Simple Styling with Vintage


Hey guys, remember this house with the red floors? It belongs to friends of mine who have since moved and have opened up the house as a BnB for travellers heading to The Hague. Last week I received a frantic phone call from the owner, a good friend of mine and talented architect, saying that the house had suddenly received three bookings for the following day but was still empty (they’d only managed to get in the basics – beds, linen and a 4 meter table), and could I please go in an style it with props until they had a chance to bring in all the bits and pieces. I’d been working on an event that week and had been collaborating with a local vintage supplier so I made some calls and hit the shops. Pronto. I had 24 hours to style a two story, three bedroom house for it’s guests arriving the following afternoon! I thought it’d be fun to show you some of the spaces and how I did some simple styling with mostly vintage. It’s amazing how little you actually need to create a fun and inviting space, and I love using vintage pieces for the personality they bring to a space without too much effort.


The house has fire engine red floorboards throughout, so I brought in items that would compliment the floors, add some fun and whimsy yet keep it calming at the same time for tired travellers looking to unwind. I brought in lots of texture and a neutral palette of creams and whites with pops of burnt reds and black for contrast and depth. As I was very short on time, the basis of the spaces needed to be pretty plain, so I brought in varying patterns to add interest and offset all the white and clean space. Here’s another view of this bedroom:









I actually picked up that little boho style wicker bench while I was prop hunting on the day of this installation. It was propped outside a sweet little shop called Wauw (Piet Heinstraat, Den Haag, very lovely) and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I bought it right away and stuffed it in the back of my car, deciding to double up and use it for the BnB because it was the perfect piece for this little bedroom nook.


Although there’s a ton of empty space here (and given the time and budget I would totally have stuck a fabulous piece of abstract art above the bench, I admit), the texture and delicate lines of the bench, sculptural shape of the plant, warm colours and tons of texture make everything feel light, airy and very holiday-like, which is exactly how this room should feel.

IN THIS ROOM: Bench | Black and white cushion | Floral cushion (vintage) | Walnut candlestick | Pottery planter | Rug | Black patterned cushion


Here’s another room that got a quick makeover with nothing but a few vintage pieces and fresh linens. Forgot the before picture, folks. My bad.



In this space, calming grey tones and burnt oranges downplay the bright floors and add a sense of calm and comfort. Again, lots of texture and patterns to offset all the white space. A woven wall hanging above that lamp would totally float my boat, by the way. But bed linens and woollen textures boost the comfort factor, with a scattering of cushions both old and new.

IN THIS ROOM: Vintage lamp and wicker stool | Dark grey blanket | Grey bed linen | Patterned cushion | Blue and white patterned cushion



Upstairs is a large space with exposed wooden ceiling beams and loads of light. It used to be a living room but has been turned into a spacious communal dining space for the guests at the BnB. When I arrived at the house, there was nothing but a 4 meter table, a quirky ceiling lamp and a whooole lotta red.

An eclectic collection of chairs around the table and a few accessories completed the space. A few larger scale artworks would have finished this room off for sure – those heigh ceilings and huge windows are just begging for some statement pieces of art.

















Pretty cool to see how little is actually needed to add personality to a space (even a large space like this one) using vintage right? Ps: I am obsessed with that little pot belly stove.

IN THIS ROOM: Vintage dining chairs | Eye Eye poster | Vintage yellow string chair and mosaic table |Vintage wood and brass bowl and wooden tea set| Magazine holder | Embroidered cushion on yellow chair | Woven fruit basket 



This bedroom has the most beautiful reclaimed antique sliding doors in a pale green colour, flanked by charcoal grey walls. Exposed ceiling beams are also a wonderful feature. I wanted to draw attention to these details by bringing in fresh whites and just a few pops of bold colour and pattern. I added some sculptural elements to draw the eye to those beautiful doors. A pair of vintage flying birds on the wall are super kitsch but in a clean, unfussy setting they are totally cool.




Texture, colour, pattern, the use of various natural materials (wicker, ceramic, walnut, brass) and lots of subtle layering of textiles is what makes this space so lovely and inviting. And so simple too, guys. Just a few well chosen accessories is all you need to really finish off a space and vintage pieces keep it looking original too.



And yes, I covered the headboards. They weren’t working for me at all, and I didn’t know they were all brightly coloured before I rocked up with two car loads of vintage props! It was a quick fix – a few sheets of fabric and the grey hairs those fabrics were giving me were a thing of the past. Of course we all know this was all purely for the shoot, so I could show you the impact of simple styling with vintage accessories. I let the guests rest their tired heads against those crazy headboards the following day but subsequently had to remove the cushions, which weren’t working in the space anymore. Such is life, my friends.

IN THIS ROOM: White bed linen | Button cushion | Vintage side table  | Tapestry cushion and green planter | Vintage birds

Hope you guys enjoyed this post and were able to take some ideas away. You really don’t need so much to turn a space around, so hit the markets and vintage shops and pick up some treasures to style simply with at home this weekend.

Holly x

Styling & Photography: Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle | Assistance: Aukje Schukken | With products by: Deja Vintage, Verzamelaars van Vrolijkheid, The Fine Store, By Mölle, Madame Curioka, Schoolhouse Electric

15 Responses to “Simple Styling with Vintage”

  1. Ilse says:

    You are a genius. I truly mean it. I really love everything you do!

  2. wauW what a great project and I love the great job you’ve did! Really like the colours and vintage pieces 🙂

  3. These rooms are lovely! Natural light is simply gorgeous, and it illuminates everything. I love light and airy looks. You did a wonderful job. I am moving to Florida in about a month, and I needed some inspiration on how to style a room with very little. I have a small budget, almost no budget for room styling, so this was incredibly inspiring.

    Much love.

    Courtney from Barefoot in Blue Jeans

  4. i like how you placed everything… Only thing i can add is at the red table i think white chairs are nicer it will match with the white walls. But it’s still beautifull !!

  5. yzette says:

    Wow Holly, you really did a nice job. love the style and atmosphere you brought into the rooms with all those great vintage founds! xx

  6. […] their wonderful home as a guest house. The  ‘hostel in The Hague‘ was furnished by Holly Marder (in record time!) and the result is a bright fun space with cool vintage finds and a boho vibe. If […]

  7. Dezignable says:

    I really really love what you did here, absolutely stunning!!

  8. A little bit to much white for my taste but it fits though!

  9. Topper says:

    I love what you did. it looks great and stil it looks spacious

  10. Love the ‘afters’. I wouldn’t believe a red floor could look good if i didn’t see it for myself, thx for the inspiration!

Leave a Reply