Long-lasting trend: vintage style in the interior

We tell you how to decorate the interior in a fashionable vintage aesthetic: about the choice of finishes, furniture, and decor.

Vintage style in the interior today is chosen by both industry professionals and apartment owners. It is not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly. Beds, cabinets, coffee tables, chairs, and armchairs can find a second life – in a word, almost all furniture. We talk about the features of the design in vintage style.

Direction features

Almost all modern projects, especially Western designers, can be called vintage. Professionals have been actively using vintage items in their designs for a long time. They can occupy 80% of the interior, and this does not look like an excess. What’s the secret?

First, we need to define what we mean when we talk about vintage. These are things produced in the 19th-20th century, in a broad sense – in general, everything is retro, in a narrower sense – cult, designer. But do not confuse them with antiques – it has a collection value, as evidenced by the attached documents.

A modern apartment in a vintage style can be decorated in one key, for example, Scandinavian, or be eclectic – in this case, the interior presents things from different countries and times. There are no clear rules here. Just as there are no strict proportions, it cannot be said that a design that consists mostly of retro items is considered vintage.

You can add iconic items little by little. Especially when you are afraid to turn the house into a grandmother’s chest. The easiest way: buy a chest of drawers or a couple of chairs, and focus on them. It is more difficult to work with stylization, for example, mid-century modern, which includes the selection of furnishings, decoration, and elaboration of lighting scenarios.

The main principles of vintage style in interiors

  • Do not choose fakes and artificially form an image. If plastic is used, then it should be a thing from the 70s, when the material was at its peak. You should not resort to artificial aging, stylization with the effect of antiquity, patina, and scuffs – such techniques will be striking. You may not need to give up the idea of ​​ transforming objects with your own hands, but only if you are confident in your abilities.
  • In order not to turn the house into an inappropriate mix of things, pick up items from the same era. Analyze which style is closer to you: restrained mid-century or bright 80s? 
  • It is not necessary to completely furnish the apartment with appropriate furniture, retro goes well with modern products.
  • This mix will be complemented by modern textiles and decorations.
  • Do not get carried away with accessories, decor, and details. Conciseness and simplicity will help to avoid both chaos and “museum”.

Vintage-style decoration in the interior of the apartment

In fact, it is no different from the modern one. The design of the walls and floor in basic colors is a great backdrop for styling. Moreover, a light finish, given bright furniture, is even better. This combination looks more expensive. Be careful with printed wallpaper – this option should be used if upholstered furniture is not full of patterns, and cabinet furniture is of a simple shape. Choose geometric prints on the wallpaper, it will remind you of a bygone era of the 60s and 70s.

Since natural textures are preferred in this design, parquet on the floor is the solution that will look best. It is better not to even consider analogs in the form of porcelain stoneware or laminate. The ceiling, as in other areas, should not be decorated at all. The white matte finish will be appropriate in any case.

How to select vintage furniture

The most popular today are items from the mid-20th century, they fit perfectly into the so-called mid-century, which modern style gravitates towards. Scandinavian furniture of the 20th century is easy to integrate into the Scandinavian style, and even with a mass market like IKEA, it will coexist harmoniously – it’s all about a single DNA.

Of course, do not forget about the iconic furniture from designers. These are things that are still produced unchanged today: Vitra, Eams armchairs and chairs, Arco, Desk, Akari lamps, and many others.

The easiest way to find retro furniture is at grandmother’s house, at flea markets, and on sites for reselling things. But, when buying second-hand things, keep in mind that they are going to be transformed. At a minimum, they will have to be restored: upholstery should be replaced for upholstered furniture, and varnish should be updated, or accessories replaced in cabinet furniture.

It is more difficult to find foreign copies. European items can be found on sites like eBay or Etsy, but we do not recommend buying expensive models there. It is rather an option for things that have no value. But it is better to look for designer items through intermediaries and agents who can conduct an examination of authenticity. These things are hereditary.

How to fit retro things into the interior

If you are just looking at the retro design, we advise you to start with accents. First, you need to understand what vintage thing will be the key in the room. In the living room, it can be a pair of armchairs, a large chest of drawers, or a sideboard. Armchairs are easy to highlight with bright upholstery. Moreover, you can not follow the style of the era when they were made but try a more original technique by combining textures. For example, to mix the mid-1960s with its graceful strict lines with modern geometry.

As for the large chest of drawers, the classics of the 1960s and 1970s remain the most popular. These are thin legs, clear lines, and shapes – the design is in tune with modern style.

In the bedroom, the accent is a bed or chest of drawers. Smaller items: dressing table and bedside tables. You can not look for two identical bedside tables, but pick up models from different manufacturers. They will be united by style, although this is not necessary if you are ready to experiment with eclecticism.

In the kitchen, the table usually acts as an accent, usually massive, made of wood; chairs can support it. A more modest option is just chairs. Pay attention to such a technique as a combination of different models in one dining group. They can be united by style or color. In the photo, the combination of vintage and modern items in the interior of the apartments looks very fresh and not banal.

Decor and accessories

The easiest way to introduce retro into the interior of any room is to use accessories. But it is important to purchase genuine items and not stylized ones. Vases are one of the favorite elements of interior stylists. Use not Soviet crystal, it is unlikely to surprise anyone, but, for example, white matte biscuit porcelain. It was especially popular in Germany in the middle of the last century. Many factories already in those days collaborated with artists and designers and produced entire collections.

Another item that can decorate cabinet shelves is a candlestick. Take a closer look at aged brass models. They can be inscribed in a more romantic design, neoclassical, and even Provence. Such candlesticks are worth looking for at flea markets. In the 20th century, the main countries producing accessories were India and Pakistan.

Finally, an accent that should not be ignored is the lamp. It can be a floor model or a more modest table lamp. They are able to complete the design and add zest to it if you choose them in the appropriate style. Interestingly, Soviet models of the second half of the 20th century often copied the design of foreign ones. Keep this in mind when looking for such a lamp. It’s great if you can find a European or American original.

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