Vintage style furniture

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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When faced with a choice between flat pack and modern, or unique and vintage furniture, a large majority would choose the latter without hesitation. This is to do with two things: character and quality. The idea is, if it's lasted this long, it must be made well. It wont fall apart after you've used it a few times, and it has already stood the test of time in terms of style. It also seems to have a story to tell, and the prospect of the furniture having a 'previous life' is intriguing: who did it belong to? what were they like? what was their home like? 

More appealing is the knowledge that your furniture isn't going to be found in every other house on your street, which is something you can't guarantee with modern, mass-produced furniture. It all sounds good so far, but where's the catch? Vintage furniture can be expensive, and difficult to find if you're looking for something in particular. There is a happy-medium to be found in the smaller independent retailers and boutiques who produce vintage-style furniture on a much smaller, if not exclusive, level. This furniture is usually good quality and, when you think about it, it's going to be real vintage one day any way! Whichever way you decide to create your vintage-style home, think about what key pieces you'll need and take a look at these vintage-style interiors for some ideas.

Vintage-style breakfast table

Vintage can be edgy and retro or homely and rustic. This farmhouse-style breakfast area is a great example of how to achieve that country kitchen look. The mismatched chairs are charming, and because each is different, each looks exclusive and hand-picked. The sturdy wooden table looks to have seen a fair few meal times, and it's this worn out and well used look which exists at the heart of the vintage-style. The window seat actually became popular during the Victorian period, but here the seat has been decorated with quaint cushions to create a shabby chic look more reminiscent of 30's and 40's. All in all, this picturesque scene is warm and welcoming and makes us feel right at home. Cream tea, anyone?

Industrial style lighting

Bees in Hexagons Pink Wallpaper:  Walls & flooring by Mister Smith Interiors
Mister Smith Interiors

Bees in Hexagons Pink Wallpaper

Mister Smith Interiors

It might sound a bit contradictory, but ultra-modern industrial style light fixtures can fit really well into a vintage style room. Don't forget, basic metal lighting was cheaper and more practical back in the day, and you'd be more likely to find a battered iron pendant lamp than a large chandelier in the average 20th century home. Mix it up with grander looking furniture, like this chaise longue for an eclectic living room which incorporates both vintage and modern styles. 

Classic chandeliers

If you're not convinced by the industrial style lighting, and prefer the palatial vintage look, invest in a chandelier as your focal feature. There is a wide variety of chandelier's to choose from, but think about the dimensions of your room before splashing out on something that is not only palatial in style, but also in size. 

Beaded chandeliers with lots of adornments look best in a room furnished in a thoroughly traditional, classic style, as once you start mixing styles too much the house begins to look like a disordered antiques market. Think about the bigger picture and how everything will fit together, and you'll be sure to get it right. 

Vintage chairs

Vintage Style Grey Linen Armchair: country Living room by Loop the Loop
Loop the Loop

Vintage Style Grey Linen Armchair

Loop the Loop

Vintage chairs were made with comfort in mind: rocking chairs, telephone chairs and even smoking chairs, for example. There seems to be an endless amount of things people used to prefer doing sitting down! Maybe we've lost the ability to be still in this hectic modern world; who knows? Now is the time to take back your 5 minutes of rest and find a suitably comfy vintage-style chair that is both practical and stylish. You can upholster your chair in whatever material fits with your décor, ideal for genuine vintage chairs that are likely to be a more battered and worn than you might like. 

Vintage-style bureau

Antique Reproduction Oval Desk: classic Study/office by Parklane Furniture
Parklane Furniture

Antique Reproduction Oval Desk

Parklane Furniture

The bureau seems to have disappeared into obscurity in the past few decades, but it is in fact a useful, multi-functional piece of furniture that can look really impressive in an understated room such as this. Mahogany was always a popular choice for the bureau, and as they say, 'if it aint broke don't fix it'. If you haven't been able to find one at the flea market, don't worry: bureaus are back in fashion and are becoming easier to find in-store. 

Vintage style dining room

TV Mirrors: classic Living room by Overmantels
Overmantels

TV Mirrors

Overmantels

Though real coal or wood burning fires are more popular than they've been in years, they can end up being more fiddly and messy than you expected. The hearth was a staple of a vintage family home, but you don't have to have a fire to have a fireplace. This fireplace has been hollowed out and decorated with colourful, vintage style ceramics, and this is something you could try if you're more inclined to stick the central heating on. 

A bookshelf makes a great feature, especially in larger rooms, and it gives you the opportunity to display all of your favourite period novels: what could be more fitting? However, in an era of e-readers and downloads, books are sadly becoming somewhat archaic themselves. 

If you're not ready to say goodbye to books just yet, then check out these amazing bookcases

Alternatively, if you're still in need of some ideas to create your perfect vintage style home, take a look at this stunning house in Madrid.

Which key vintage pieces are your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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