How to Decorate with Vintage Finds
Charmingly old-fashioned, quirky and individualistic, casual yet a bit romantic, versatile and budget-friendly: that’s the beauty of a room decorated with vintage finds. It’s a far-reaching style that makes it easy to show off creativity, and can’t be contained to one simple definition. But in general, vintage style means decorating with furnishings, fabrics, accessories, and colors that were popular decades back – in particular, the styles of the 1940s and 1950s. Technically, however, the term…MORE “vintage” refers to any item that is more than 20 years old, but less than 100.
You’ll soon find that when it comes to vintage furnishings, paint can be your best friend. Even if a vintage piece is scuffed or stained, it’s easy to give it a makeover with a bright new coat of colorful paint. Although there is no hard-and-fast vintage color scheme, you’ll generally find that the vintage palette is soft in intensity, uses a lot of creamy white, and gets colorful with mint or moss green, pink, soft blue, palest lavender or buttery yellow. This isn’t the decorating style for dark colors, intense brights, too much beige or brown, or earth tones. Mixing patterns is another vintage must, especially florals or other botanicals, birds and butterflies, or scenes of idyllic 1940s or 1950s…MORE life
You’re not going to find authentic vintage pieces at your local big-box furniture store. Instead, think of it as a hunt; you’re looking for affordable furnishings that have been well loved through the decades. Your best bet are places like flea markets, secondhand stores, antique malls and shops, Craigslist or even garage sales. This country charmer is from the vintage-loving blog Aiken House & Gardens.
Because vintage finds are outside the typical contemporary mass-produced items you’ll find in HomeGoods or similar decorating stores, it’s fun to play up the period style by doing something unexpected in your room. This bedroom shows off the owner’s whimsy with a collection of vintage fans on a shelf added up high for this very purpose. Is there something you love or collect? Spotlight it in a similar fashion. Old globes, vintage ceramic dogs or cats, glove forms, hats, dolls… whatever makes you…MORE smile when you see it.
Decorating with vintage finds doesn’t mean that everything in your bedroom has to be old. In fact, it can be a bit overwhelming to decorate with nothing but period pieces. Instead, mix a few vintage accessories or furniture with new items. This bedroom, for example, makes good use of a pair of lovely vintage nightstands and a pair of old suitcases given new life with a coat of bright blue paint. The bedding, however, is new, although it has a vintage feel thanks to the chenille throw blanket….MORE And the wonderful floral wallpaper is a celebration of vintage style, even though it’s a brand-new pattern.
One of the hallmarks of vintage décor is a reliance on repurposed items to add to the fun, while also helping to keep decorating costs down. The room shown here does both beautifully by showcasing framed vintage handkerchiefs in place of a headboard, along with the wildly creative use of drums in place of traditional nightstands. Let your mind run wild; you can repurpose just about anything if you’re imaginative enough.