“Vintage” is not just a term – it’s a lifestyle, a vision, a way of life!
Vintage-inspired spaces are nostalgic – they take you back to the days bygone and make you feel stylishly nostalgic. That said, anything that is dubbed vintage has to be at least twenty years old – anything less, and you should be looking for another term. As far as interior designing is concerned, you can take your pick of vintage aesthetics from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and the 90s. Each of these decades may have had its own flavour, but you can certainly combine the highlights to create a beautiful space of your own.
So below, we’ll be sharing some ideas on how you can craft a perfect vintage-inspired living room:
1. Trendy Curtains & Rods
Your vintage theme can never be complete without the requisite chintz patterned fabrics and Laura Ashley florals. The best way to emulate these patterns stylishly in a modern home is through curtains and drapes. Your living room picture window can be dressed in vintage-inspired curtains that are accented by old-school yet modern curtain rods.
If you’re choosing light florals as your curtain patterns, then you can complement them with rods that have an antique finish. Chintz patterns are best complemented by wooden curtain rods. If you’re going for 90s block print style curtains, then darkly finished rods can look beautiful as well. Don’t forget the finials – they usually cap off the whole look with a fun, retro vibe!
2. Texture, Patterns & Embroidered Fabrics
Vintage spaces are all about owning that texture. Whether it’s the natural patina of solid wood furniture items, chintz sofa upholsteries, patterned area rugs, damask wallpaper, or textured wall paint, you can definitely evoke a gorgeous vintage aura in your living room by using one or more of these items. The plaid pattern was a design darling in the 70s while shag ruled the 60s, so getting one of these is an absolute must!
But the cherry-on-top is always embroidered fabrics. There are a number of ways that you can incorporate them into your living room interiors. Embroidered couch cushions can look stunningly retro against a plain sofa upholstery. Similarly, embroidered throws can be artfully featured on accent chairs and couch armrests. You can also get embroidered statement tapestries as well.
Pro tip: Don’t use more than two textural details in the same room as too much of it can make your space feel visually messy.
3. Design A Gallery Wall
“Structured clutter” seems to be the running theme in most vintage-inspired spaces, and you can stylishly emulate it in your living rooms by designing your very own gallery wall. This will also provide you with an opportunity to feature vintage art in your spaces. You can use black-and-white photographs, retro word art, and old-school paintings to evoke a nostalgic effect. Furthermore, you can even use artfully vintage frames to highlight the vintage theme. Frames with distressed finishes, carved designs, and waxed borders are a specialty of vintage spaces, and your living room will rock the theme when you feature this type of a gallery wall in it.
Pro tip: You can even design your gallery wall out of mismatched objects like tin wall hangings, clocks, different sized paintings, etc. The artful disorder will evoke a great vintage vibe.
4. Recycling Your Way To Vintage
As far as decor is concerned, you should definitely opt for recycled old stuff. The thing about new decorative accessories is that they’re too sleek and modern, which takes away from the essence of the vintage theme. So, you can carry out some fun DIY projects and design your own decor.
For example, old beer bottles and jam jars can be recycled into wonderful vases for dry arrangements. Similarly, old tin cans can be painted over and filled with potpourri. You can also repurpose magazines and old newspapers to emulate a 90s vintage aura. They can be wrapped around old lampshades or paper-mâchéd on old bottles and cans to create personalized decor items.
5. Transitional Style Furniture
Lastly, you should go for transitional or boho-chic style furniture if you really want to nail that vintage look on the head. The reason for this is because modern and contemporary furniture – especially sofas – can take away from the core of the vintage aesthetic and make your living room feel unwontedly sleek.
You should look for sofas with a camelback design, pillow-topped backrests, thick track arms, or large front rails to suit this look. Coffee tables with distressed textures and shabby-chic visuals are also a great option. Reclaimed wood bookshelves and nesting tables would cap off the whole look with so much flair!
Pro tip: If you could add in something made out of living edge wood (preferably a coffee table) then you’ll get that extra oomph!
So, these are some tips to craft the perfect vintage-inspired living room. All of these ideas will help you evoke that classy, old-school look without compromising on the style, dignity, and elegance of your space.
About the Author:
Zana is a window treatments consultant with over 20 years of experience.