Decorating a house entails more than simply filling it with furniture and accessories; it also means adding personal style and touches to create a unique interior that says “home” to both its residents and guests. While any design style lends itself to this, some are more suited to the creation of a warm, homey environment than others. One of the most popular, and flexible, options for creating an inviting living area in a home is the vintage look.
Elements of Vintage Style
Vintage style encompasses a period beginning in the Roaring 20’s and extending through to the dawn of the 1960’s. Bringing together elements of post-WWII Hollywood films and classic family television shows, a vintage style living room area uses really lovely furniture and color to achieve the look of the period in a modern environment.
Vintage furniture can be heavy, yet is sophisticated and refined. Chairs and sofas often feature thick upholstery and floral cushions coupled with delicate trims and carved legs. Dark shades of brown and blue, as well as black, are common colors for leather upholstery; lighter shades are also seen in vintage decor, ranging from soft gray, cream and tan to softer pastel shades. Wood furniture and trim is popular in vintage decor as well, with dark finishes complementing the fabrics and accessories.
Vintage Style in a Modern Home
Incorporating vintage decor into a modern style living room is easier than one might think. The key is to buy select pieces that bring the vintage style into the room that also blend with the modern elements. Nathan furniture is an excellent example of 19th century style, which can be incorporated almost seamlessly into any home.
Accent pieces, such as tables, consoles or dressers, are great vintage choices, especially when used in unusual ways. Placing a mirrored bedroom dresser in a hallway or a using a wardrobe as an entertainment center, are useful ways to bring vintage into a home. A modern-style sofa or set of chairs can anchor the room and they are easily covered in vintage-friendly upholstery.
Casual vintage, sometimes associated with shabby chic style, is the best route to go unless the home style and existing decor are very formal. A small farmhouse style table can be cut-down to serve as a coffee table or can be used as a “library table” against a wall or behind a sofa. Vintage lamps are always a great addition to a living room as well, floor lamps in particular. Lampshades may be found at yard sales or thrift shops or can be easily handmade with some delicate fabric, fringe and beading.
Generous draperies and patterned curtains are very vintage, with folds of soft fabric cascading on to the floor and gathered at the sides. The addition of vintage trims as tiebacks, or perhaps some vintage hardware or decorative curtain rods, completes the look.
Vintage style is also very up-cycle friendly. Taking pieces from within the home and re-purposing them for the living area is a great way to change the decor without spending a lot of change, as it were. Adding new period hardware, repainting or refinishing a piece in period colors or reupholstering in period fabric, makes a big style statement for very little investment.