As practical as it is pretty, vintage home decor is a versatile style that can work in any room. Put a classic twist on a modern house or add a retro edge to a country theme with vintage touches.
Vintage decor opens up so many new options in the home too. You don’t need to completely renovate a room to indulge a love of retro design: small additions, such as ornate mirrors, patterned soft furnishings and pretty accessories will completely change the look of even the plainest room.
Take this simple approach to vintage home decor and update your rooms with some homeware from days gone by. Achieving the desired look can be as simple as grouping together vintage wall mirrors to create a feature in your hallway, or adding a printed screen to a bedroom or bathroom for a glamorous and romantic take on the trend.
Pretty floral bedding will instantly makeover your bedroom and a plain shelf can be turned into a vintage dressing table with a few colourful accessories. Hang vintage-print tea towels and oven gloves in the kitchen to soften the look of stark fittings or arrange embroidered cushions on a window seat to make a homely display.
If you are redecorating a room and want to go big with vintage home decor, choose cream shabby-chic furniture to give your home a country-cottage feel with a chic, on-trend quality. Fill an elegant dresser with vintage finds to complete your look and display your new creation proudly in the hall, kitchen or dining room. Think outside of the box and add floral wallpaper to a bathroom, but stick to tones of duck egg blue and white for the ultimate vintage style. Use shabby-chic decorating ideas for inspiration when designing and planning your scheme.
Classic country bedroom with bird-print wallpaper (above)
There’s no better way to capture a style theme than with wallpaper, whether on just one feature wall or all over. With so many colours and patterns – from retro tiles prints for a kitchen to ditsy, floral prints in the bedroom – you can change the personality of your space in a flash. This 1950s-inspired budgie pattern is ideal for a modern-retro look. Bird prints are also ideal on blinds and curtains, as they enhance the connection with the outdoors, and a single upholstered chair in a lively bird print is a great way to add a point of interest.
Mirrors increase the feeling of light and space in a room and they look super stylish, too. For a really eclectic look, try grouping together lots of smaller mirrors to create one big feature. A stairwell or hallway is the perfect place to display a collection of vintage mirrors because it can often lack character. Try this look with photo and picture frames as well. It doesn’t matter if you have a bunch of frames in different sizes, colours and styles, as that’s what will help you achieve that early 20th-century, vintage feel.
Not On The High Street
A decorative screen can lend a sense of romance and drama to a room, perfect for feminine 1920s chic. So prop up a screen to jazz up a plain corner and, whether you use it to hang your favourite blouse or to hide away clutter, a stylish screen is just the ticket.
Similar dressing screen
The French Bedroom Company
Bird cages, old books and old-school radios – these are classic accessories and styling tricks to give any room a lovely vintage feel in seconds. Pile up a few classic novels (tatty covers are great!) and dig out some old postcards and pop them on top – and voila! A wire birdcage and authentic vintage props, such as radios and record players, always look fab. Head to your local car-boot sale, charity shops and antique fairs to find lovely low-cost bits and pieces that you can transform with a bit of TLC.
Live Love Laugh
There’s always opportunity to turn a plain shelf or dressing table into a pretty display. Dig out your favourite jewellery and little trinket boxes, and fill a vase with fresh flowers for a stunning vintage display. If you have white walls, go for colourful accessories and blooms to make it that little bit more striking. Pretty white, gold and brass hooks, all with a common floral theme but in different styles, will add an antique feel.
Graham and Green
A striking dresser is what completes a charming country cottage kitchen, but they can also look just as stylish in modern homes – they’ll add loads of lovely vintage character. They make a haven for your vintage finds and you can display all your pretty crockery proudly. Plus all your bits and pieces will add interest to your kitchen or dining room. Choose a rack or rail for your kitchen to hang pots and pans (and even pretty floral kitchen textiles) for that country look you’ve always wanted. A hanging rail is also great for storing utensils and saves on cupboard space, ideal if you have a small kitchen.
Vintage-style doesn’t mean having to stick to retro colours – merging different eras and themes is fine. Candy pink and lemon yellow create a vintage 1950s feel in this bathroom that’s feminine and fun. The framed prints and vintage accessories add a playful touch.
Hang them on the wall, on your bed, or on a door – metal signs look oh-so charming, are easy to put up and so affordable you can buy a couple! There are so many vintage-inspired signs out there, from ‘Home Sweet Home’ to ‘No Junk Mail’, to far more detailed designs. You can even have a personal one made just for you.
Similar metal sign
Not On The High Street
Transform a home office nook into an inspirational space to craft with a few well-chosen vintage finds. Scour websites, car-boot sales and vintage markets for old furniture that you can reupholster or repurpose for a new look, and then you’ll have the real deal at home. The eclectic look is finished with a corner plant stand that’s been used as practical opening shelving to keep sewing materials organised.
Shake up your interior scheme by incorporating iconic designs. Retro doesn’t have to be garish, and you don’t have to change the whole room to get it right. Rather than go all out with bright, bonkers patterns, simply add a Mid-Century chair here and a patterned print there to enhance your space. An upcycled cabinet, painted in a striking green and set against a white backdrop creates maximum impact in the hallway. A circa 1950s chair completes the retro look.