A vintage-themed bedroom benefits from the nostalgic, comforting, and timeless feel instilled by a collection of vintage furnishings.
Some prefer to incorporate a statement vintage piece like a family heirloom or antique bed frame into their bedroom, while others are building a vintage theme in everything from the carpet on the floor to the light fixture hanging from the ceiling.
This idea book explores the bedroom fundamentals from a vintage viewpoint, indicating the design features and aesthetic to look for in every piece.
It's good start with the biggest and (often) most expensive bedroom piece—the bed. It's common to seek out colonial-style antique bed frames in brass, as well as more ornate European-influenced cast-iron frames that speak of an ornate Victorian era. A four-poster frame or gauzy canopy instantly transports the bedroom back in time as well. If your vintage theme is closer to the 20th century, look for beds on curved wooden legs and button-tufting (buttons that seem to punch into the upholstery) in the headboard, exhibiting an early 20th century chaise lounge style.
In general, vintage bed frame styles are either very straightforward and reserved, like the brass colonial styles—or highly elaborate and decorative, with carved wood and painted embellishments.
Finding vintage furniture is easy if you know where to look. Often, items that aren't designed as bedroom decor make their way into a recycled vintage bedroom scheme. Here, a pair of metal lockers are transformed into a closet, while a vintage map becomes a decorative wall mural. Antique malls are especially good places for finding vintage items, as they are often organized by style, object, or era, with different vendors specializing in different areas of vintage objects. You'll also get the chance to see the item in person and observe how it looks next to other items in a vintage-themed atmosphere.
Even a modern bedroom can attain a vintage feel when a few vintage accessories are placed throughout the room. This setup features a few antiques, all of them telling a unique story about their origins. To bring an assortment of items together under a cohesive theme, consider painting or spray-painting objects, giving them a fresh coat of colour according to your chosen theme.
If you have high-quality hardwood floors in your bedroom, perfect! You're already looking at a vintage setting for your room. You can add woven carpets with tassels and intricate designs for a more romantic, elaborate vintage theme—if they come second hand with worn spots, all the better. If you're looking for more of a retro or mod look, consider a shag rug.
As you think about the overall look of the room, consider the colour scheme at large. In general, pallets that are faded, textured, and varied carry with them an innate historic vibe. This textured wall has a certain aged look as the small tiles appear to have weathered over the years. Faded and antique metallic colors like rose gold or tarnished silver are also highly popular. Don't forget prints: depending on your theme, a large floral pattern in your wallpaper might be right up your alley.
First things first: as you locate your perfect vintage lamps and light fixtures, keep in mind that while the style can be old-fashioned, the technology shouldn't. When you buy old lamps, lanterns, and chandeliers, replace the old bulbs with new ones (preferably energy efficient LEDs), and make sure the cords are not brittle, crusty, or torn in any places. In effect, your lights should look old, but perform like new.
The bare bulbs pictured in this project by the designers from DUE Architecture & Design have become especially popular in recent years, bringing a sort of old-fashioned warehouse vibe to the space. You can also search for crystal-laden chandeliers, brass lamps, painted glass shells, stained glass, patterned lampshades, and old fashioned hanging lanterns (pictured below).
In many vintage themes, you'll find a hearty mesh of rich jewel tones like ruby, emerald, and turquoise. In other themes, you might see a faded blend of pastels and creams filled with floral prints and paisley patterns. Either way, one thing is clear: vintage bedrooms love linens with an ample array of patterns and colours! Vintage curtains often exhibit ruffles and gathers, with multiple layers forming a voluminous window covering. Likewise, vintage bed linens often include richly textured fabrics like velvet, and designs that include plenty of embellishment like ruffles, lace, beading, embroidery, and prints. Look for natural materials as well—vintage furniture was made before plastic and synthetic blends were available, so you're better off looking for high-quality, authentic objects made from leather, linen, wool, glass, wood, silk, and metal.
For more vintage decor inspiration, tour a vintage-inspired home in this ideabook!