If you love elegant, old world style, vintage silver just might be for you. I know I personally love it. Most of what you find for sale is silver plate and not solid silver. Solid, or sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver, has become quite expensive over the years. If items were 100% silver, they would be too soft for practical use.
Silver plate is composed of a base metal with a layer of silver applied to the top. The quality varies depending on the process. I know a lot of people don’t like using silver because it tarnishes over time. This is good news in my mind. Because it tarnishes, people don’t like the maintenance, so they often decide to toss it. As more people get rid of it, there’s more available for you and I to buy. The other thing I like about tarnished silver is that it gives an aged look to the item and to a room—designers call that ‘patina’. I polish some of my silver and some of it I love to keep tarnished. I love to sneak it in here and there to give a room some bling and presence.
Some of the vintage silver pieces I love to use include water pitchers, tea and coffee pots, bowls, trophies, platters, and trays. Trays are great to use on an ottoman or hanging or leaning against the wall. I use one in my butler’s pantry leaning against the backsplash. Trophies can be filled things like pencils. One on my vanity is filled with lipstick and makeup brushes. Water pitchers and creamers are so wonderful to use as flower vases.
As for care, I recommend consulting an expert. I use professional silver polish on some of my pieces and let other pieces tarnish naturally. There are several home remedies for treating tarnish, like using foil and baking soda, but some experts say that harms your silver. Do your research first.
I even like to keep some of my silverware in a flower vase and display it that way. It’s casual and fun. I love that we can keep the old silver as a way to honor the past, but display it in new and creative ways.
For more simple French home décor inspiration from Anita, check out her blog Cedar Hill Farmhouse.
Get Ready, Get Set, Create – with Bali! There are so many options to explore. . .So many colors, fabrics, styles, and features. . . so much potential for bringing a little zing into a room, or injecting your style into a whole house. So . . .where do you start? Start here. With Bali.