How to create a vintage style home

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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The vintage style is a popular choice for many people who want to introduce a new theme into their home. Old school glamour, rustic charm and lashings of nostalgia; vintage décor can transform an average property into a unique and impressive space. You don't have to go all out and invest in expensive, one-off items or hunt out the most exclusive furnishings. If you use a bit of imagination by mixing high street buys with a few special finds and some bargains from the local flea market, you can have yourself a beautiful vintage home personalised to your taste. 

Vintage is all about the feelings each object inspires; it should remind you of something in particular or make you feel connected to the past in some way, whether from your own past experiences, or a particular era (even if you never lived through it!). The joy of vintage style is that it is evocative and characterful, and the wide variety of choice when it comes to antique, vintage, or vintage-style furniture allows you to be really selective and creative in your approach to decorating. If you want to take the next steps to creating your perfect vintage style home, have a read through the following tips:

Statement seating

This funky vintage style seat evokes the post modern and Memphis design styled architecture of 80s London. The material is manufactured and hand screen printed in the UK—the attention to detail has to be admired. If you're looking for bespoke designs, then this could well be for you. If you want to introduce patterns and prints into your home for a retro vibe, but are worried about your budget, you could always opt for inexpensive soft furnishings for a subtler look. Printed cushions or throws are a good way to spice up a plain couch. They're also more versatile and less of a commitment, so it's a win-win situation. 

Era specific storage

Mid century bank of drawers:  Household by Owl and the Elephant
Owl and the Elephant

Mid century bank of drawers

Owl and the Elephant

This mid century set of drawers could definitely introduce some old school office chic into your home. The numbered drawers with chunky metal handles are quirky and authentic—this is actually an original vintage set sourced by Owl and the Elephant. A piece like this would be the main focal point in a vintage office, or if you chose something similar for the lounge, you would want to make sure the rest of the furniture complimented this particular style and period. Consider colourful 50s or 60s couches and light colours on the walls, but avoid any designs that would distract too much from the detail of your statement piece.

Animal prints

Mischievous Magpie Lampshade: modern Living room by martha and hepsie ltd
martha and hepsie ltd

Mischievous Magpie Lampshade

martha and hepsie ltd

No, it's not what you're thinking: leopard print is best left in the 80s. We're thinking more along the lines of kooky bird or fox prints that manage to be both cute and hipster at the same time. There are a wide selection of framed prints that have helped to set this trend, but you can incorporate animal motifs into cushions, mugs, lightshades… just be careful about going over the top, and be aware that if you've got birds on the light shade, you don't really need foxes on your cushions in the same room.

Quirky wallpaper

Jackrabbit Wallpaper:  Walls & flooring by Dwelling Bird
Dwelling Bird

Jackrabbit Wallpaper

Dwelling Bird

Continuing with the animal print theme, this wallpaper is original and fun without being overbearing. The gaps between the rabbit prints ensures that the wallpaper looks modern and not twee or fussy, and the rabbits themselves are little works of art. If you're going to go for printed wallpaper to decorate your vintage-style home, you could also consider floral or geo-prints, depending on the overall look you're hoping to achieve. Geo prints are great if you want a retro 70s or 80s feel, whereas if you like to mix your vintage with classical and shabby chic design, floral patterns will be a better option for you. 

Rustic furniture

 Household by homify
homify

Vintage Wooden Crates

homify

Rustic looking furniture is a great way to give your home a vintage feel. Exposed beams are a coveted feature in most homes, but not all of us are lucky enough to enjoy those period features. This stripped wood shelving unit works to the same effect without you having to make any structural changes. As a stand alone piece, this unpretentious design might not turn many heads, but introduce it into a neutral coloured room with traditional parquet flooring, and it instantly makes sense. Team worn looking furniture with clean white walls, and make sure the room gets lots of light. This is a sure fire way to get an elegant looking vintage style home without looking like you've made a lot of effort.

Make time for tea

Round Handle Mugs: eclectic Kitchen by Gary Birks
Gary Birks

Round Handle Mugs

Gary Birks

If you're going to do vintage, do it properly and think of everything, from sofas through to tea cups. Tea was adopted by the British in the 1840s, and high tea was a tradition in the UK from then on. The tradition continues today in some upmarket establishments, though it tends to be a custom reserved for the wealthy. However, what's to stop you bringing it into your own home with some vintage style mugs? Shopping for vintage crockery is easily one of the most fun parts of creating a vintage style home: there are so many interesting and intricate designs to choose from that recall times and fashions gone by (but fear not, fashions always comes back around!). Don't worry about matching your cups to your saucers, because mismatched teatime accessories have a special charm that works wonderfully in a vintage kitchen. 

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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