After a decade of sleek stainless-steel-dominated living spaces, vintage interior design is making a comeback. Homeowners are attempting to recreate the past with all its elegance and striking detail while updating it slightly for the 21st century with their own modern sensibilities.
Striking the balance between old and new is crucial, and many of the newer vintage styles seen today are reinventions of what went before. Mid-19th-century modern design, for example, has been growing in popularity for some time now, while Art Deco and 70s-inspired retro has also come to the fore again in the late 2010s.
If you have got your eye on a vintage-inspired update to your living spaces, here are a few trends and design tips to help you get the perfect look.
Art Deco furniture
Clean lines and a stripped-down approach to design were central tenets of the Art Deco design movement in the early to mid-20th century. Rich colours, bold geometry and exceptional detail bring to mind rooms that would not look out of place in The Great Gatsby.
You could add an Art Deco look to your rooms by focusing on streamlined shapes, adding a few animal prints in a bedroom, or installing a glamorous chandelier complemented by vintage tables and chairs. Going wild with Art Deco-inspired accents around mirrors, lights and shelves can also help you to get the right look.
Retro appliances and 70s hues
The 1970s does not quite have the pull of Art Deco and earlier 19th-century movements in vintage circles, but the decade still brought a number of fresh décor elements, and this era is great for mixing and matching with more modern designs.
1970s homes were dominated by open floor plan spaces where living rooms flowed into the dining room. You could add a colourful shag carpet, furniture and art with crisp, clean lines and cover throw pillows for that perfect 70s look. Natural stone and indoor gardens were also popular during this decade, so don’t be shy in placing a few pot plants and bigger plants around the home.
Select the right antiques
It wouldn’t be vintage without antiques. They cement the design aesthetic and evoke the feeling of times gone by before the rise of consumer-centric tech and appliances. However, just putting something in a room because it’s old is not going to work. It needs to be a worthy piece and complement other vintage design decisions.
If you want to sprinkle a few antiques around your home, then try to only buy items or fixtures that are in excellent condition as daily wear and tear is not a strong look. You should also opt for antiques that have a nice weight to them as heaviness is a sign that they were not mass-produced.
Antiques work best when they are the focal point of the room as this sets the tone for a vintage design. Drawing a person’s eye is important, and antiques that fit the bill include furniture and larger decorative items.
Vintage style is much more than single items or pieces of furniture. To complete the look, you need windows, doors, wallpaper and carpets to work in tandem with vintage design cues. Mahogany-stained hardwood shutters are ideal for this as they provide a lived-in look while allowing you to control the light throughout the day.
Patterns and colours
Rather than targeting a specific point in time for your vintage living spaces, you could instead focus on using a few classic vintage patterns and colours that will work well with any design you choose. Saturated reds typical of the Victorian era or 1950s-inspired polka dots are perfect even in more modern settings.
Mix and match
Art Deco has been popular for more than a decade now, so it can be argued that the movement has already had a huge influence on the modern aesthetic. Vintage home design does not have to be an ‘adopt all or leave it’ mindset. You can pay homage to the past and include a few accents and colours alongside modern tech and whiter, clean modern styles.
Design experts believe that there is a fine line between giving a nod to the 20th century or earlier and crafting a time warp in your living spaces, which is not ideal. Vintage style requires a fresh, exciting outlook. With some of the advice listed here, you should be able to create interiors that evoke a sense of the past without going back in time forever.