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Although we are well into the 21st Century, the latest trend in interior design seems to be going vintage. If you have a modern home that you’d like to see travel back in time to the golden days of mid-to-late 20th Century vintage design, we’ve compiled this list for you – 9 design tips for going vintage with your home décor.

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Vintage design colors

Whether we realize it or not, the color palette of any room both subtly and not so subtly sets the ultimate tone. If you’re trying to take your décor in a more vintage direction, stay away from the contemporary leanings of stark blacks and whites and go with bold greens, yellows and oranges. If it’s not noticeably bold, it’s not vintage!

 

Vintage design wall coverings

As referenced above, for someone trying to go vintage, stark is out of the question. That said, when it comes to your walls, don’t leave big open spaces of stale white; use your bold color palette and stencil a full-wall pattern that will be remembered. While some of the available patterns are very contemporary, some are unquestionably vintage.

Retro fixtures

The telltale distinction between a contemporary residence and a vintage abode lies in the fixtures. If your lamps and overhead lighting are all stainless steel or stark white, then you’re missing the point. To go vintage you need to be a scavenger – go to a second-hand store or an antique shop and find an elegant chandelier, a rustic lamp or a funky lamp shade that will put a vintage stamp on your overall décor.

Choosing retro furniture

Obviously, if your furniture is super contemporary, you’re not going to get the vintage vibe you’re looking for, however, if you aren’t able to score a totally retro couch from the second-hand furniture store, there are always clever ways to dress your more modern furniture in vintage garb. Consider a couch cover, re-upholstering a chair, adding a throw blanket, etc.

Retro design hardware

Another subtle step toward going vintage is the hardware on your cupboards, furniture, dressers, etc. If the current hardware on your drawers and cupboards is shiny and new stainless steel or if they’re highly contemporary shapes, you might want to go look for some second-hand mid-century hardware or even go to a home supply store and select a more organic configuration that contributes the vintage vibe of your home.

Vintage retro patterned floors

When it comes to flooring, most anything can support your vintage endeavors, however, continuing with the theme, stark white carpet doesn’t really help your cause. If you want to get really vintage, go with hardwoods or, better yet, take the pattern from the walls and put them on the floor with uber-retro patterned glass tile accents. Even a boldly patterned area rug can do the trick nicely. Hint: do not pattern the wall and the floor at the same time, that’s more vintage than anyone can handle!

Retro patterned curtains

Another creative technique for giving your home the vintage edge that you’re looking for is to redress your windows. Get rid of any contemporary blinds or canvas shades and transition into some softer drapes and curtains. Whether you buy newer patterned fabrics or whether you stitch old handkerchiefs together in a tapestry, this is a great way to add some valuable vintage warmth to most any room.

Accessories and details

Of course, this list has covered most of the major fixtures in a home that can be tweaked to increase your vintage vibe but your throwback theme can also be achieved with some choice accessorizing. By pillaging the attic, secondhand stores and vintage shops you can find some amazing vintage frames, centerpieces, wall art and other trash-to-treasure knickknacks that will pepper the room with some classic eye candy.

Say “No” to Ikea

While there are many ways to make your home look like it’s straight out of the ’70s, shopping at Ikea is certainly not one of them. Because the Nordic designers are hell-bent on being as contemporary as can be, and because vintage is defined by its age and experience, any Ikea furniture amongst your retro décor will stick out like a very modern sore thumb.

This is not to pick on IKEA, exactly. The general rule in this department is that even if you’re restricting your retro-theme design strategy to a single room (a popular choice!) you have to make sure that you avoid any design anachronisms, where ever the items happen to come from. Otherwise, it would be like seeing a Gucci watch in a Shakespearean play, or Mary Queen of Scots yakking on her cellphone – it kind of wrecks the effect.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of tips for going vintage with your home décor. Above all, we hope you found some of the ideas useful and that you’re wildly successful in transforming your home décor into the era you see fit.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.