Embracing Nostalgia: Favorite Vintage Fall Decor to Collect

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Vintage fall decor adorns our shelves this time of year and this article will give you 15 unique ideas for autumn decorating

As the crisp air of autumn sets in and leaves transition to their vibrant hues, we find ourselves eagerly preparing for the cozy embrace of the fall season. It’s the time of year when we yearn for warmth, comfort, and a touch of nostalgia in our homes. Incorporating vintage fall decor into your home can transport you back in time, connect you with your heritage, and infuse your surroundings with a timeless, heartwarming charm.

It’s no secret that I love all things vintage. Old things tell amazing stories, and they also document and preserve our history. I believe we have a responsibility to tend to our roots and remember from where we came.

That’s all part of the joy of finding and collecting vintage decor, I think. Of course, the hunt is equally thrilling!

I’ve done a little of the hunting for you by putting together this list of must-have vintage home decor pieces for fall. Be sure to pin this post for the next time you’re out thrifting or cruising by an estate sale! These are all timeless pieces to collect! (And don’t forget to use my printable Vintage & Junk Hunting Journal while you search for these amazing pieces!)

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A petite vintage wooden shelf makes a wonderful place to display treasured finds

The Beauty of Vintage Fall Decor

Vintage fall decor offers a sense of history and a connection to the past that modern designs simply can’t replicate. The carefully chosen pieces from bygone eras bring with them stories, memories, and a sense of authenticity that resonate in deep and meaningful ways.

Much in the same way that a scent or a song can transport us back to a beloved memory, vintage items have the power to reconnect us with our heritage. How many times have you been walking through an antique store and stumbled across something that conjured up a long-forgotten memory?

I remember one antiquing day recently where I ran across the tableware pattern that my grandparents owned while I was growing up. It was something I had all but forgotten until I saw the stack of dishes there on that shelf. Right away, it brought those loved ones back into my life, and I’m grateful for little reminders of the past like that.

Vintage candlesticks atop a weathered cabinet great visitors on our front porch at autumn

15 Classic Pieces of Vintage Decor for Autumn

Whether it’s rustic elements, weathered wood, distressed finishes, or rich hues reminiscent of the autumnal landscape, vintage decor captures the vibrancy of fall in a unique and captivating way.

The collection that follows are at the top of my list of must-haves for the season. Some are so highly coveted that you’ll have to work hard to uncover one of these treasures. But, included below, I have already scoured and picked some of the best items available.

A word of caution, though–these are one-of-a-kind vintage items! If you see something that you like using one of the links below, be sure to snap it up before it’s gone!

Rustic wooden bread boards are perfect for fall decorating.
Credit: ChaseVintage

1. The Timeless Appeal of Rustic Wood

One of the hallmarks of vintage fall decor is the use of rustic wood. Weathered, reclaimed, or distressed wood brings a sense of age and character to your space.

{ Related: Woods & Whites are Farmhouse Decor Favorites }

Antique turned wood jugs can be repurposed into unique vases for fall flower arrangements.
Credit: Sandstone and Sage

You can incorporate larger wooden elements like a weathered wooden console table or a reclaimed wood shelf, or add in smaller accent items like a vintage-inspired wooden picture frame, a turned wood vase, or a rustic breadboard. These pieces infuse warmth and a natural, earthy feel into your home, echoing the essence of autumn.

2. Antique Lanterns and Candleholders

Antique lanterns and candleholders come with a sense of old-world charm and coziness. Imagine the soft, flickering glow of candles inside vintage lanterns, casting a warm ambiance throughout your space. These pieces not only enhance the visual appeal but also create a soothing atmosphere, perfect for a cozy fall evening indoors.

For autumn, I especially love brass and copper tones for these items. They look beautiful when paired with candles, and they bring in some of the warm fall tones in an understated and elegant way.

French-inspired candleholders in copper tones are ideal for decorating your fall table or mantel.
Credit: American Glory

And, although these French-inspired candleholders are not vintage, they are handmade and are an affordable way to incorporate autumn charm into your home while supporting a small maker/business.

3. Vintage Textiles: Quilts, Linens, and Throws

Fall is synonymous with snuggling up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa or maple tea. Vintage quilts, wool blankets, and crocheted throws are quintessential additions to your fall decor. Drape these textiles over your couch, armchair, or bed to infuse your space with both warmth and vintage charm.

Or, bring autumn into your kitchen with classic linens and tea towels. My favorites have a vintage French vibe, but if you search long enough, you can find some amazing hand-embroidered vintage pieces, as well!

My sister, Kim, has a maker business where she repurposes vintage textiles into one-of-a-kind pillows. It’s amazing to see an old tattered quilt be transformed into something so beautiful, and we have several of her pieces around our home (like the pillow pictured above!).

Mason jars and vintage glassware are versatile and timeless additions to your fall decor.
Find more vintage mason jars {HERE}

4. Mason Jars and Glassware

Mason jars and vintage glassware are versatile and timeless additions to your fall decor. Fill them with seasonal blooms, colorful leaves, acorns, or fairy lights to create captivating centerpieces or table displays.

You might already know how much I love vintage blue mason jars, and I’ve been collecting them for years. They show up in so many of my photos because we have a ton of them around our home!

{ Related: How to Date a Ball Mason Jar }

Vintage seltzer bottles are a unique addition to your fall decor and remind us of the season of entertaining!
Credit: Antique Lane

I also adore old glass seltzer bottles. Some of the rarest ones are pre-WWII from Europe. Because of the devastation of the area, many of those styles were lost. But if you can find one, you have a rare item, indeed!

No matter which type you choose, the simplicity and elegance of glassware adds a touch of sophistication while allowing you to showcase the beauty of fall.

5. Vintage Books

Books, especially vintage editions, bring a sense of intellectual and aesthetic appeal to any space. Once again, this is a beloved item for me to collect.

I especially love to find books with interesting titles to work into vignettes. And those with heartfelt inscriptions inside the cover are truly special, as well.

{ Related: How to Style a Bookcase…Against the Rules }

Display old books on your bookshelves, coffee table, or mantel to infuse a sense of nostalgia and depth. You can also layer them to add varying height to your decor, like I did for this vintage French centerpiece. Choose books with classic fall themes or those with worn, antique bindings that complement the vintage aesthetic.

Vintage brown transferware pieces evoke a sense of timeless elegance and refinement, enhancing the dining experience during the fall season.
Credit: Aloof Newf Whimsy

6. Vintage Tableware and Dining Accessories

Elevate your fall table settings with vintage tableware and dining accessories. Incorporate vintage plates, silverware, glassware, and linens with intricate patterns or delicate designs. These pieces evoke a sense of timeless elegance and refinement, enhancing the dining experience during the fall season.

A coveted style to collect for autumn is brown transferware.

Transferware is a type of ceramics or pottery that is typically of a neutral color (often, white) with an intricate pattern or scene in a certain color. The design starts on an engraved copper plate which stamps the pattern onto tissue paper, and the wet ink design is then transferred to the piece before being glazed and fired.

The scenes are often floral or pastoral. Most people are familiar with the popular blue Staffordshire transferware, but you’ll also find beautiful pieces in brown, burgundy, and green.

If you’d like some ideas for how to style your table for fall, be sure to take a look at some of the Fall Tablescape Ideas that several of my blogging friends and I put together. You’ll find some brown transferware there, too!

Vintage clocks and timepieces can serve as striking decor pieces while also reminding us of the passage of time and the changing seasons.
Find more vintage clocks {HERE}

7. Antique Clocks and Timepieces

Vintage clocks and timepieces can serve as striking decor pieces while also reminding us of the passage of time and the changing seasons.

I have been collecting vintage Westclox clocks for several years, and we have a few that are very rare in the collection now. This particular brand of clock is dear to me because the history is so fascinating.

{ Related: Collecting Vintage and Antique Westclox Clocks }

But whatever type of clock you choose to collect will look amazing! Choose clocks with intricate designs and vintage finishes to add character to your home. The gentle ticking of a vintage clock can also create a soothing background sound, adding to the fall ambiance.

Collecting antique kitchen scales is a journey through culinary history, blending functionality and aesthetic appeal.
Credit: Aloof Newf Whimsy

8. Vintage Kitchen Scales

Collecting antique kitchen scales is a journey through culinary history, blending functionality and aesthetic appeal. These vintage treasures offer glimpses into bygone eras, showcasing intricate designs and craftsmanship. From delicate balance scales to robust cast-iron models, each piece tells a unique story of culinary evolution.

You can see some of the vintage scales that I’ve collected over the years from this display in our breakfast room, which I designed with a PNW winter theme.

Vintage kitchen scales offer glimpses into bygone eras, showcasing intricate designs and craftsmanship.
Credit: Antique Lane

Collectors appreciate the blend of form and function, as these scales once played a vital role in measuring ingredients for traditional recipes. Beyond their practical use, antique kitchen scales stand as nostalgic symbols of an age when precision and artistry converged, making them prized possessions for both collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Wooden duck decoys, steeped in tradition and rustic charm, make for exquisite vintage fall decor.
Credit: Artisin Vintage

9. Wooden Duck Decoys are Vintage Fall Decor Favorites

Wooden duck decoys, steeped in tradition and rustic charm, make for exquisite vintage fall decor. These hand-carved treasures evoke memories of crisp autumn mornings by the lake, capturing the essence of waterfowl hunting.

The weathered wood and intricate detailing of vintage duck decoys add a touch of authenticity to your fall decor.
Credit: Rue 88 Market

The weathered wood and intricate detailing add a touch of authenticity to seasonal displays. Placed on a mantle or incorporated into a table centerpiece, these decoys infuse warmth and nostalgia into any setting.

Their earthy tones and natural textures perfectly complement the fall color palette, bringing a sense of the great outdoors into your home. Wooden duck decoys bridge the gap between functional art and timeless autumn aesthetics.

10. Antique Ironstone

Antique ironstone, with its timeless elegance and understated beauty, seamlessly blends into vintage fall decor. The classic white or creamy hue of ironstone complements the rustic tones of autumn exquisitely.

Displaying antique ironstone pitchers, platters, or bowls adorned with fall foliage, gourds, or dried flowers enhances the season’s ambiance. I love the way this piece, which is missing its lid, was repurposed in a guest bath so elegantly:

The classic white or creamy hue of ironstone complements the rustic tones of autumn exquisitely.
Credit: 1100 West Co

The delicate patterns and refined shapes create a charming contrast against the organic elements, evoking a sense of nostalgia for simpler times. As versatile pieces, antique ironstone effortlessly embodies the cozy, welcoming spirit of fall, adding a touch of vintage sophistication to any autumn-themed setting.

Cornucopias embody the essence of autumn and effortlessly infuse warmth and vintage charm into your fall decor.
Find more vintage cornucopias {HERE}

11. Natural Woven Cornucopias

Cornucopias, also known as “horn of plenty,” embody the essence of autumn and effortlessly infuse warmth and vintage charm into your fall decor. Crafted from natural materials, these timeless pieces celebrate abundance and harvest.

{ Related: DIY Autumn Bunting Banner }

The intricate weaving and earthy tones resonate with the autumnal palette, making them ideal for seasonal displays. Fill these charming containers with an assortment of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and fall foliage for a rustic centerpiece or table accent. The curved shape and organic feel harken back to traditional autumn festivities, evoking a sense of gratitude and togetherness.

Copper kettles, with their warm metallic sheen and old-world charm, are perfect for vintage fall decor.
Find more vintage copper kettles {HERE}

12. Copper Tea Kettles

Copper tea kettles, with their warm metallic sheen and old-world charm, are perfect for vintage fall decor. The rich, autumnal hues and patina of the copper beautifully harmonize with the season’s palette.

Vintage kettles exude a cozy ambiance, evoking memories of steaming cups of tea by the fireplace. Whether displayed as standalone pieces or repurposed as charming vases for fall blooms, their timeless design adds a touch of sophistication to any autumn setting. The nostalgic appeal of vintage copper tea kettles transports you to a bygone era, infusing your fall decor with a sense of tradition and rustic elegance.

Vintage stoneware crocks, steeped in history and craftsmanship, provide exquisite fall decor.
Credit: Homewell Studio

13. Vintage Stoneware Crocks

Vintage stoneware crocks, steeped in history and craftsmanship, provide exquisite fall decor. Their rustic, weathered appearance and earthy tones perfectly align with the autumn aesthetic.

These timeless vessels effortlessly capture the essence of the harvest season, and they are becoming more valuable as collector’s pieces with each passing year!

Repurpose your vintage stoneware crocks as unique planters for fall foliage or showcase them as standalone pieces to evoke a sense of vintage charm.
Credit: Old Oar

Red Wing crocks, which are especially coveted, were produced by the Red Wing Stoneware Company in Minnesota and emerged in the 1860s. Known for their durability and distinctive red wing logo, these salt-glazed stoneware crocks gained popularity for food storage. Over time, they became sought-after collectibles, embodying a piece of American pottery history.

Repurpose your vintage stoneware crocks as unique planters for fall foliage or showcase them as standalone pieces to evoke a sense of vintage charm. Adorned with fall flowers, twigs, or wheat stalks, stoneware crocks make for striking centerpieces, enhancing the cozy and welcoming atmosphere of fall. Their age-old appeal serves as a gentle reminder of a simpler time, infusing your space with the spirit of the season.

Vintage owl collectibles, with their wisdom-evoking charm, are exceptional additions to fall decor.
Credit: Nature’s Unique Boutique

14. Vintage Owls are Perfect for Autumn Decor

Vintage owl collectibles, with their wisdom-evoking charm, are exceptional additions to fall decor. Whether you choose statuettes, figurines, art, or any other type of owl-themed decor, it will be an excellent addition to your fall lineup!

{ Related: How to Make an Acorn Wreath }

Owls, often associated with autumn and Halloween, bring a sense of mystique and enchantment that perfectly captures the spirit of the season. Their earthy hues and intricate details resonate with fall’s color palette, effortlessly blending into autumn-themed displays.

Placing vintage owl collectibles on mantles, shelves, or as table centerpieces imbues a cozy, nostalgic ambiance, reminding us of the wisdom of nature and adding a touch of retro sophistication to fall decor.

15. Rustic Baskets

Rustic baskets, emblematic of harvest and countryside charm, serve as ideal fall decor. Their woven textures and earthy tones align perfectly with the autumnal ambiance.

Filled with vibrant foliage, pumpkins, pinecones, or apples, these baskets instantly evoke the cozy spirit of fall. Whether hung on doors, arranged as centerpieces, or used as storage containers, they infuse a sense of nostalgia and simplicity.

{ Related: The Very Best Wall-Hanging Baskets }

My favorite, and possibly the most difficult to find, are vintage French harvest (or picking) baskets. French harvest baskets, like the one shown above, have a rich history rooted in rural agrarian traditions. Dating back centuries, these baskets were originally crafted for gathering crops during harvests. Characterized by their sturdy woven design and practicality, they reflect a timeless blend of form and function, embodying authentic French countryside culture.

The natural appeal of rustic baskets enhances the humble, wholesome feel of the season, making them versatile and cherished pieces in fall decor, reminding us of the abundant harvest and the beauty of the changing seasons.

Combine vintage pieces, like this rusted box, with modern elements, like a ceramic figurine, to create a balanced and eclectic look for your vintage fall decor.

Tips for Incorporating Vintage Fall Decor

Here are some tips to guide you as you infuse vintage fall decor into your home:

1. Mix Old and New

Combine vintage pieces with modern elements to create a balanced and eclectic look. The juxtaposition of old and new adds depth and interest to your decor.

{ Related: Modern Farmhouse Design on a Budget }

2. Pay Attention to Colors

Choose a color palette that reflects the hues of autumn. Earthy tones like browns, reds, oranges, deep yellows, and muted greens are quintessentially fall and pair well with vintage decor.

{ Related: Decorating With Shades of Green }

3. Curate Thoughtfully

Carefully curate your vintage pieces to ensure they align with your overall aesthetic. Select items that resonate with you personally and tell a story that complements your home.

{ Related: How to Style a Vintage Aesthetic Room }

4. Let Nature Inspire You

Allow the natural beauty of the season to inspire your decor choices. Incorporate elements like dried leaves, branches, pinecones, and pumpkins to enhance the vintage fall theme.

{ Related: Cozy Farmhouse + Botanical Design Inspiration }

Incorporate elements like dried leaves, branches, pinecones, and feathers to enhance the vintage fall theme of your decor.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating vintage fall decor into your home allows you to celebrate the beauty and warmth of the autumn season in a timeless and charming way. By carefully selecting and curating vintage pieces that resonate with you, you can create a home that exudes the comforting embrace of nostalgia and the allure of fall.

For even more ideas, be sure to check out Etsy’s Editor’s Picks for fall home decor. There are new treasures to be found all the time!

Embrace the beauty of years past, and let it transform your living spaces into a cozy, vintage haven during this season of change and transition.

Do you love hunting for vintage treasures as much as I do?

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