An Expert’s Guide To Decorating With Vintage

When our favorite vintage furniture and decor marketplace, Chairish, announced they’d be hosting a sale curated by Bill Blass Creative Director Chris Benz, we knew it was going to be a good one. Chris, who is responsible for revitalizing the iconic Bill Blass brand in recent years, contributed a mixed bag of vintage and contemporary pieces he’s collected through his extensive travels over the years. When asked about his taste in decor, Chris likens the process of decorating a home to personal fashion, saying, “It’s all about color balance, proportion and attitude.” We asked him for a few specific tips for pulling together cohesive personal style at home, and here’s his best advice, particularly as it pertains to the inclusion of vintage pieces.


Start Small When It Comes To Color

"I love color, but my Virgo brain has to keep things organized. Experimenting with color at home is great if you keep it to smaller pieces like pillows, throws and accents. This way, when you get tired of neon pink you can swap it out without buying an entirely new sofa!"

Go For Function AND Form

"I always search for vintage pieces that are also useful. For example, why settle for a run-of-the-mill platter, when you can find a fabulous vintage one for less with triple the uniqueness?"


Don't Overlook Textiles When Vintage Shopping

"Vintage textiles are a secret weapon around the house. Flatweave rugs, flags, tablecloths and throws can also all work as bedcovers, table runners and towel-bar accoutrements."

Keep It Shabby

"Don’t over-clean or refinish. We all know that a good patina is impossible to re-create. There’s so much emphasis put on refinishing antique furniture, but I always search for the most broken-down, chipped pieces and leave them that way. There’s nothing more chic than an old worn-down vintage piece in a freshly painted room."


Add New Life

"Anything can be a houseplant. I’m constantly rotating potted plants from outside into my rooms, because anything can be a houseplant, really. I don’t know who limited this to philodenrons and fiddle leaf fig trees. Be sure you don’t keep finicky plants inside for too long, but they’ll be fine for a few days or for a special occasion."