How to Mix Kids and Vintage Decor

When you think of vintage home décor, what comes to mind?  Grandma’s house filled with shelves of glass trinkets, making it feel like a museum? Ornately framed black and white photos, looking like a haunted house?

Or maybe you think of a gorgeous home with antique vases and richly carved wood furniture.  If any of those pictures come to mind, one thing that definitely does NOT come to mind is…kids.

What if I told you you can have a lovely home that fits YOUR style that has vintage items (not reminiscent of grandma’s museum-house) AND is kid friendly?  Yes, I will tell you how to mix kids and vintage décor without losing your ever-lovin’-mind about someone breaking a priceless heirloom.

  1. Be selective

Vintage does not equal fragile.  Depending on your style, it can be a primitive (fancy word for old and beat up) trunk, a sturdy metal cabinet or a simple framed wedding photo of your grandparents.

vintage library card catalog cabinet

  1. Use reproduction items

There’s vintage and then there’s vintage style (aka reproduction).  Boy howdy, I love vintage style.  It means I can use an item that is more easily (and cheaply) replaced if broken.  That means I (and my kids) can USE an item.  I don’t like having untouchables everywhere.  Reproduction Jadeite dishes, toys, footstools, the list goes on and on.

green jadeite cake plate stand

  1. Buy kid toys that “fit” your design look

Let’s be honest, pink and blue plastic toys just don’t fit with the vintage home décor “look.” (Ok, so we have our share of bright plastic toys, but I tend to keep them out of site in bins.)  This is just a personal taste and not a judgment if your kids’ toys are all bright plastic.  But I love, love, love finding new (and some old) toys that look vintage.  Think a wood ring stacker instead of the traditional plastic one.  Wood doll houses or baby beds. Or even channeling the 1970/80s with vintage Fisher Price toys.  Classic or wood toys might be harder to find (and, yes, more expensive), but the joy is in the hunt for classics your kids would actually want to hand down to their kids.

little girl playing with doll


  1. Know possible toxins like lead paint used in the items

Lead based paint honestly does not concern me, but I know it does others, so I will add this to the list.  (More on my views of toxins in vintage items in another post.) You can find lead test kits HERE on Amazon or stores like Lowes that are inexpensive and very easy to use.  What if your grandma’s dresser has lead paint on it?  You can coat it with a lead paint sealer HERE.

  1. Don’t get too attached to your décor

While I encourage the kids not purposely be little maniacs in our house, things happen. Life happens.  Aaaand sometimes they’re little maniacs in our house. I don’t want to freak out every time a ball goes flying.  If I let them use a vintage plate from the thrift store, guess what? It only cost $2, and I can find more.

broken pottery in a farmhouse window

That’s my quick list of how to mix kids and vintage décor for your beautiful home!  What are some kid-friendly vintage (style) pieces you’ve found for your home?  Leave a comment below and let me know!


Our Vintage Bungalow

Howdy! I’m Tammy, and I’ve lived most of my life stretching a low decorating budget through garage sales and DIY renovation.

I am going to give you quick and easy tips on the beauty of reusing older items instead of spending tons of money on new. I’ll show you how I add vintage style that makes a your house feel like a cozy home (even with young kids, a practical husband and a big dog in tow). 

Read more about our journey HERE

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