Dress up your home with vintage garden decor

  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:54pm
  • Life

Those drawn to 19th century style may be pleased to learn that vintage garden decor is a trend this spring and summer.

The look involves florals, weathered wood, wire, period typography, bird motifs and accessories, and other elements with a Victorian vibe, said Tom Mirabile, a trend watcher for Lifetime Brands.

The appeal lies largely in the era’s garden-as-haven aesthetic, he said.

“We look at the Victorian age as an era when there was just a lot of time,” he said at an industry trends seminar earlier this year.

Conservatories, greenhouses and aviaries were popular in stately Victorian-era homes, but even modest residences might have a little birdcage. Fashionable too were ferns, palms and terrariums.

Pottery Barn’s got miniature greenhouses this season made of white-painted distressed pine and glass, perfect terrariums for small plants.

A replica of a vintage birdcage is made of wire painted hunter green; it’s tall enough to house an elegant orchid, but would also work as a tabletop accent.

On a grander scale is the retailer’s Conservatory bird cage, a nearly 5-foot-long mahogany and wire piece that would fit on a console table or atop a long shelf.

While it’s dramatic in and of itself, a collection of objects would look amazing inside it; www.potterybarn.com.

Floral motifs — and roses in particular — were all the rage during the Victorian era. Art and textiles featured illustrated flora and fauna from home and exotic parts of the world.

Bradbury &Bradbury now offers a couple of art wallpapers derived from illustrations by period artists William Morris and Walter Crane.

Fenway has an art nouveau-style pattern with irises at its heart, while Woodland showcases the artistry of both Morris and Crane: winsome rabbits and long-legged deer cavort across a leafy landscape.; www.bradbury.com.

Designer Voytek Brylowski offers prints of works by Victorian illustrators Mary and Elizabeth Kirby.

Parrots, toucans, lilies and hummingbirds are hand-colored, vibrant examples that can be mounted in simple frames and placed near a patio door — or anywhere the gentility and charm of the period might be appreciated.

“By digitally enhancing old images, I feel that I give them new life, and preserve historically significant illustrations and drawings by these famous naturalists,” said Brylowski, who is based in Wroclaw, Poland; www.etsy.com/shop/VictorianWallArt.

Jennifer Stuart, an artist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has designed a collection of plates depicting damask and floral prints of the 19th century on patio-friendly melamine; www.zazzle.com.

And Pier 1’s Floria collection has a vintage damask pattern in garnet, soft blue and grass-green in a collection of indoor/outdoor rugs and throw pillows; www.pier1.com.

Cast-iron and wicker furniture and containers were used both indoors and out in the late 19th century, just as today we use rattan chairs in the family room and the garden, or iron plant stands in the kitchen as well as the patio.

Restoration Hardware’s Hampshire and Bar Harbor all-weather wicker collections include chairs and sofas in restful shades of cream, gray and mocha; www.restorationhardware.com.

Early visitors to resorts in New York’s Adirondack Mountains discovered the eponymous big wooden chair that’s withstood hundreds of years of style changes.

A good selection in both real wood and Polywood, a recycled plastic resembling wood, is at www.hayneedle.com.

West Elm’s collection of soft yet sturdy braided baskets, woven of bankuan grass, evoke French laundry bins. Use them as storage in any room; the natural color makes them versatile; www.westelm.com.

Turquoise chicken-wire baskets and cloches can be found at www.farmhousewares.com, which also has a vintage-style garden supply shop sign in the form of a hand.

Galvanized planter pots in sets of six would make great receptacles for herbs or miniature blooms.

More in Life

The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

Jennifer Mabus came here from Nevada and Hawaii. She leads hikes and blogs about them.

Branch out: ‘Tasting Cider’ recipes call for hard apple cider

Top cider makers share how they like to make hush puppies, bread pudding and the pear-fect cocktail.

‘Tasting Cider’ a sweet resource for hard apple cider fans

Erin James, the editor-in-chief of Cidercraft magazine, wrote a book all about the fermented drink.

For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

You won’t be able to stop eating this colorful chicken salad

The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Fur & Feathers with energetic Lincoln and big-attitude Chase

One dog is not a fan of cats or men. The other definitely prefers adults only.

Almost everyone has questions about Social Security

The most frequent guestion about retirement benefits: ‘When can I start receiving them?’

Most Read