In VINTAGE LIVING: Creating a Beautiful Home with Treasured Objects from the Past, author Bob Richter takes us through the journey that brought him to who he is now. With myriad talents under his belt, including those gained through his years working as a stylist, as an interior designer, starring in the PBS series “Market Warriors,” and hosting the web series “Flea Market Minute,” it is hard to keep track of his storied career. What is not difficult, is taking inspiration from the gorgeous, historic homes he showcases in this book.
According to Richter, it is only natural to surround ourselves with the things that bring us joy and carry some kind of meaning in our lives. While the multitalented design hunter might have started thrifting and collecting vintage treasures at the ripe old age of six, it was his Nana who took him under her wing and first introduced him to the interior design business—the family’s own—after watching him unearth family antiques in his home’s attic. From there, Richter learned the joys of antique hunting at flea markets, thrift stores, and more with his brother before finally ending up in New York for college. In a completely fitting manner, his dorm room was so incredibly decorated it was dubbed “Bobby’s Boudoir.”
While Richter gives a lot of credit of his ample antiques knowledge to an antiques dealer named Sunny, as one peruses the book, it is hard not to gather that a large part of his incredible hand has to do with a natural inclination towards creating beautiful homes that feel loved and lived in. From rural retreats to modern barns, each home depicted on the pages of Vintage Living embodies a warmth that is hard to ignore. Corners are incredibly layered without appearing crowded. In Richter’s own small town home, a Brutalist lamp plays well with an RCA stereo and a French Art Deco chair. In his 1859 Italianate home, Richter decks out his kitchen with ‘kitchenalia’ simply because it brings charm and animation to the space—and it works beautifully. Perhaps, Larry Keller, the mayor of New Hope, Pennsylvania says it best about his own Revolutionary-era home and antiques store: “I can cherish a $300 item and easily live without a $5,000 one. It’s all about what you see every day. I love my house because when I walk in the door I’m surrounded by the things I love—and I am home.”