Back in the day, homes were sophisticated and filled with classy furniture made of heavy, natural materials, as well as all sorts of trinkets. However, today, interior design is much more minimalistic (and usually sponsored by Ikea).
Does that mean it is impossible to replicate vintage interior design? Absolutely not. All you have to do is pay attention to detail and walk that thin line between sophistication and tackiness.
You don’t want your home to resemble your grandma’s house — and luckily, it doesn’t have to. So let’s see how you can use older items, as well as vintage-inspired details, patterns, and colors to your advantage.
Shop wisely — choose quality-made vintage items
Although markets are full of wonderful pieces that could make any home a vintage paradise, you still have to shop wisely. You shouldn’t just buy an item purely because it is old and fits into the idea you have for your home.
The right pieces should be:
●In excellent condition, as they have to withstand the daily wear and tear
●A bit heavy, which would prove they were made from real, natural materials
●Free of discoloration or rust; you can deal with a little rust or fading, but if the damage is severe, you won’t be able to fully restore the piece
●Sturdy; if there’s a loose nail, you can easily fix that yourself. However, if the antique wobbles due to wood rot, you should just give up on it.
Let the item take the spotlight
You’ve finally found a suitable vintage item — now it’s time to let it play its part. In order to replicate vintage interior design, you ought to set the piece in a place where it will draw attention. It should be the focal point of the room and something everyone can admire.
For that, furniture is a fine choice. An antique table, chair or bed frame would add a vintage feel to a room and set the tone for other, smaller details and pieces. Other options include large decorative items, such as well-kept rugs, wall art, vintage nautical lights, and large mirrors.
Mix modern and vintage details
You’d think that vintage-inspired design has to rely solely on the age of an item. However, in order to make those the focal point, you should add some modern details into the mix in order to make the piece stand out.
You cannot expect your home to be completely vintage — times have changed, and so has interior design. Thus, unless you are an eclectic individual who doesn’t mind filling rooms with old things, remember to mix both contemporary and traditional design elements.
In essence, your home should look more like an ode to times long gone than a relic. As such, even furniture and details that have clean lines but come in a weathered finish will give off the vintage vibe you’ve been looking for.
Research patterns and colors
Lastly, one of the best ways of replicating vintage interior design is using colors and patterns. For this, you’ll need to research your preferred era and really consider every detail. You want the patterns and colors to add that vintage vibe — not make your home old and as if it's stuck in the past.
A great thing about using vintage colors and patterns is that it’s a rather cheap solution. Just one polka-dot tablecloth can easily transport you to the 1950s. Likewise, rich red tones would replicate the Victorian Era perfectly. An old nautical map framed on the wall counterbalanced with a vintage ship light will evoke a timeless, coastal vibe. The only thing to remember is to stay within the period or theme you’re trying to emulate.
Vintage-inspired homes are a sight for sore eyes for many history enthusiasts. However, remember that you’re not creating a time warp here. You’re only paying tribute to your favorite era by mixing and matching antiques, colors, patterns, and details. As such, take it slow and aim for a vintage-inspired contemporary home rather than a museum.
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