Vintage design isn’t about getting a bunch of antiques and throwing them in your home. It’s much more subtle and nuanced than throwing some old chairs in a room and buying a vintage clock for the wall. So if you’re looking to achieve that perfect vintage design for your living room, you’re in the right place. Here we’ll be going over the key factors that will ensure you end up with a cozy place to enjoy your unique vintage style.
Get Clear About Your Vintage
The word vintage is pretty vague regarding what period of “vintage” you’re talking about. There’s so much rich architectural design in history that could be considered vintage, and before you go searching on Houzz and Pinterest for ideas, you’ll want to get clear about what type of vintage you’re trying to achieve. For example, do you like the bright colors of the ’50s? Or do you prefer the soft florals of cottage vibes? Then there’s victorian, farmhouse, craftsman, gothic, and much more. So do a little research, pick out the elements you love, and get a better understanding of what vintage style you’d like to implement in your living room. We suggest using tools like Houzz or Pinterest to save photos where you like the look of the space. You can then look through your saved pictures and pick out the elements you love and would like to bring into your own home.
Sometimes Less is More
When you walk into a Cracker Barrel, there is no doubt that the place is supposed to be vintage. There is stuff everywhere! On the walls, the ceilings, over the fireplace, the chairs, and even the items they sell are covered with a vintage aesthetic. And while this works out for their restaurant “theme,” it’s likely going to feel like a lot in your home if you try this styling method. Instead, we think less is more. Not every item in your home needs to be genuine and authentic to the vintage style you’ve chosen. It will often look better if key elements are selected within the living room to represent the aesthetic and make the functional pieces more modern. You might like the look of the 1940’s wallpaper, but we doubt you’d want their lack of TV. You can still do this without losing the vintage feel.
It’s In the Details
With modern design, everything is simple. There are no details to distract from the overall sense of cleanliness and minimalistic. However, with vintage, it’s important not to leave those details out. So while your couch might be from Ikea, you can throw on a vintage blanket your grandmother made with her own hands. Alternatively, maybe that 65 inch TV was on sale last Black Friday, but you can hang it on the wall above a stunning buffet cabinet that has dents, watermarks, and oil stains from the years and years of use. With their wear and tear, these pieces bring an organic and unique quality to your vintage aesthetic. Maybe your style is clean, but we encourage you to see those blemishes as beauty marks and proof that the piece has a long history. Just don’t blame us if it came with a ghost!.
The Correct Clutter
As we said before, Cracker Barrel is cluttered to a fault, but some clutter is true to a vintage look. If you create a space that’s meant to look like it’s from the victorian era, it will feel out of place if all surfaces are clean and clear. Sleek and clean coffee tables are meant for modern styles, and it will throw off your aesthetic if you leave things looking too sterile. Instead, fill the shelves with on theme nick-nacks. Maybe even look for items that could be useful to you.
Visit the Thrift Store
Pottery Barn might have some beautiful “vintage” items, but they aren’t actually vintage. While these pieces certainly have their place, we think the best vintage furniture is genuinely vintage. There’s a beauty that comes with a piece that has its own history longer than from the factory to your door. Coffee tables where previous families have knelt next to while spending time together or an old frame that has held a precious photo from the past are perfect examples of bringing a rich and authentic vintage feel to your living room space. They might need some TLC to get them ready for your home, but we think the trade-off is worth it. Not to mention the amazing deals you can find!
We think you’ll find it much easier to achieve that perfect vintage style in your living room once you get clear about what time period you’d like to copy. Then maybe consider which items you’d like to be vintage since it doesn’t have to be the whole room, and maybe find some of those pieces in a thrift store! And if you’re worried about messing it up, you can always hire a professional designer to come and help you get everything just right
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.