Last year I discovered Abigail Bell Vintage — the up and coming IG shop for vintage home decor. (Seriously — act now, she’s blowing up as we speak.) And a few months ago, when I was last in New York, we got to meet IRL for the first time. I convinced her to sit down for an interview and… here we are!
In the months since we chatted, Abby (hell yes we have the same name) has also launched her highly anticipated online e-shop, which can be found at abigailbellvintage.com. You can still snag goodies via her Instagram, so make sure to follow her to see the best pieces before they hit the site. Read on to learn how she began her biz, and how to achieve the coveted “vintage meets modern home.”
Q: What did you study in school?
In school, I majored in business with a mostly finished minor in photography. My junior and senior year I interned for College Fashionista which ultimately led me to New York to pursue a career in fashion. I quickly found after a few fashion internships that it wasn’t for me and landed a job working for One Kings Lane in logistics supporting all shoots and special project installs.
Q: Have you always been interested in interior design and decor?
I took my fort building as a child very seriously and as soon as I was old enough to start putting some personality into my bedroom, I became obsessed with the PB Teen catalogue. I even begged my mom to get me that pink vintage landline phone – you know the one. *Shoutout to my parents for letting me make my own design decisions from an early age!
Q: How long have you owned your own business? How did it all begin?
I started Abigail Bell Vintage in 2008 in the Nasty Gal era. I was originally collecting clothing and accessories, but only has one shoot and never sold a thing! Shortly after, I went off to school and tabled ABV. In college i did a ton of thrifting and antiquing and decorated my apartment in all secondhand and vintage pieces.
A few years ago, I began furnishing my current apartment and continued collecting until I had more than I could fit. Since I love collecting and switching things up, I needed a way to fuel my creativity without going broke. Thus, ABV was reborn as a vintage interiors business.
Q: How did you hone in on your signature aesthetic? It’s very unique.
A couple of years ago, I became fascinated with 80s/90s deco interiors but wasn’t really seeing that style represented in an accessible way. Towards the beginning of this year, I found my first giant shell lamp, which received an overwhelmingly positive response via Instagram. After that, I had the confidence to lean into the era even further by exploring the colors, shapes, and materials we associate with that time.
Q: What tips can you share to help readers find out what their personal interior style looks like?
Start by flipping through a design magazine or scrolling through an interiors hashtag and bookmark the images that resonate. From there, try to identify what it is that is drawing you in. Is it a color? Is it style? Is it a specific item? Over time and much like a puzzle, you’ll start to figure out what it is that you love and what works in your space.
Q: What’s one piece that can transform a room?
I often tell customers that the addition of a pedestal moment with a dramatic vase or sculpture is the easiest way to elevate your space (and fool your friends into thinking you’re a real adult).
Q: How do you go about integrating vintage objects into a room without making the space feel retro or dated? How to keep the aesthetic modern and elevated?
It’s as simple as choosing vintage pieces that feel current and can blend well with your space. For instance, I try to focus on sticking to a color palette but playing around with abstract shapes in unexpected ways.