What is vintage décor, anyway? A fine balance between filling a room with useless knick-knacks and accenting a space with charming, eclectic antiques. Magazines and blogs are full of vintage décor ideas, but recreating the effect can be tricky. What makes a vintage room is the artful mix of retro and contemporary treasures – and we’ve got more than a few ideas to help you get started.
UPVC blinds can be energy efficient, but not to the taste of the traditionalist. Shutters are a great choice as they work with modern design schemes, but look fabulous alongside vintage décor, too. For a striking bathroom, start with some minimal white wooden shutters, adding depth and character with carefully selected, shabby chic furniture.
A lesson in how to make new furniture look old: set it against ornate panelling and carefully sourced vintage accessories. Vintage look furniture is great fun to hunt down at boot sales and can be very inexpensive, but the reality of sagging sofas and moth-eaten material can be decidedly less romantic. Instead of musty retro curtains or furnishings, opt for a distressed dresser (you can buy one for very cheap, and create a variety of looks by hand) or a vintage bookshelf full of character and detail. Setting these against a detailed, panelled wall breaks up a room while providing useful storage – all without the hassle of fading colours and removing musty odours.
Retro Floral Wallpaper
Whilst working with vintage material can be enjoyable, seeking out retro upholstery fabric can be tiresome – and it’s not the only way to channel vintage style in your home. A quick route to the shabby chic and vintage look is covering one, perhaps two, walls of a room in retro floral wallpaper. Search a local flower market for the best indoor plants, then break up the flat expanse of decorative wallpaper with their beautiful, unregulated shapes to bring in a little of nature’s wildness.
If you’re unsure how to dress period windows, fitting blinds for a vintage-style home creates a versatile starting point. Wood louvres or soft fabric drapes like Pirouette blinds can help keep things uncluttered. More practical than Victorian lace curtains, and more minimal than heavy curtains in a retro curtain fabric, you can add character with layered fabrics and curated, vintage room décor. Use antique rugs and throw cushions in vintage floral fabric to add visual interest, comfort and softness, letting your window coverings add texture, while delivering filtered light.
Lighting is all-important in creating the right ambience. Modern finishes can hark back to any era with the help of vintage style lighting – picture a kitchen hung with industrial antique lamps, a contemporary dining area dotted with antique chandeliers, or the clean lines of a modern dressing table juxtaposed with a vintage Anglepoise lamp. Seek the right finishing touches, and the entire theme will pull together at the flick of a switch.
Inspired by our selection of vintage decorating ideas? Read our guide to decorating with faux materials.