Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers

Brooklyn prop-rental house Patina turns secondhand objects into visual gold

Patina founder Corrin Arasa in her studio, a former garment factory. Portrait by Brookelyn Photography.
Patina founder Corrin Arasa in her studio, a former garment factory. Portrait by Brookelyn Photography.

Picture a playground of envy-inducing vintage collectibles—Moroccan rugs, brass floor lamps, quirky oil paintings, Swedish settees—in an airy, whitewashed warehouse building in Bushwick, Brooklyn. That’s the environment created by Corrin Arasa, founder of prop-rental house Patina. Think of its Instagram feed not as a collection of well-styled vignettes but as a trip down the rabbit hole into a design wonderland. Join us for the ride.

Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers
Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers

THE SPACE

“I have a studio in Bushwick with lots of natural light, which makes for great Instagram images. Change is a constant; the space looks different every day. Once we transformed our studio into a pop-up roller rink. We had vintage roller skates for our guests, a DJ spinning throwback jams, roller-rink food, and we decked out roller rink–style vignettes. Another of my favorite transformations was when we built a big gypsy tent out of Moroccan blankets and pillows on our roof.

Some of my favorite projects have been collaborations with other creatives. I worked with the amazing installation artists The Color Condition to create a collection of rentable pieces. Prior to that you could only see their items in museums or art shows; this collection makes it available to everyone.”

THE DECOR TIPS

“There are a few tricks to make the things you love look cohesive in a space. If you keep your palette to whites, creams, and grays, you can mix in anything and it will look amazing—in fact, the more you mix in an all-neutral room, the better. If you have vintage sofas and rugs, complement them with modern artwork and light fixtures. If you really dig midcentury, you might want to add an ornate chandelier from the 1930s. Use contrasting elements and add a pop of something modern, and you’ll have a great room.”

Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers

THE PERFECT CHAIR

“When it comes to chairs, there are a few things you need to look for. The shape of the chair is what should draw you in. Next, look at it structurally; check the arms and back and make sure they are sound. Turn it over and check the legs. Are they wobbly? If so, why? Check the seat; if there are damaged springs, your upholsterer can repair them, but you’ll have to factor in the cost of new springs. Same with the cushion. Lastly, look at the upholstery—I tend to have most of my chairs reupholstered, either due to damage or because I’d prefer it in a different color or material. I love a good juxtaposition—using textiles that are popular right now, such as a shibori indigo, on a settee from the 1920s. And everything looks good upholstered in peacock-blue velvet.”

Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers

THE INSTAGRAM STORY

“It’s amazing how many people Instagram has introduced us to. Many of our best partners and clients found us on Instagram. It really is our single most connective platform and helps share our story better than any other medium I could think of. We used Instagram to do a styling challenge with six of our favorite stylists; we gave each of them 45 minutes to go through our studio and deck out a 10’ x 10’ space. We posted the pics, and the setup with the most likes won the challenge. I love experimenting with Instagram—there’s still so much to learn. Next we’ll start playing with Snapchat…”

Instagram Stories: Paradise for Vintage Lovers
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