Meaningful Layers: Mixing New and Vintage



Known for her chic combination of new art and vintage finds, Kelle Dame of Kelle Dame Interiors gave us some insight into how she approaches styling. Follow along as she gives us her framework for creating vignettes that are full of life and meaning.




Q: You have a passion for vintage finds! Can you share some tips on mixing new art with vintage pieces?
A: I love to combine new art with a vintage vessel—a tray, box, or repurposed candy dish that is similar in color to a hue in the art piece. This connection through color automatically threads the two worlds together.







A vintage tray filled with new and old items can be used as the foundation of a vignette, using the art as the centerpiece. The varying heights of the objects on the tray encourages the eye to travel around the art piece making a connection with the decor below in a circular style, drawing the eye back up to the art. When art has powerful colors and energy like Kristi's, and it's combined with special decor, it creates undeniably awesome energy.








If you were to pile up some of your favorite things, what would your pile look like? Would people who saw it say, "Yup, that's so-and-so's stuff, I can tell." Or would your pile look like it could belong to anyone?


This is my pile. There's art created by strong and amazingly talented women that I admire. There's old and new. There's flowers- ALWAYS fresh flowers. There's art that I finally have been able to create because I've been letting go of perfection. There's sweet keepsakes like all mothers have. I really do think you can see my soul in my treasured items.


Does your stuff mean a lot to you? Is it disposable or replaceable? Or does it have true value, sentimental value, making it irreplaceable?


We can choose to surround ourselves with things that don't mean much of anything- art from a big box store, items bought just because they were on sale, or items that really just aren't "us"... But do any of those things make you FEEL? Part of this job I have as a designer is to make sure my clients LOVE their homes, love their stuff, and feel like their homes and everything in them is perfectly tailored to their story. I sure love doing that, too.







Kristi has a piece titled Do It Anyway and we combined it with a blue and white Staffordshire dog pitcher-turned vase. We also named the dog Kevin and created an entire personality for him like he's a supporting actor on the set of our very own home decor show.


Vintage finds are all about wandering antique malls, flea markets, and estate sales until something speaks to you. Finding character and soul in an item that makes you smile, laugh, or reminds you of a loved one or memory from childhood is truly the best kind of decor. That find paired with art that you love by an artist you might know or have connection with creates instant energy through the contrast of bright and new next to something well-loved and well-traveled, like Kevin.





Love this original piece by Kristi?

Get the look with the What We Leave Behind glitter embellished print.




Q: What drew you to Kristi's work and how important is it to you to surround yourself with art?


A: Her bold use of color and her energy behind each piece. It's like candy or happy pills for my eyes. I especially love the contrast her work creates within a very traditional setting. It's like saying, " I do what I want" and I always love that sense of confidence and bold expression in a home. 


Surrounding myself with art is extremely important because I believe that whether we are consciously aware of it or not, everything around us sends us messages. Those messages can positively or negatively impact our quality of thoughts and feelings while simultaneously creating our experience of "home".






We love Kelle's playful style—her statue "Harvey" is frequently dressed for holidays (like her celebration for National Brioche Day), or simply to keep her and her daughter smiling with a simple bow tie.




I am very intentional with the messaging around our home. Not only for myself, since I'm the one most attuned, but also for my daughter because I want all the messages that she receives from me and our home to support self-respect, self-love, confidence, meaningful purpose, humor, and strength. 


So having art around us, especially knowing and talking about the artists that created the art, is my way of reinforcing the kind of messages that lead to high-quality thoughts, productivity, purpose, and just overall happiness. Kristi's work is perfect for that!





For more of Kelle's work, visit her site and follow @kelledameinteriors on Instagram.