Vintage Decorating Ideas with a House Tour in the Adelaide Hills

Vintage style homeA home should reflect you, no matter whether you have a whopping great mortgage, own your home, or rent. Even if you share with other people or still live at home and only have your own room to decorate. One of the lovely parts of my job is seeing inside other people’s homes and getting to know their stories. It is inspiring to see what creative things you are all doing to create your little parts of the world.

Home really is where the heart is.

Today I am giving you some vintage decorating ideas, revisiting a story I published a little while back – the home of Angela Prins, who lives in a rental property in Blackwood, South Australia. Angela contacted me via Facebook and was so delighted to let me into her pretty hills rental home. I love that this is a rental property too, as it shows how you can make it your own with your own style and personality.

When you first pull up to Angela’s stone fronted, brick home, you are met with a charming cottage consisting of 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a laundry, living room/dining, kitchen, small garden and carport. As they are renting the property, Angela says she has less opportunity to add eco friendly elements such as solar power, but the stone floors make it cool in summer and as the property is small it keeps the heat in, during winter. She also has some amazing chooks! And lots of handpainted and vintage furniture and homewares.

Can you tell us about your home and how long you have lived here?
We have lived here for a year after we immigrated from the UK 1 ½ years ago, and before then both myself and my husband grew up in South Africa. We wanted the outdoor lifestyle but without the crime, so applied with my husband’s skills as a plumber/gas fitter to get into Australia. We got our visa and needed to be in the country prior to the birth of my second daughter, so arrived in the country at 35 weeks pregnant knowing only 1 person! My second daughter was born 2 weeks later.
Our first born was 18 months old at the time. We love Adelaide and Australia, the people we have met and become friends with have become like family. We love the lifestyle, the fresh air, the sunshine and we can see this is why Australia is called “the lucky country.” We love everything about it, it’s wonderful, full of opportunity for those willing to give it a try.

Our family consists of myself, Angela, my husband Conrad, our daughter Arabella 2 1/2yrs old and our other daughter Sienna who is 16 months old. We also have our 2 cats we brought with us from the UK  – Serjei 10 yrs old and Saffron 9 yrs old, as well as 3 silkie chickens!

How did you find your home?
We have never been able to afford to buy our own home, as have been paying for both our studies over the years and our immigration costs to get to Australia. We both grew up without a dad and have never had any help, so we have always dreamed of owning our place. Our dream is to build with sustainable materials and get an acre where we are able to be self sufficient. We would like to build a barn style property, very open with lots of light and a wood burner.

What made you fall in love with it?
We love the fact the cottage we rent is cosy and it has a porch. We love the sash style windows and that there are koalas who come into our garden. We love the space out back for me to renovate furniture and that there is a safe enclosed space for the girls to play and space for the chickens.

Do you plan to live here long term?
We will live here for about the next 2 years until we can afford to get a deposit together to buy our own home. We would like to get a plot of land and build our own house from scratch (my husband is very talented and willing and able) and probably get a caravan or something and build on the land, as and when we have the funds. Or we may buy a run down property and renovate when we have the money. We would love to build a barn style property with stone cladding and a mixture of corragate and stone with concrete floors and wood burner and sash windows and a deep porch, or as in South Africa we would say “stoep” (Afrikaans word for porch).

Can you tell us something you like about your local area or region?
We love Blackwood, Eden Hills, Summertown, Piccadily and Belair as it’s so open. There is so much wildlife around, a great sense of community. We walk every evening for 2 hrs and its just beautiful, and such a wonderful way for the girls to grow up. We feed/bath our girls, then put them in the double buggy and go for these long walks each evening – discussing, planning and talking about our days.
What are your thoughts on sustainability and how is this part of your home?
We have chickens where we get our eggs from, we buy all our fruit and veg from a local SA owned fruit and veg market from local growers, we use our car as little as possible and walk a lot. If it were our own home we would include solar panels and sustainable building materials where possible.
What is your decorating style?
Shabby chic! Everything in our home is either taken off the skip, like the cubby house we have now created into an amazing chicken coop. Everything is re-purposed and I will repaint, recover or re-create it into something for another purpose in our home. Every piece in our home has a story. I can remember where I’ve got every single piece, what I’ve done to renovate it, or just a simple clean up with soap and water which has brought the piece back to life. I never go “shopping” for pieces. I seem to acquire things! Everything in our home has a story and everything is used ie our French china dinner plates. Nothing is off limits and too precious to be used, everything is used and incorporated into our every day lives.I love a home to feel welcoming and comfortable when you step into it, yet stylish and appealing. I absolutely love love love candles! My favourite scent would probably wild fig, pear (my favourite brand in the UK was True Grace) but they very expensive to get here so currently looking for a good soy candle which holds its scent like this brand.
Your favorite part of your home?
I love our bedroom, it’s a bed I bought off Ebay that comes from France and I repainted it and recovered it. It is so cosy and such a lovely place to end the day and pour over my interior magazines in. Secondly, I’m very proud of the chicken coop, although the chickens are oblivious to all the work! I love how cute it looks and how functional it is. (You will read more about how Angela rescued and upcycled the chicken coop in my book.)
What do people say when they come to visit you?
They love it, a lot of our pieces are from “Brocantes” (bric brac shops) in France. My husband worked there a lot when we lived in the UK for English clients and we would go to these Brocantes and get loads of old pieces and then take them home to the UK and renovate them.
Do you recommend any particular materials, processes or ideas for people wanting to create a more sustainable and mindful home?
Look at the overall style of the piece of furniture if you like it, it can always be re-purposed and painted ie a cubby house we got off the skip is now a luxury chicken coop, and im just starting on a project to create a toy kitchen for a client out of a old dresser, so anything is possible. If you look past the colour of the unit it can all be re-purposed and changed.
angela and baby 4 (1 of 1).jpg webAngela outside suitcases (1 of 1).jpg web
What do you do to relax and unwind at home?
I love reading Country Style, looking at Real…. going for long walks, having long chats with my special hubby and kiddies around the dinner table. I love having a coffee in the evenings with my husband and discussing our dreams and downloading about our days.  A lot of our pieces are from markets in the UK or from Brocantes in France, but I also love visiting Garage Sales to get pieces here in Adelaide. Sundays mornings seem to best time to go to Garage Sales.

Angela kitchen 1 (1 of 1).jpgweb

Agela verandah 6 (1 of 1)
Agela verandah 9 (1 of 1).jpg web
Agela verandah 10 (1 of 1).jpg web
I love this house and the story of this gorgeous family who have travelled across the sea to find a home in the pretty Adelaide hills. You can find Angela on her facebook page here where she offers an Interior Design styling & sourcing service, upcycling of furniture, sourcing of vintage pieces, styling of vintage themed weddings and more.
Do you have a favourite piece from Angela’s house tour? And tell me whether you love seeing inside other people’s homes as much as me! If you think your home may be a good fit for me to share please drop me a line.


  1. Helene Wild on February 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Hmmm..thinking if I replace the glass in the door, a very cheap fix, & get to work with some nice paint, my lime green 1940’s bathroom cabinet could look this good..

  2. Recycled Interiors on February 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    definitely! Helene Wild

  3. Angela Prins on February 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks Helen, what a privelage to be featured in your blog and book, love all the photos and article thanks !!!

  4. Recycled Interiors on February 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    thank you for sharing your gorgeous home Angela Prins x

  5. Natasha Mcardle on February 17, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I’m so excited to meet you ! I’m nervous too ! But so glad you want to see our old home and share the love we see in this place . ❤️❤️❤️ congrats Angela !

  6. Recycled Interiors on February 17, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I am so looking forward to meeting you and seeing your home! Natasha Mcardle

  7. Shells Bells on February 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Brayden-James Coad…I said exactly this today haha

  8. Kym Bozzoli on February 21, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I loved reading this blog as we are also in a rental property and I could have just inserted my life here…LOL! I too spend my spare time from being a full time teacher repurposing and decorating our home. I had a love for shabby chic but in the past 12 months have kind of begun a fusion with coastal styling. Thanks for sharing

  9. Kym Bozzoli on February 21, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Loved this read! I have sent you a PM Helen about just the same. 🙂

  10. Libby from Libbys Lifestyle on February 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I love a home with soul. Vintage pieces somehow give warmth and love and soul to bricks and mortar. Love this house. And those lucky chickens! Such a sweet coop.

  11. HeleneWild on February 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    also got some courage to go on collecting my latest passion- glass decanters! I have my faves though, I am a bit fussy. Love the way it is used here,as table decor rather than a container for wine.

  12. Brenda Hill on July 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

    What a beautiful home!

  13. Jan Withers on July 20, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Another lovely house tour Helen!

  14. Recycled Interiors on July 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    isn’t it Brenda Hill a fave

  15. Linda Grinton on July 20, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Thank-you for sharing, I love some of the ideas and the fact that a good eye for a piece does not have to break the bank!

  16. Helene Wild on July 20, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    stunning home, great ideas!

  17. Recycled Interiors on July 20, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    isn’t that so true Linda Grinton

  18. Helene Wild on August 17, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Fabulous, thanks! U0001f604

  19. David Booth on August 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Great insight…we could almost be

  20. Recycled Interiors on August 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm


  21. Recycled Interiors on August 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Maybe you are! U0001f600U0001f600

  22. David Booth on August 17, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Nope , we are migrants from the UK too but know where all our family is , lol …

  23. Recycled Interiors on August 18, 2015 at 7:04 am


  24. Recycled Interiors on September 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    thanks lovely! What a small world! Gorgeous home x

  25. CoralGardiner on November 28, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    What a lovely creative home!  I hope you get that home of your own, Angela.

  26. Recycled_Interiors on December 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    CoralGardiner oh hi!! Me too she has such gorgeous style

  27. Helene Wild on December 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    <3 I have those scales! From my 101 yr old MIL. Love the tins, I have very large one, think it may have been used for flour originally.

  28. Recycled Interiors on December 4, 2015 at 5:05 am

    it’s a beautiful home

  29. Karen Bell on December 7, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    I have those scales 🙂 looks beautiful

  30. Recycled Interiors on December 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Aren’t they divine

  31. Brenda Hill on March 3, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Amazing…beautiful…so many words!

  32. Anna Flint on March 3, 2016 at 9:16 am

    My dream verandah!

  33. Recycled Interiors on March 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    isnt it lovely!

  34. Megan Bayliss on May 12, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Beautiful home. I would LOVE an update on how close the family are to purchasing their own home and what parameters they are using for narrowing the field. 
    I absolutely love the style and that everything is used rather than being display pieces only. 
    I have chook house envy 🙂

  35. Recycled_Interiors on May 16, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Megan Bayliss I agree on all aspects! I have not got an update yet 🙂

  36. Nadine Bajon-Arnal on July 9, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Excellent fallait y penser

  37. Irene Philip on July 9, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Excellent post. Would like to see posts mention colors used in the projects to. That would be helpful. X

  38. Recycled Interiors & The Sustainable Home Hub on July 9, 2016 at 11:15 am

    thank you Irene that is fantastic feedback x

  39. Angela Prins on September 8, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Thanks Helen xx

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