The Etsy Blog

Guest Curator: The Vintage Workplace With Mod Nest handmade and vintage goods


Lia is an interior designer and the maker behind Mod Pieces, an online boutique offering restyled vintage lighting. In addition to blogging about all things vintage and design on Mod Nest, she is a weekly contributor on Scoutie Girl and is soon to launch a new e-book called, When “Me” Becomes “We,” a manual for couples who are struggling with how to blend their decorating styles.

I take a lot of inspiration from vintage interiors when designing modern spaces. Injecting a retro color palette (orange and avocado!), a dose of chrome or a few Danish chairs can provide a room with depth and history. The trick lies in successfully blending old and new. Infusing your home office or studio space with vintage pieces, alongside new, reclaimed and handcrafted objects, creates a diverse, eclectic mingling of styles. 

Aside from being impossibly cool, there’s just something so appealing about the raw, gritty feel of industrial pieces. They add tension, interest and character to the sleek, modern furnishings of today. You absolutely can’t go wrong when you blend industrial treasures of black, grey, red and white, with a few typographic elements.


Photo from The Mid-Century Modernist

The Steelcase Coordinated Office Approach.

This classic palette need not be cringe inducing. The combination of colours plays off of each other so beautifully, when used as accents, rather than the main event. A little jolt of avocado and orange will add a playful punch to a scheme of warm grays, natural wood and crisp cream.

When I picture vintage offices, I see rows of women in tight sweaters, typing. Oh, how far we’ve come! Just because our role in the workplace has evolved, doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the surroundings of days gone by. When playing with tones of coral and mint, keep the doses small to avoid creating a pastel nightmare. A little hint of mint goes a long way. Natural wood furnishings will balance out the palette.


Photo by AMC

Boys will be boys. Even if the men of days past weren’t overly productive, choosing instead to spend their time swirling glasses filled with ice and whiskey, at least they did it with style. When infusing your space with vintage treasures of the beige, brown and gold variety, keep the look light and airy with white or cream walls to avoid creating a dungeon-like disaster.

Past Guest Curators