Despite evolving trends in interior design, vintage styles are making a noticeable comeback in homes all over the world. They resonate that charming, rich, elegant flair that is so characteristic to homes of the past. Curating a vintage-styled space is no easy affair, though. As a matter of fact, your interior can quickly end up looking dated and worn out if you don’t strike that perfect balance between the traditional and contemporary. So, from the choice of era to furniture selection and accessorizing, here are 6 useful design tips that will help you achieve a successful vintage-inspired look for your home.
1. Select Your Era
We use “vintage” as an umbrella term to refer to any style that isn’t contemporary or present-day. This can include the classic French and exuberant rococo genres, mid-century modern, all the way up to 1970s retro. Now, before kicking off your home design revamp project, it’s important to conduct research and gather inspiration to determine what style appeals to you the most. You may be drawn to streamlined 20th-century art déco, or to more conventional Louis XVI interiors.
Once you’ve isolated your preferred era, do your best to stick with it. Remember that the key to pulling off a vintage-inspired home is a harmonized and consistent space. Should you blend any two eras, your interior will likely turn out haphazard and unflattering. Specialized design magazines, websites, and social media pages will be ideal starting points to learn about the different styles and their attributes, and narrow down your options.
2. Focus on Colors and Patterns
What often characterizes vintage spaces are the color palettes and patterns ornamenting the walls, furniture, floors, etc. It’s not uncommon to see bold shades of red, yellow, or blue, as well as floral or geometric motifs. Whether as paint, wallpaper, or furniture upholstery, this is what gives vintage its beloved and distinct identity. And while it’s easy to get lost among this variety, visiting an online haberdashery will enable you to get a sense of which fabrics you can choose to best decorate your living room or bedroom. Thankfully, the internet abounds with valuable resources that will help you perfect your vision in style.
That said, as with any design project, it’s essential to keep things balanced and proportional. Feel free to put together a workbook with paint shades, wallpaper patterns, and fabric patches to see what goes along well together. You certainly don’t want to go overboard and end up with a mismatched, tacky space.
3. Choose Antiques Wisely
Invariably, antique furniture will be the focal point of your space. They will help bring in that vintage feel, magically transporting your home back a few decades. Now, simply because you choose a classic or retro vibe doesn’t mean your furniture pieces shouldn’t be in excellent condition. Quite the opposite. You’ll want to select antiques that are true to their era and impeccably crafted. Whether it’s a sofa, an armchair, or a buffet, inspect the piece thoroughly before conducting the purchase; this will ensure that it’s durable enough to withstand wear and tear and last with you in time. Alternatively, you can always call on the services of a restoration specialist to give second-hand antiques a brand new life.
4. Mix and Match
While staying true to the vintage aesthetic is of the essence, you’ll still want to incorporate modern-day pieces to balance the space and make it stand out. Going matchy-matchy is the best way to fail at vintage-inspired interiors. So, regardless of what style you’re going for, make sure to bring in a few contemporary elements; this can be achieved with a sleek coffee table, minimalist chairs, or even an industrial bookcase that will nicely complement and elevate the look of your room.
To this end, scour online shopping platforms and compare different furniture styles (contemporary, minimalist, industrial, and such). Pay special attention to size, material, line shapes, and of course the price tag, as even the most basic pieces can end up costing you an arm. For those on a tighter budget, you’re bound to find DIY guides to make your own modern-looking furniture at an affordable price.
5. Incorporate Retro Hardware
A subtle yet unique way to accentuate the vintage look of your home is to add hardware pieces that reflect your era of choice. These can be the handles of your furniture, cupboards, dressers, but also kitchen faucets, light fixtures, and more. At times, all you need to do to give your existing furniture a vintage feel is by switching out stainless steel and shiny handles with ones that are more organic with the style you’ve picked.
This especially applies to lights; having a grand modern chandelier affixed to your living room’s ceiling defeats the purpose of a vintage-inspired home. Instead, opt for a retro or a rustic fixture that will emphasize your interior’s look. You’ll find an array of choices by visiting second-hand sales, antique shops, or online. As with the furniture, ensure yourself of its quality before proceeding with any purchase.
6. Add Personality with Vintage Items
Last but not least, in case you’re not willing to invest in antiques, you can always bring in those vintage vibes by incorporating small touches. This can be easily achieved with a traditional area rug, patterned curtains, framed artwork, or miscellaneous decoration items such as a retro radio set, an antique clock, or an old-fashioned globe. Repurposed items are also a nice-have; scavenger through your attic or your parents’ home to find singular additions that will complement your new space to perfection. The only limit is your imagination!
All things considered, the beauty of vintage-inspired homes lies in the fact that each interior, when completed, will project its own unique aesthetic. That is why you can afford to experiment, mix and match various furniture and objects, and decide what best satisfies your tastes and preferences. With all this said, putting together such spaces can be tricky; it’s all about finding that equilibrium between traditional pieces and modern-day appliances. Since it’s easy to make a room look dull and dated, make sure to refer to these 6 tips to achieve a strong, timeless vintage-inspired look full of character and charm.