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Decorating with…Vintage Typewriters!

This weekend, we hosted a barbecue for friends and family. Delaney, an adorable 7-year-old girl, asked to go inside to meet our cats. When we brought her in, she commented on the old Underwood typewriter in our half-room. “Wow!” she said. “That’s just like Kit Kittredge’s computer!” I had to laugh, because for kids who were born after 2000, how would they know what a typewriter is? Sure, they may have seen them used in movies and television, but unless they’re Amish they would have no need for one…ever!

smith corona underwood typewriters

The antique Underwood on the right (aka: Kit Kittredge’s “computer”) belonged to my grandfather.

However, there is something incredibly interesting and nostalgic about decorating with typewriters. If you’re around my age, it may remind you of when you were learning how to type in junior high school. I didn’t learn on one of the cool, vintage styles like those we carry at Ampersand Vintage Modern, but the feel and function were the same.

vintage blue smith corona silent super typewriter

Baby blue vintage Smith Corona recently sold at Ampersand Vintage Modern.

Likewise,  typewriters are distinctly cool and innately inspiring. Kerouac, Hemingway, Miller–they all created masterpieces while pounding away  at their manual Underwoods, Royals, or Smith Coronas for hours and hours. It wouldn’t nearly be as cool if the original manuscript for On the Road were saved on a flash drive somewhere rather than an amazing 120-foot typed scroll!

kerouac typing

Jack Kerouac typing at his Underwood.

Whatever your decorating style: mid-century, vintage, industrial, Mad Men, retro–a perfectly placed typewriter will add visual interest and serve as a casual conversation starter.

decorating with typewriters 1

This guy fits seamlessly into a grouped collection.

decorating with typewriters 2

As bookends…GREAT idea!

decorating with typewriters 3

Interesting contrast between the dark, heavy typewriter and the soft, green plants.

decorating with typewriters 4

On a desk…classic.

decorating with typewriters 5

I have a mini-obsession with sofa tables. This is one is just right.

decorating with typewriters 6

Propped on an old school chair–unexpected and cool.

decorating with typewriters 7

Simple and elegant.

decorating with typewriters 8

Layered awesomeness.

decorating with typewriters 9

Organized clutter…love it.

decorating with typewriters 10

This Greek typewriter is fun…look closely.

Photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, The Smithy Upstate..thank you!

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