Interior design isn’t all about making a new and contemporary house. It can also be about preserving the past and honouring an older home’s character. If you are blessed to have a house with a certain time-earned character or an apartment with a certain peculiar charm, consider these tips for tackling the problems that need a touch-up while bringing out the best of the past and future home.

The vintage interiors can be challenging and tricky sometimes. Although antiques are amazing, it’s impractical to think that you’re going to create the whole room around them. Plus, doing so might end up making the room feel like more of a relic than a vintage style, in all honesty. The best vintage designs are influenced by tradition, but they still feel appropriately tired. This is one instance where it is important to strike the correct balance. 

To help you find the balance, we’re here. For putting together retro interiors that still sound suitable for today, we have gathered our best advice. Learn and integrate these tips into your own style. We have no doubt that you will achieve the perfect balance between modern and traditional stuff. People usually perceive something that appears as ‘vintage’ or ‘old-fashioned’ is accustomed by three factors. These are nostalgia, perception of age, and visual style.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet1
Vintage inspired decor  Copyright/source: ©

1. Select your Era!

The ideas are limitless when it appears to be designing new home interiors. Especially when you think of vintage interiors, it can be confusing. Choosing an era is a great help that can guide through the interior designing process to narrow it down. The art of interior design spans across history, and the right colour palette, furniture, and wall art can be selected from countless aesthetic themes. 

To be transported to a favourite moment back in time, a well guided vintage interior can give off that vibe. Victorian period, American colonial, art deco, art nouveau, mid-century, there are various options to choose from. The late Victorian era, in the late 1800s, typically refers to the Victorian style. Architects were inspired by ornate details and gothic décor just before the turn of the century. With an emphasis on dark woods and elaborate furniture, antique interiors in the Victorian style were opulent and moody. There was a continued love of organic forms and curvature during the turn of the century, but with a much more surrealistic theme. 

Although luxury was dripping with Victorian architecture, the Art Nouveau era was more imaginative and ethereal. Art Nouveau pioneered the emergence of bright, warm tones like peach and gold, in addition to the prevalent use of earthy colours such as olive and sage. The ever-popular Mid-century style is lively, funky, but shockingly minimalist. The Mid-century era took the Art Deco period’s low, simplistic furniture and gave it a new twist.

The defining aspect of a Mid-century interior, combining organic curvature and cubic forms, is it’s effortless ease. The beauty of living today is that you have the liberty to choose the look that fits your character best! Turn your room into a chic time capsule from the 1880s to the 1960s, and beyond. There was an age that catered to your particular taste, whether you were a minimalist or a maximalist.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet2
british colonial inspired vintage interior  Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet3
choose a era  Copyright/source: ©

2. Choose a colour scheme 

Throughout history, interior design’s art extends, and there are countless aesthetic trends to choose from. Choose the right palette of colours, furniture, and wall art, and you will be transported in time to your favourite moment. Choosing a classic colour scheme for vintage interiors can never go out of style. 

Typically, the vintage palette is light in intensity, uses a lot of creamy white, and becomes vibrant with mint or moss green, violet, soft blue, palest lavender or buttery yellow. Still, there is no hard-and-fast vintage colour scheme. Mixing patterns, particularly florals or other botanicals, birds and butterflies, or scenes of the 1940s or 1950s’ pleasant life is another vintage must. Neutral colour schemes can also be used with a pop of colour to give the room a retro vibe. 

Modern also implies minimal colour, but vintage often brings within the space a splash of the fresh spectrum. An elegant, embroidered pillow on a simple sofa already produces a beautiful look inside the living room. Connect a few items to that: new flower vases, antique toys, or an old globe. Stick to the colour and pattern similar to the rest of the design when choosing which object to put where otherwise it will be too much of everything!

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet4
neutral, earthy tones Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet5
brown beige colour scheme  Copyright/source:©

3. High-end antiques

The backbone of every vintage interiors style home is antiques. They are the main pieces that help cement that feeling in design, regardless of which era has been chosen as a theme. Their distinctive sense of history takes viewers back in time in a way that can clearly not fit modern creations.  An old antique needs to be in good, if not outstanding,  condition if you include that in your design. 

If you don’t think the furniture can hold up to regular wear and tear, keep searching for a stronger alternative.  There are a few indicators when assessing conditions that let you know that a piece was designed to stand the condition test. Heaviness is also an indication that instead of a more modern, mass-produced variation, the piece was crafted from actual, natural materials. 

Pay careful attention to whether the joints feel strong.  If they are feeling not secure, look at the source. It is possible to patch a loose nail, but wood rot isn’t as easy to repair.   This also has to be decided on a case-by-case basis, but although it is possible to cope with a little rust or fading due to light exposure, the restoration might not be worth too much.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet6
An antique bed and other vintage elements complimenting each other Copyright/source: ©

4. Focus on Details 

They say, God lies in the details, and you’ll subtly cement your look by incorporating vintage touches here and there. Although antiques are amazing for vintage interiors, there’s no need for your whole house or space to be fully antique.  Instead, in a suitably modern room, just add a few pieces inspired by a vintage look. 

The best vintage designs are influenced by tradition, but the design should go with the modern-day style. To pull off these modern-day acquisitions, showcasing vintage-inspired details can be a great way to do so.  For instance, you may want to look for a piece done in a weathered finish with contemporary, clean lines. 

Alternatively, an object made in a fashionable colour or finish may be found but is also more ornamental looking. Consistency is important when mixing and matching modern and traditional design elements. You want your antique and your vintage-inspired pieces to match well together unless you are a fan of truly eclectic designs. Ensure that similar details are present in the entire room so that space feels both unified and deliberate. Make sure to include colours and patterns that are antique.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet7
fine details can make everything work together Copyright/source: ©

5. Create Focal point or add statement pieces 

There are moments when it comes to antique or vintage items while hunting antique pieces hitting the jackpot. So, hiding its elegance among other equally impressive elements would be counterproductive, instead of going over the top with many vintage furniture, a statement piece can be chosen. 

Vintage interiors design is all about knowing when an eccentric object, such as a sofa, or a bookshelf can be illuminated. So, choose to ensure that the space has perfect lighting to prevent overcrowding. When you find antiques that suit the bill, that can work as the statement pieces which will be the focal point of that room. The first thing a person’s attention is drawn to as they enter the room is a focal point for those who need a refresher. Putting a true antique that gives a bold statement vibe in this position will help set the tone for the rest of your design. 

Furniture is the ideal candidate for this purpose. Allowing the furniture in a room to take centre stage for this focal point. Consider enabling the centre stage to be an antique dining table, accent chair or bed frame. If that’s not your style, bigger decorative pieces are also a solid option.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet8
a bold coloured sofa can work as a statement piece! Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet9
an old fashioned, detailed antique mirror can fix the eyes to it! Copyright/source: ©

6. Mix and Match 

Design, particularly when it comes to transformative and trendy interiors, is easy to overdo, but this can be exhausting for the eye. Not necessarily to truly pull off a vintage interiors design, everything in the room has to be vintage. Prevent clutter by selecting the best mixing and matching furniture and accessories. 

For example, a vintage setting can be blended well within a modern touch. A sleek and stylish set of couches and tables, surrounded by decorative antique plates, vases and lamps can be a way of blending different styles. Or go for beautiful armchairs and chests, decorated with clean, modern framing and modern decoration. 

If you’re going rustic, add eye-catching pieces among modern furniture to give it a cosy feel.  Additionally, make sure to blend in a way that does not make the room worn off, instead compliment each other.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet10
mix matching contemporary furniture with vintage walls Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet11
mix matching different style can create balance Copyright/source: ©

7. Use of Natural Materials 

When our dream vintage interiors inspired home is ready, low-quality plastics and synthetic mixtures do not blend with the interior. Parts made of natural materials such as hearty woods and metals with an organic finish, or high-quality linens and wools, are great choices if you want to step away from the modern McMansion look. 

A single concept should be followed for floors, walls, ceilings. Ceilings, for instance, must only be normal. Therefore, you can’t use plastic panels or stretch ceilings. If the ceiling had cracks and irregularities, it would be wonderful. It results in a special, graceful mood and vintage interior charm being developed. The floor is built out of natural wood or parquet as well. 

Furthermore, the artificially aged tail will lead to the interior mood. Cracks, chips, and frays are also welcomed in a vintage-inspired design. Just two kinds of walls, monochromatic or patterned wallpapers, should give an organic vibe. If you have chosen to cover them in pure white, it is necessary to pay attention to suitable furniture and accessories. 

Here is a pro tip: the more elements of design, the fewer numbers of colours. Another way is to use pieces and accents such as wood with a patina, woven baskets, linen and even antique house numbers influenced by the garden. Naturally, the gentle, rustic vibe matches a well-worn home.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet12
wooden floor and ceiling  Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet13
rustic wooden furniture with wooden floor Copyright/source: ©

8. Incorporate Retro Houseware 

By adding bold accents with vibrant colours can also help to break the monotony of vintage interiors  look. If Retro style furniture can be treated as art pieces, it will create a seam abstract interior look. Decorating with antique doesn’t mean anything has to be old in your space. In fact, decorating with nothing but period pieces can be a bit overwhelming. Pair a couple of retro accessories or furniture with new items instead. Or maybe a rustic piece can be coloured with a retro colour to mix the old and new vibe. 

For example, in a bedroom, good use of a pair of lovely colourful antique nightstands and a pair of old suitcases with a bright colour coat can give a new life to the rustic feel. However, the bedding is new, although the colourful blankets can give phosphorescent vibes in a vintage feel.  And the lovely floral wallpaper is a retro-style celebration, even though it is a brand-new template. 

On the dining room wall, installing antique decorative dishes can add that retro touch in vintage interiors. A pallet shelf for your frames, barstools or even ottomans for various seating may be used in other retro décor designs. Try not to overdo it with too many bits, no matter what you plan to include. 

To create an aesthetic appeal and make your home look and feel inviting, be sure and position them subtly as retro as bright colours.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet14
going extra with retro! Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet15
slight touch of colour Copyright/source: ©

9. Be creative 

Try to be creative with the vintage interiors designs. It is not always necessary to follow tips and tricks. Adding a few different kinds of details except colours, materials and furniture can also bring out vintage interiors beauty. One of the best ways to add life to any room while thinking about adding vintage decor toe is to create a grouping of framed images and portraits, and it happens to give a nice, conversational starting point.  

If fortunate enough to have beautiful stained glass windows, simple white walls allow them to serve as art and colour. In-window shades are an excellent way to leave antique window trim exposed, as opposed to hanging drapes. They also add a slightly modern touch, which keeps the lookup to date without removing the original space’s integrity. Also, it can be a creative choice to contrast two opposite interior styles.  

Picking the right antique pieces carefully, while being sure they’ll match in a modern home is challenging. Some may opt for antique lightings like table lamps or chandeliers. Finding the appropriate balance and combinations through the Creativity for modern vintage living room ideas is necessary.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet16
a golden coloured detailed crafted table with simple sofas can be a touch of creativity  Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet17
grouping of framed images and portraits Copyright/source: ©

10. Don’t be afraid of going Overboard 

Most people would simply add a few touches of vintage decor to their bedroom, but why not take it all the way if you really love the style? What a nice way to build a comfortable and incredibly feminine retreat in the bedrooms for vintage interiors, specifically. In the other rooms of the house, going overboard is also okay. 

For instance, the gold detailing anywhere from the table lamp to the armchair’s legs and the edges of the coffee table represents the unifying factor in this living room. Of course, the cushions also have corresponding prints to match this detail. Your options are infinite if you have the luxury of space and don’t have to think about squeezing your sofa into a tiny living room. 

Feel free to use the fireplace as the central feature and put some furniture and decor around it. Elements such as log holders and fireside sets become part of the ensemble when put cleverly. Incorporating every element carefully can make the vintage interior grand instead of giving the vibe of overly done.

vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet18
detailed furniture can also create a grand look! Copyright/source: ©
vintage inspired homes, vintage homes, architectural works - Sheet19
going overboard is okay! Copyright/source: ©

Tamrin Afroz is an architecture student who loves traveling, painting, journaling, and experimenting with new ideas. She aspires to uphold local culture, tradition, and craftsmanship within the community, to conserve tangible and intangible heritage. Apart from architecture, she is an activist working on social issues and promoting girls' leadership roles.