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Adorned in Antiquities

Wildflower Nation’s Guide to Decorating Your Space With a Vintage Flair

Article by Livia Hooson

Photography by Poppy & Co.

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Elizabeth Prentiss has a western aesthetic that she describes as “vintage-inspired with an alpine sensibility.” Her personal style is both feminine, whimsical and not-too-serious (picture pink-painted cabinetry with a vase of yellow flowers in her home). 

This Boulder-based artist has a love for interior design and unexpected home pieces that are expressed fully in her store located on 17th Street. Wildflower Nation offers small collections of past and present handmade treasures (joyful pieces referencing nature) that reflect the town’s local lifestyle and history. 

“Most of the yellow roses in the Colorado mountains are derived from the migration across the West, where pioneer women brought roots of rose bushes in teacups, tin cans and even sewn into their skirts for the journey,” says Elizabeth.” While partial to native species, I absolutely love this dedication to floral beauty and the idea of a more winsome West.”

As an environmentally aware curator, she avoids mass-produced pieces or disposable products, opting instead for limited edition collections that create a personal connection. 

“I am striving to get to a place of celebration of the old and zero waste of the new,” she shares. 

As the turning of seasons, from summer to fall, Elizabeth shares three vintage themes to inspire our spaces. 

Cottage Core

With the arrival of spring, Elizabeth focused on the perceived simplicity and romantic idylls of a life connected to the land. She sourced collections of vintage crocks, floral enamel trays and specialty glassware that look especially stunning against floral arrangements and vintage French plant stands to complete the look.

“When I introduced more vintage items at the shop and online, people connected to those pieces immediately, especially our collection of Royal Porcelain pitchers,” says Elizabeth. “I believe these pieces feel simultaneously fresh and historic, eschewing mass manufacturing, and societal disconnect. When you look at them, you want to go gather flowers and be in the great outdoors.” 

Midnight Cabin

For this fall and winter, Elizabeth created Midnight Cabin, a collection that applies the Cottage Core aesthetic to our own aspirational living spaces—alpine cabins. To achieve this aesthetic Elizabeth reminisces on being cozy in a snow-covered chalet on a lazy Sunday. Picture hand painted Tole trays with wildflowers, collections of old trophies and pewter serving pieces, black gingham napkins made from deadstock fabric and whimsical hand-knotted grizzly bear rugs. She applied her own take on the classic mounted antlers by working with a Colorado artist to paint and wool wrap the antlers for a more playful look. 

“It’s all about finding pieces that feel intimate and sentimental,” she says. “Vintage does that naturally because it offers history and soul, and is naturally the opposite of bland conformity. So my advice is, trust your gut and go for how things make you feel. If you love a piece, you will always find a place for it.” 

Summer Camp 

For this style theme, Elizabeth focuses on objects that help you feel connected to the past with a modern sensibility.

“Summer camp was a childhood highlight, so ask how you can bring that joy into a home,” she says. “For me, this included repurposed vintage quilts as sleeping bags, elevated leather camp stools and the most vibrant outdoor dartboards.”

Elizabeth sourced collections of brightly colored vintage ice buckets, depression-era barware, cowboy glasses and vintage marshmallow roasters with Colorado ranch brands and accented with her Wildflower Nation blanket holders.

"Nostalgia is one of the most powerful sentiments, so why not make sure you have something special in your home that sparks joy?" she says.

SIDEBAR: Visit the Shop 

Address: 2023 17th St, Boulder, CO 80302 

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 – 4:00pm

Phone:  303.809.3362

Follow on IG: @WildFlowerNationSupply