell a story. It’s a different process than if you were not sourcing vintage. If you were just doing a home that felt new and you were buying all new products for it or sourcing all new items. It’s a different process.
Lisa Bass [00:29:43] Yeah. And it’s never done. So I guess maybe old Deb would have just liked to design it, get it done, bring everything in there, and then it be done. But new Deb is like, “Okay, no. I can swap things out.” I don’t know about you, but I do place holders a lot of time. So I’ll put things— maybe my not favorite print or something in a spot where I hope to maybe find some vintage oil painting or something, and then build it as I find those pieces.
Deb Foglia [00:30:09] Yeah, absolutely. There are a lot of areas in my house that I’m like, I know I have something in mind for it and I just haven’t found it yet. I mean, my dining room alone, I got this table off Facebook Marketplace like a year ago, and I have not found the perfect dining room chairs yet. And I’m just like, let it go. And I just don’t have chairs around the table. And I kind of like it because my dining room is a very awkward space and it’s like in the middle of the house, and so it almost feels like a hallway in a way. So that’s kind of cool. But I definitely— there are— I’ve been collecting these copper colanders—not colanders, bundt pans—and I want to do like a wall. It was inspired actually when we went to Disney in February and they had the Ratatouille ride, which is a French movie. And they had all this copper. And it just inspired me to want to do this copper bundt pans. And so I’ve been slowly collecting them and I like visualize it, but I just haven’t found enough yet to do it.
Lisa Bass [00:31:08] Yeah, being patient, but it’ll look amazing whenever you get there.
Deb Foglia [00:31:12] Yeah.
Lisa Bass [00:31:12] What are some of your go-to decorating secret weapons? So things that—whenever you have a spot that you’re not sure—that you always just fall back on.
Deb Foglia [00:31:23] Definitely flowers or stems. I think that that’s always a good— especially if you have a weird awkward height or corner, I think doing something like that— which is free, right? So especially if you could just trim some branches from the yard, I think that automatically elevates a space, too. Greenery just 100% always elevates a space. So I would say that’s definitely number one go-to.
[00:31:56] Okay, I’m going to give you a hint. You do really well with vintage prints and frames and art.
Deb Foglia [00:32:02] Yeah, so I feel like you asked me about vintage art last time I was on here, too, and so—
Lisa Bass [00:32:08] It’s been a while. They can hear it again.
Deb Foglia [00:32:10] No, no, it’s fine. I love vintage art. So again, when I say vintage creates character for a space, I think that there’s something extra special about vintage art because it’s very personal. I think that there’s something extra about what you hang on your walls. And so what attracts you to something, I think, is very personal, and I think it’s pretty fun because—especially if you have a guest at your house—I think one of the first things that they’re going to see is what’s on your walls, and so it creates conversation. And I think for me, I probably have freaked out more guests than normal because they’re like, “What’s up with all the portraits? What’s up with those weird people?” And I’m like, “Oh, I just love it.” And to me, I think especially with a portrait, I think there’s something about a face because it really draws you in. And so I think it brings real character to a room, but I totally know that’s not everybody’s thing. And so maybe it’s something— maybe a piece of art attracts you because it’s a place you want to be or a time you wish you lived in or— you know, like I love Victorian art because it kind of makes you think about that Victorian era and a different time. Or maybe it’s a seascape because you really love the ocean. And so I think those things are really cool. I think vintage prints are great. They definitely fill space, too. I used to have a curated collection with Shop Vintage Supply and she has a great, great collection. I started kind of venturing away from it a little bit because I think I just love the idea of really collecting real art. But it’s a great space holder—like we were saying—until you find the right piece because it’s a lot cheaper. But I do think there’s something really, really wonderful about finding art that you really love and then finding a great place for it.
Lisa Bass [00:34:07] So do you have any tips for that with art? I’ve found some really good pieces. I’ve also bought something and then put it in my house on the wall for a while and thought, “Okay, that definitely wasn’t it.” So what are your tips for finding real pieces?
Deb Foglia [00:34:24] So again, finding something that you really like, right? So that’s key. I think especially if you’re seeing it in person—right?—versus online. If you walked past it in a booth or you walked past it at a flea market and it caught your eye, I think that that’s like the first thing. Okay, that caught my eyes for a reason, so that’s really good. I think also you’ll kind of figure out your own style. So for me, I really love moody art. I love tapestries, like behind me, so those are kinds of the things that I’m always looking for for me. I’ve seen people— actually, one of our vendors, Victoria, she does the French style really nicely, and she has just a beautiful collection of French florals, and she just does it so wonderfully. And you can just tell that that’s her style. That’s what attracts her. So I think that’s definitely the first thing is like what attracts you? I think signed art is really key to really finding something that’s good quality. Also, what type you’re attracted to. I love oil paintings. Maybe you like sketch art or maybe you like watercolors. And so figuring that out too is going to be helpful. I think what’s nice though is—especially if you’re curating a space or maybe creating a gallery wall or something like that—it doesn’t all have to be the same. I think that’s what’s really cool is if you found things that were different and you put them together and you looked at how it worked together and doing something that’s— maybe you have a brass frame on one, but then the other one is a frameless canvas. That’s pretty cool. That really creates a really interesting story and look. So I think that those are great things to look for. Definitely also turning your art around. And so when you see the back of the canvas and just see is it really aged? Not that there— I mean, I have found some great pieces that were painted in the eighties or nineties, so it doesn’t have to be like really, really old. But if that’s your style and you really are going for that old school farmhouse feel, then I think turning the canvas around and kind of seeing the age of the canvas is a really good key to know that it’s good art too— or old. I should say old art. Doesn’t mean it’s good art, but it’s old art.
Lisa Bass [00:36:36] Yeah. I have one piece I’m getting ready to get rid of. I actually, I think I bought it for definitely less than $50. It’s a painting, but after it was in my house for a while, it just definitely did not fit in. It’s a mountain and a landscape, maybe, but I don’t even— I still don’t honestly even know exactly what it is, like what the secret is when it works. But then I get it here and I know it works, but I’d like to be able to start— I think I’m starting to figure it out before actually having to bring it here, which is good.
Deb Foglia [00:37:09] Yeah. And colors are important, too, because I love like things that are landscapes and stuff like that. But I notice they don’t work so well in my house because I don’t have a lot of blue in my house. And so that’s a good key thing to look for, too like that the colors— I guess that’s why I like moody because I have a lot of warm colors and pops of black in my house. And so that’s why probably moody art looks good. So that’s key, too. When you’re shopping, you want to make sure it’s colors that work with what’s already in your home and your furniture and things like that.
Lisa Bass [00:37:40] Yeah, that’s totally true. Okay, so do you have any other antique shopping finds? So with art, is there a price point you’re trying to stay at? Or then, in general, where are you looking for a lot of your pieces?
Deb Foglia [00:37:55] So, I mean, I’ve gotten art from all over. So flea markets, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, even though they’re our competitor now. No. I mean, everywhere and anywhere. So I’m always on the hunt. I mean, even an antique store. Wherever I just find good art. I will say it’s probably one of those things that I’m always sourcing because—I don’t know—I guess for me, I just really love it personally. And what’s really cool now is with Vintage Keepers, I mean, we have a ton of art on Vintage Keepers— and really, really good art, too, from all our vendors. And so what’s cool is I actually opened up my own vintage shop within Vintage Keepers. So not something I thought I was going to do, but then decided— well, I thought it was really wise of me to be able to experience what a vendor experiences like as the website owner which has been great because I really have felt it hands-on like what they’re going through and how they’re learning and all that stuff. And I’ve kind of fallen in love with selling vintage now, which is weird because I really consider myself a hoarder because I feel like I have to keep all the vintage for myself when I find it, so it’s been fun. And sourcing art now for my own shop has been fun because I had one piece that’s on my shop right now— it’s like this windmill scene and it’s like blue, and I know it wouldn’t work in my house, but I’m like, “Oh, but it’s so pretty.” And it just reminds me of a French windmill, and so I bought it to sell. And so I think that’s kind of cool.
Lisa Bass [00:39:26] Yeah. I’m going to definitely have to take a look at that because I’m interested in a lot more pieces for around here. Okay. With art, are you layering things or putting like one piece and— I always have a hard time figuring out where I should place them. Right above maybe a chair rail or something like that. Or where are some of your favorite places to hang art so it’s not just random?
Deb Foglia [00:39:50] Yeah. So. Well, the funny thing is my perspective is a little different from other people because—especially taller people—because I do kind of decorate like a five-foot-one-er. I just think that’s kind of it. I feel like it has to be eye-level for me, you know?
Lisa Bass [00:40:08] Yeah.
Deb Foglia [00:40:08] So I think that that’s the first thing. I do kind of love the idea of unexpected art size and art placement. I think that that is really fun and something worth playing with. I think as a creative person sometimes it has to click with your visually. Right? So it might be harder for someone who might not consider themselves creative. I would say stick with the rules. Stick with—like you said—above a chair rail. Stick with like eye-level. I think people do make a mistake of hanging things too high. So definitely stick with eye level no matter what. But I do personally love an unexpected placement of art. If it feels like a miniature piece of art in an area of your home and you’re like, “Oh, it’s so small, but I feel like it almost creates interest.” So I started a gallery wall going up the stairs. We have a room upstairs, which is like my candle studio where I pour my candles and stuff. And so we have this stairway and I started a gallery wall. I don’t love it because I feel like I haven’t collected the right art for it, but again, like placement, like I’ve put things there and I’m like, “I’ll get to it. I’ll finish it eventually.” But I have this one— so my great uncle was an oil painter, and I—so far—have inherited one of his pieces. My parents have a ton in their house.
Lisa Bass [00:41:29] Oh wow.
Deb Foglia [00:41:29] And it’s a larger piece, and I actually put it going up the stairs but at the floor level because when you’re down here, you could see it directly on. And it’s probably a very odd place. Someone wouldn’t maybe naturally think to put out a piece of art at the bottom. It’s like a landing. It’s hard to explain. I guess it’s probably easier if I had a photo, but it’s like at the landing. It’s the bottom of the landing before the second set of stairs. But when you’re standing on here, it’s like you see the whole picture. But someone might not naturally think to put a picture there because it’s on the floor in a way, you know? So I think that those kinds of things are fun to play with. I wouldn’t be afraid of that because it creates interest. It shows off your creativity, and so odd shaped art or too small for space or too large for a space can be kind of cool.
Lisa Bass [00:42:20] Yeah, that’s very interesting. Okay, so what inspires you? I was going to ask you about books, Instagram accounts, blogs. Are there any noteworthy inspirations that you want to share?
Lisa Bass [00:42:33] Yeah. So I truly try to find inspiration everywhere. I mean, we could start with just Instagram and Pinterest, right? That really is probably my prime place to be, even though I do really feel like it’s important to also read magazines and flip through design books because I think they show things differently. And it’s kind of fun to also look at design books from a while ago where it’s not super new because you could kind of inherit— especially if you love things that are vintage or old. So you could kind of inherit that style. I will say—and I wrote a couple of blog posts on this on Seeking Lavender Lane—I love movies that have good homes in them. And I mean, like Nancy Meyers movies. Oh my word. I just wrote another— actually just did this week. This week I wrote another blog post. I watched Parent Trap, which was from 1998. Loved that as a kid. And I hadn’t shown my daughter yet, and I was like, “You have to watch this movie. It’s so good.” So we watched it as a family last weekend. And so I love anything that she does specifically. And actually we watched a lot of— something gelato. It was not a good movie, but it was in Italy, and since I love European stuff, just the scenery in it was so amazing. So I love certain movies like that that you could grasp that. I mean, there is some great designers that I just love. I mean, I love Amber Interiors, Studio McGee. I mean, those classics are really great. But I feel like—especially when it comes to magazines—I like to buy lots of different types of magazines to inspire my style. And so I love Country Living because I love the country feel of those magazines. One of my favorites is— I don’t know if I’m saying this right, but I think it’s like Milieu. And it is such a great magazine, and it’s a little bit more higher end. Veranda— like so taking kind of those high end designer and then taking the classic country magazines, and I kind of feel like I fuel myself with all these different design styles, so I could kind of create my own because I love a little bit of each. I love a little bit of that high end style, but I also really love that real like country style too. So I think that that’s kind of fun is when you’re thinking of designing your home or you just love design is kind of have an open mind to processing different ways that people are designing and styling their homes.
Lisa Bass [00:45:07] Yeah, I find all of those enjoyable as well. I love looking at Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and then I have several farmhouse and vintage style books. But yeah, having the variety is definitely helpful to see things you might not have noticed whenever you’re just looking at the same ones.
Deb Foglia [00:45:24] Yeah, absolutely broadens it.
Lisa Bass [00:45:26] Yeah. Okay. Tell us where to find you and where to find Vintage Keeper and yeah— all about where to follow up with you.
Deb Foglia [00:45:38] Sure. So I’ve had my blog, Seeking Lavender Lane, for a while now, so you could find lots of about our home, our style, those dish racks, all that kind of stuff, our previous DIY projects, our last home, all that’s over on the blog, all types of inspiration, whether it’s design looks or even—like I said—a blog post on movies that have inspired my style, so that I share over there. Always on Instagram at Seeking Lavender Lane, so you could check me out there. And then with our new venture, Vintage Keepers, it’s Vintage-Keepers.com. And then we’re at @Vintage_Keepers_Shop. And so we are just inspiring with different vintage finds, what’s in the shop, different styles, sharing all of our vendors’ beautiful pieces over there, we’re just getting started. We soft launched in June, and we’ll be officially launched this September, and we look forward to all the opportunities that come with it and really getting beautiful vintage finds in people’s homes.
Lisa Bass [00:46:37] Awesome. Well, thank you so very much for taking some time to talk design and vintage with me. I really appreciate it.
Deb Foglia [00:46:42] Thank you, Lisa.
Lisa Bass [00:46:43] All right. Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast. Make sure to go check out Deb and inspiration on her page and Vintage Keepers. That will all be in the show notes below. I know I’m going to look for some art because she really made it sound like there’s some great curated art, and I’m always on the lookout for that. Thanks again for listening, and I’ll see you in the next episode of the Simple Farmhouse Life podcast.