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Decorating with Vintage Breadboards

If you follow me on Instagram you know that Steve and I have a bit of a decorative (antique) box obsession.  I know the whole vintage breadboard thing is a bit trendy, but I find they can add a bit of texture and earthiness to almost any setting. I love decorating with vintage breadboards and enjoy using them for serving. 

The large round breadboards were made to transport multiple loaves in and out of the oven and are often made of pine, oak, or maple. Boulangerie breadboards are usually rectangular with a smaller handle on the end. They typically measure 26 to 30 inches long and are often about 16 inches wide. They are used in boulangeries that specialize in baking bread and are made of hardwoods such as maple, pine or walnut.  The early breadboards were normally made either by someone in the household or by the people working at the bakery. However, some were manufactured. The smaller boards were generally used for other purposes in the home but they are just as interesting. It all depends on where and how you want to use them.

Decorating with Vintage Breadboards

 I have a crusty round one on my counter in my kitchen.  It adds an earthy vibe to the more modern countertop and (tabarka tile) backsplash. This one has the telltale signs of years of use as it is thinner at the edges.


vintage breadboard in cindy hattersley's kitchen 

Here I used one as a similar backdrop in a totally modern kitchen of a recent client.  Many have 

breadboard carmel valley project cindy hattersley design

Love the juxtaposition of the vintage with the modern in this kitchen by Debra Hall Lifestyle

debra hall lifestyle kitchen

I love layering them on a new coffee table to offset the newness of a more modern coffee table here in my own home. Here I used an oversized one to display an earthly vignette. This board we found at an Antique fair.  It has many telltale signs of use, the splits, the thinner edges, and it was still covered with crusty flour when we got it.

Decorating with antique breadboards

Here I used the same one to create a totally different vignette.


how to use vintage breadboards to decorate

And this one

Here I used a round breadboard on an earlier coffee table.  This one shows signs of use but is probably not as early as the rectangular one.

cindy hattersley design coffee table with breadboard and art

As a textural background on a fireplace By Kelley and Co Home

kelley and co home breadboard vignette

The incomparable Sherry Hart used her expertise to creat this composition

sherry hart design fireplace mantel 

And on my own fireplace

cindy hattersley design matel with breadboard

In my laundry room

seven inexpensive ways I updated my laundry room


A cheeseboard or appetizers can be displayed beautifully on a vintage breadboard as I did here


Or Salad Ingredients

fresh salad ingredients cindy hattersley

Many of the breadboards come from Eastern Europe which doesn’t matter to me. I prefer the ones that look as though they have been well-loved and used.

If you are looking for a vintage breadboard I have linked some below.  Local antique shops, flea markets, and antique fairs are great sources as well as Ebay and Etsy.  When you purchase your board  (if you plan to use it to serve) scrub it in hot water with dish detergent.  Do not let it soak or it will warp.  Oil the board once a month with olive oil, let it soak in overnight and wipe off the excess in the morning and it will last a lifetime. If you don’t plan to use it for food you could use mineral oil or beeswax.  I prefer olive oil so I am not limited.

Do you have any vintage breadboards in your home and how do you use them?

You first read how to Decorating with Vintage Breadboards here on Rough Luxe Lifestyle


If you aren’t following me on Instagram please follow me and tell your friends!  I am desperately trying to hit 10,000 so I can have the swipe up that so many of you have asked for.  Tell your friends, your family, your enemies, total strangers on the street! Have a great week.  I am off to the Design Influencers Conference, with my pals, Mary Ann, Annie, and Kim.  Follow us on Instagram for our shenanigans.







Reader Interactions


  1. home before dark says

    Back to say that the oil I use is by John Boos. Here’s some info about cutting board care: I’d forgotten about the board cream + the Mystery Oil routine. It might help with the ladies who are showing their lifelines!

  2. Mary G says

    The coral faux blooms in the photo with the lemons are lovely. May I please know the source? Thank you.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary

      They are from Windward Silks. I think you can purchase from their website now. If not let me know.


  3. home before dark says

    Look the look, but I wouldn’t serve food directly on top of any of these oldies. Yuck! Yes to white vinegar as a disinfectant and no to olive oil for boards. Use food grade mineral oil. Have a fab time in SF. BTW The Cook’s Atelier book is a jewel. Wonderful story and great recipes/ideas.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Patricia

      Good to know about the mineral oil and the Cook’s Atelier!

  4. Lynn King says

    Hi Cindy,
    Love your blog and get excited each time I receive an email letting me know that you’ve posted a new one! I am an antique dealer and sell these beloved boards. Just a quick tip…… be careful using olive oil to condition your boards. Over time, the olive oil can become rancid. Williams Somona and several others make a food safe oil for bread boards, butcher blocks, etc. I also learned from the amazing women at The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, France that the best way to clean and disinfect bread boards is using plain white vinegar. Works as a natural disinfectant. I keep it handy in a spray bottle.
    Looking forward to more of your stories!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Lynn

      Thank you so much for sharing about the vinegar and the oil! You guys are great!

  5. Marsha Scott says

    I love this post !
    I have WAY too much of everything, but have been enchanted with these old pieces for awhile. We have a street in the Heights (a close-in part of Houston) where there’s a shop full of these pieces for almost no money. Plus, they have old china, crystal, etc. I cannot leave once I’m in there !!!

    sending love,

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      I do to Marsha. I am weeding and downsizing slowly but surely! All of my old loot is headed to Perch Decor in Carmel

  6. Dinnerpartyguru says

    I have an old cheap lazy Susan that I got many years ago at the hardware store … it is great fun to put it under any bread board and viola you have a rotating bread board. It is wonderful to have it in the middle of a table and friends seated all around can simply “spin” it to get to what they want.

    Thanks for sharing your stash!

  7. holly boyle says

    Great post on breadboards. They are everywhere, aren’t they? I have new ones that are slowly becoming old. Just like me!! Ha! Have a great time at the conference and looking forward to all your new ideas! Safe travel.

  8. Gina says

    Hi there,
    I have an antique breadboard that I washed with water.
    Now it is warped! I have had heavy iron urns sitting on top of the board
    for months trying to un-warp! No success. Any suggestions?
    Thank you so much, xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Gina

      I will ask my husband. I am guessing he will say to get it wet again and then load on the weights, but I will get back to you!

  9. Karen B. says

    There are some wonderful examples of using vintage boards in decor. I confess, I have several cutting boards stacked up against the backboard and I use every one of them, so they are starting to look vintage. Ha
    I always enjoy your posts.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karen

      I confess I have several that are my age that are beginning to look antique as well!

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