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Design Direction: When shopping vintage, buy what you like

| Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, 8:55 p.m.
Susanna Zacke (left) and Sania Hedengren

For Susanna Zacke and Sania Hedengren, vintage decor never gets old.

The authors of “The Whimsical Home: Interior Design With Thrift Store Finds, Flea Market Gems and Recycled Goods” (Skyhorse, $19.99) are experts in tricks and tips for creating a vintage look without breaking the bank. The book explores five homes, all distinctly different yet all decorated in the vintage style. Accompanying descriptions of each home are great ideas for DIY projects to help readers achieve a similar look.

Zacke and Hedengren have worked together for nearly 15 years as stylists, journalists and authors in the field of handicraft and interior design. Since 2003, they've written 10 books and contributed to Ikea's worldwide catalogs. They're based near Stockholm.

Question: Using recycled or reclaimed materials in home decor seems to be a top trend these days. Why do you think it's so popular right now?

Zacke: Nowadays, most people think of the environment, so using recycled or reclaimed materials in homes is perfect, good for the environment and it doesn't cost much. I think it's a challenge to use recycled materials, so you get creative.

Q: You offer some great ideas for self-made projects in the book, but what if you're do-it-yourself impaired? What's your best advice for someone who's not crafty at all and tends to shy away from those kinds of projects for fear of failure?

Hedengren: First of all, do not be afraid to fail. We all fail at some point, and then it's just about starting over. Susanna and I fail sometimes. Start with something simple. Take a stylish tin and use it as a vase: simple and personal. Use old chairs around the dining table — all can be different. Look in secondhand shops. You can also set the table with old odd porcelain. Hang a beautiful fabric on the wall. Painting a piece of furniture is also simple, and you see a big change quickly. Don't think, “I'll do it later.” Just start!

Q: When you're buying vintage, what are some things to keep in mind to ensure quality?

Hedengren: Quality is good, but we probably think more about how much we like something when we buy it, so our advice when you go shopping vintage is to buy the things you like!

Q: Is there any space featured in the book that you find particularly exciting or interesting? What are some of your favorite things featured in the book?

Zacke: I really like the little yellow house (one of the featured properties in the book — a cozy cottage decorated with great thrift store finds). It is so small and simple and yet so personal, charming and functional. They have created a beautiful home with small, simple parts. Nothing is big or expensive.

Rachel Weaver is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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