Trends for bathrooms and the newest kitchen trends here in the Mid-South area of Memphis, Arkansas, and Northern Mississippi might have you doing a double-take. That’s because these trends are bringing in lots of things you might have seen before—from the bold statement wallpapers of the 1980s to throwbacks of Art Deco and mid century trends, 2023 style and design are all about taking elements of the eras that you love and showing them off in your space. The Tub Pros, specializing in kitchen and bathroom refinishing, have seen it all…they know how to give the oldest of countertops and fixtures, the latest refresh in design, color and pattern.
So this year, you might notice an increase in the vintage pieces you see in homes. While lots of designers are producing throwback styles—pieces made to look like they’re from a few decades ago—there’s also an increasing interest in vintage or even antique pieces, both for display and for use. It’s not just about aesthetics, either—2023 trends are also about affordability and eco-friendliness, and reusing and caring for pre-loved pieces is one way to accomplish those goals as well.
But when it comes to vintage and antique pieces, you might have some questions. Where exactly can you find these pieces, and which are good to use, versus which should be just for show and display? And how can you keep them clean and well-cared for—and how can The Tub Pros help? Here, we’ll break down the questions you might have, and let you know some of the services The Tub Pro professionals offer so that you can get your home looking great.
Where can I find vintage pieces for my home?
Many people know the basics of antiquing—thrift stores, antique shops, and even estate sales can offer a wide variety of decorative pieces for your space. But looking for larger fixtures or accessories—whether you’re in the market for a few hardware pieces for your kitchen or a full vintage sink—can be a little bit different.
First, be prepared to look online, where you have access to items that might not be near your area. One challenge of this can be that you can’t see the exact condition of the item—that’s why it’s a good idea to look for “lots” or “overage” when searching for things like hardware, so you have a few extra pieces for your project. The same goes for other accessories, though remember that part of the charm of a vintage piece is the look of an object that’s been used. If that’s not your style, it might be worth looking for a vintage replica—especially for very hard-working fixtures, like a sink.
You’ll also need to be aware of the materials used in the items you’re looking for—traces of lead could make an item undesirable for use in your home or around young children.
And remember not to look past the features you might already have. Old pieces are often painted over or changed over time—you might find that paint-covered hardware, when restored, has the vintage charm that you’re looking for, or that a bathtub or counter—when properly cared for and refinished—have a lot more life in them than it might seem at first. Vintage cabinets might also be concealed under layers of paint, and restoring them could update the look of your space without investing in a larger project.
Most importantly, remember to keep an open mind. While you might not find exactly what you’re hoping to find, you’re likely to find something even better if you keep your mind open to the unexpected.
How do I care for my vintage or antique fixtures?
Whether they’re new additions or long-standing pieces of your home, antique fixtures can always use a little extra care. That’s because you may not know exactly what the material is made of, or you might notice some signs of wear-and-tear that you don’t want to make worse. A good approach is to always start with a gentle strategy before moving to anything more abrasive. For example, when cleaning vintage Corian countertops, often all you’ll need is a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water, rather than using abrasive products.
The same rule holds for many of the older fixtures in your home—dish soap and water can often be a great cleaning mixture for an old porcelain tub, with harsher chemicals reserved for treating any particularly stubborn stains. Natural options like vinegar and baking soda can also help to clean a porcelain sink—and drying any porcelain fixture, like the tub or sink, after using it, can help the finish stay shiny for longer, without getting dull from hard water build up.
Some items—like wooden cabinets—need wax to keep the surface protected and beautiful. But other items—like brass hardware—do not need the same kind of waxing, stripping, and shining. This can actually strip away some of the original finish, which thins and weakens the piece over time. Use an over-the-counter brass polishing liquid to keep them shiny.
As you clean, you can make note of any damage—like chips, cracks, or rust. This can cause even more damage down the road—especially in sinks or tubs, where water can get under the surface finish of the piece. Make sure to have damage repaired promptly, so that it can last for a long time to come.
How can The Tub Pros help me with shower, tile, sink, or bathtub reglazing near me?
When it comes to tub, shower, tile, and bathtub refinishing, Memphis and the greater Mid-South region turn to The Tub Pros. Their team of professionals will get your kitchen and bathroom fixtures looking and functioning at their very best—no matter their age. Whether you have a brand new sink with unexpected damage, a Corian Counter top and sink that are showing their age, or have decided that you need to make some accessibility changes—like adding grab bars to provide stability and help getting out of bathtub or shower areas—we’re here to make it happen. Antique pieces are a great addition to any space and giving them proper make them last even longer—if repairs are needed, do it quickly and save money on having to pay for even more extensive repairs down the road.
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