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While bold floral prints and art deco figurines used to be considered a major faux pas in the world of interior design, today they are thought to be trendy and quirky examples of vintage home décor. Incorporating a vintage theme into your living space, you can make even the most dull and drab rooms lively and colorful.
In this guide, we’ll share some tips on how to choose the ideal vintage furniture, décor, and color palette for your home so that you can transform any space into a comfortable, quirky, and quintessentially vintage room that will be warm and welcoming for friends and family.
Choosing Vintage Furniture for Your Home
As a general rule, furniture that is between 30 to 100 years old is considered vintage. Anything older than this is technically “antique.” The thing to keep in mind about vintage furniture is that there are no set rules for which items you can choose when trying to integrate vintage décor, except that the pieces in each space should all be from a particular era, such as the seventies or sixties.
Here are just a few tips that can help you choose the right vintage furniture for your home:
- You can purchase new pieces that have been made to look vintage if you don’t want to go with secondhand items. In fact, this is often the best way to achieve a vintage sense of style in your home if you are on a tight budget. Simply buy an older vintage sofa or table and make it your own by sprucing it up a bit.
- The art deco style is often synonymous with vintage home décor. However, before you choose furniture pieces for your home, you’ll want to decide which era you’d like to focus on. For example, if you would like to include pieces from the thirties, then art deco would be a great choice. On the other hand, hanging pod chairs and bold patterned upholstery would be ideal if you’re going for a sixties look.
- In many cases, vintage furniture pieces are more ostentatious. Each piece serves as a focal point in the room, due to the fact that each is usually abstract, visually striking, or one-of-a-kind. Sofas are typically long and broad and upholstered in patterns that are eye catching and bright. It’s safe to say that there is nothing dull about vintage home design.
- One of the best things about vintage furniture is that you can usually find great bargains. This is especially true for items that may be in a bit of disrepair and need a fresh coat of paint or reupholstering. So, when you’re decided upon an era, head to your local thrift shop or flea market to find the items that will make the room comfortable, welcoming, and retro.
The Rules of Vintage Interior Design
To achieve a truly vintage look in your home, there are a few guidelines that you should follow. Here are the most common “rules” that you’ll want to keep in mind when creating a vintage interior design layout:
- One of the most unique aspects of vintage interior design is that the guidelines can vary from era to era. While one color palette may be perfect for a mid-century themed room, another might be ideally suited for a room that is reminiscent of the seventies. However, generally speaking, brighter colors and more bold patterns are often used in vintage home décor.
- Avocado green, yellow, black, white, and red are all colors that you’ll typically find in a vintage design. You can also opt for more vibrant hues, such as purples, pinks, and oranges. In fact, the sky’s the limit when it comes to color combinations in vintage-inspired spaces. You could virtually have every color of the rainbow featured without veering away from a vintage look and feel.
- There are a number of textures involved in vintage home decorating. For example, you can opt for shag rugs, surfaces that are smooth and plastic, or crushed velvet tapestries. With vintage, it’s all about boldness and variety. The tactile ambiance of the room is just as important as its visual appeal.
- The most popular types of flooring for vintage rooms is wood or tile, preferably checkered tile. However, shag carpeting is often used, as well. If you don’t want to go with any of those choices, though, you can also select flooring that would go well with vintage rugs and tapestries, such as laminate or neutral-colored stone.
Vintage Home Decorating Ideas
Here are some vintage home décor ideas that you can use to create a vintage look and feel in any room, without spending a fortune:
- When it comes to vintage interior decorating, you can really let your creativity shine. Go with furry throw rugs or pillows that feature vibrant and whimsical prints. Since, however, there aren’t really any restrictions on what you can include in the overall design, it’s important to not crowd the space with an abundance of items. Instead, carefully choose pieces that are going to enhance the look of the room, rather than making it feel chaotic.
- Hang wall art throughout your home that is reminiscent of the era. For example, you can frame posters that were popular back in the day and use them to adorn your walls. This will give you the opportunity to include a touch of vintage within the space without spending a fortune on art deco paintings and prints.
- With vintage home décor, you just can’t be afraid of using color… and lots of it! Choose throw pillows that are filled with color and playful patterns. Pick out tablecloths that will turn your dining table from a traditional piece into a chic vintage eating area.
- Every room in your vintage-inspired home should have a focal point to create a sense of order. Ideally, you’ll want it to be something that tells visitors more about the era you’re showcasing. For example, if you are trying to transport friends and family back to the thirties when they step into your living room, then have an art deco sofa prominently placed in the room or a beautiful clock on display that is reflective of the period.
- Don’t hesitate to re-purpose vintage items in order to make them functional in your home. Turn an old pitcher into a flower vase or a vintage tiered serving tray into a unique candy dish. Find new and creative ways to make vintage items usable in the space, so that they can not only be great conversation pieces, but practical space savers.
- Rather than having vintage items scattered through your home, try to group them in order to properly show them off. If you have a collection of vintage collectibles, display them in a bookshelf. If you want to highlight your vintage serving dishes, then place them all in the display case in the dining room.
- If the space is becoming a bit too chaotic, then you may want to go with a more monotone design theme. For instance, you could try to stick with black and white and just add touches of color here and there, like red throw pillows or green lamps.
- Ottomans can be used to bring more vintage appeal to any room, thanks to the fact that they are so versatile. You can find an ottoman in just about any size or shape, texture or fabric. You can also have one custom made if you can’t find one that strikes your fancy. Ottomans are also great storage spaces, which may come in handy if the room is looking a bit crowded.
- Remember that vintage home design relies heavily upon attention to detail. Every piece has a story to tell, and the placement of these objects will allow them to shine on their own. Don’t fill any one space with too many figurines, decorative pieces, or bulky furniture items, as this will take away from the overall feel of the room.
- The lighting in a vintage room should be subtle and soft, to give it a warm and ambient glow. While the lamps and shades themselves may be bold and bright, the lighting should be anything but. Avoid fluorescent bulbs, and stick with ones that give off a relaxing and welcoming dim light. Also, it’s best to have a variety of different light fixtures in a vintage space, so that you can adjust the lighting accordingly.
- When choosing draperies, go with ones that feature bright and off-beat patterns if you’re looking for a way to up the vintage factor in your room. If you want to let more natural light in, then just opt for fabrics that are more sheer, but still have colorful and busy patterns.
Vintage interior design can give you the chance to bring a bit of nostalgia into your home, without making it look antiquated. If you’re looking for a playful design theme that won’t cost a pretty penny and makes your living space reflect your quirky and fun sense of style.
Hopefully these tips will help you to turn any room into a playful, charming, and timeless space that will showcase our recent history in all of its kitchy and colorful glory.
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