Updated: Feb 25
With more than 110,000 followers on Instagram, I'm best known as Lisa Loves Vintage with a home filled with beautiful, preloved treasures. Here I talk more about my own unique style and what my home means to me.
Tell us about your home in Birmingham?
It’s a traditional Victorian terrace and typical of the era, it’s long and thin. I’ve lived in it for more than 20 years; I remember falling madly in love with it as soon as I stepped through the front door. At the time it was in a right state, but it had good bones and felt like home. I could see through the horrific 70s décor (not in a good way) and knew which original features I could restore and what I needed to replace. Two decades on, it’s still my favourite place in the whole world.
What has been your main inspiration to appreciate all things vintage?
I get my love of interiors from both of my parents. My mum was a window dresser, so she was always great at styling, while my dad was very talented at drawing, so we had interesting artwork on the walls. I remember growing up with a massive Guernica on our lounge wall – most people hated it, but it always fascinated me – and our white dining table was the shape of a flower, with each seat fitting into one of the petals. It was the most fabulous piece of 60s furniture, and I was gutted that I couldn’t give it house room years later.
How did you earn the nickname the “queen of vintage”?
I was one of the early adopters of vintage in Instagram, long before it became a “thing”. For me, buying preloved was a necessity not a fashion statement. I was widowed 16 years ago and had two toddlers at the time and my home became my protective blanket. With very little budget to decorate I started hunting in charity shops, flea markets and car boot sales, buying bits and bobs for as cheap as I could find. At the time you could literally pick up furniture, paintings and decorative items for a few quid and over the years I have pulled together what I like to think of as a carefully curated, colourful collection of unique pieces that really make my house a home.
Tell us more about your aesthetic?
I’m one of life’s great collectors so for me it’s about filling my home with pieces that make me happy – and I have literally filled it to the brim! I can tell you where everything came from, why I bought it and why I love it so much. As teenagers, we cover our bedroom walls with posters and concert tickets and photos – every one of them sparks a memory – and yet when we become adults we go for white, bare walls. I guess my style of decorating just means I never really grew up.
What’s been your biggest success with room decorating and styling?
My teenage son Noah and I learnt how to wallpaper during lockdown and that’s been revolutionary! I think my lounge is my most successful room. I went for a gorgeous floral paper by Albany and painted two feature walls in Mallard by Dulux Heritage. It’s filled with plants and some of my favourite vintage accessories – I love that someone said it looks like I live in Kew Gardens.
What’s been one of your favourite jobs as a stylist & creative?
I’m recently worked on styling a huge new build house that couldn’t be more opposite to my old terrace if it tried! The rooms were massive, so that in itself was a challenge, and the look the homeowner was after was quite different to my own personal style. Having said that, I’m managing to sneak in a few vintage touches, obviously.
What does your home mean to you?
I think when you have lived in a home for many years it means everything to you. It’s a place I laugh in every day with my children, where I have watched them take their first steps and witnessed them as they grow into the most fabulous adults. It’s where I have mourned too many losses and have shut the door to the world when it has all been too much. I love it when the kids have their friends round and I can hear chatter and excitement; equally I love it when it’s quiet and peaceful and I have the house all to myself.
Is there something in particular you love to collect?
Oh goodness, I love collections and have far too many things that catch my eye. I love Kokeshi dolls, vintage tins, old portrait paintings, floral barkcloth fabric, antique mirrors … if it’s vintage, I probably collect it.
How did you start your Instagram account?
I have collected vintage for more than 30 years, so my home always looked different to my friends’ houses. A lot of them didn’t quite “get" my look so when I started on Instagram I found a lovely little community of fellow vintage hunters where we could chat about our shared passions and frippery. I never for a minute thought it would be any more than that and I remember being amazed when I hit my first 1,000 followers. While I get my home will never appeal to everyone, I think people can admire how I can take a something I’ve found at the side of the road and (hopefully) make it look stylish.
You can read more about my style and love of vintage on my blog.