Vintage interior design

Fact is that ‘vintage’ isn’t defined as an actual interior design style per se, and is rather considered as a stylistic trend showcasing the special charm of all things in fashion, design and lifestyle of early XX-th century Europe.

Vintage is referred to as ‘romantic’, too, because it features soft, flowing lines, elegant colors, and carefully chosen furniture and accessories with a somewhat old-fashioned but refined aesthetics passed down from previous generations. It is therefore that the vintage style appeals to those who enjoy the fascinating, sophisticated delicacy of antique furniture and the soothing interior design of the houses of old times.

Vintage interior design style - typical example

Space. The vintage trend does not have specific rules for arranging the interior space, but it is all about creating comfort, peace, symmetry and proportion, which is achieved through flow of lines, contrast of patterns and composition of profiles and silhouettes.

Natural materials rule vintage interiors. Floorings of hardwood timber, (often artificially) aged parquet, and solid stone slabs in some areas, match walls and ceilings also of natural materials, where fine cracks, chipped plaster and other small imperfections create the effect of authentic time-worn surfaces.

Light in vintage interiors is soft and of amber glow, creating a cozy and romantic ambiance. It comes from various light sources such as all kinds of lamps, chandeliers, old lanterns, or light fixtures with large, usually textile lampshades.

Color. Typically, the vintage style prefers low-key colors, such as white, beige, grey, pale lilac, cream and other light shades from the blue-gray to gray-green palettes, but more vibrant and contrasting colors find application in vintage interiors, too.

There are two main approaches to design color composition in vintage styled premises. One is by using a single color tone (light or saturated), to create a noble and peaceful mood in the room. The other is to create contrasts and use light and dark color tones to “frame” each other.

It is often that color palettes change from one room to another, too. So, from a living room, all in dramatic emerald or boudoir red, it is highly probable to enter a bedroom in soothing cream and off-white, for example.

Furniture. ‘Antique’ and ‘old-fashioned’ are the key features of vintage style furnishing. Yet, not everything that is old or antique has a vintage charm. The goal is therefore not to build a home-museum of old furniture, but to create an elegant atmosphere of retro romance and nostalgia.

Aged’ but not ‘worn-out’! This is a very important thing to consider when furnishing a space with vintage furniture items. So, while fine cracks, small chips or peeled off paint here and there are acceptable and even welcomed vintage effects, faded colors, torn or stained upholstery, or damaged furniture parts are far from the refined aesthetics of the vintage style.

Typical vintage furniture features items like wardrobes, large beds with headboards, cupboards and chests of drawers made of solid natural wood, soft, upholstered sofas and armchairs, massive wooden dining tables with sets of no less than six high-back chairs around, as well as fine wood carving embellishments and forged iron and bronze or brass fittings.

Finally, when furnishing a contemporary residence in this popular house style, it shall all be about finding the perfect aesthetic combination between old-world style with modern design, blending historical with contemporary values. Innovations in design and technology are not ‘strangers’ in a vintage home, as long as they are skillfully combined with the right retro elements.

Décor. It is in décor where the vintage style finds its strongest expression and presentation. Vintage décor are lavish draperies, floral wallpapers, gallery walls of framed photos and paintings, large mirrors in elegant frames, and statement chandeliers. Vintage décor are various decoupaged furniture items and the small trinkets and figurines brought from the flea-market or found on the attic of the old country home of the grandparents. Vintage décor are also the various repurposed items, old suitcases, the antique clocks, the wind-up gramophones, or antique photo cameras. And flowers! You can’t have enough flowers and floral decorations in a vintage room!

Browse our selection of articles with photos of vintage interiors, grab ideas and create your own heaven, right in your home!

March 19, 2020
Vintage Chairs: 5 Designs For Creating A Vintage Ambiance In Your Home

Vintage Chairs: 5 Designs for Creating a Vintage Ambiance in Your Home

Vintage furniture is alive and kicking more than ever.
November 21, 2017
Colorful Cottage Porch

Colorful Cottage With the Cuteness Factor

Colorful like the rainbow and just as cheerful, this adorable cottage on Tybee Island awaits its visitors and admirers!
January 30, 2017
Vintage Cottage In White

Wonderful Cottage Renovation in White

Your vintage dreams have come true thanks to this absolutely adorable renovated cottage in Florida. Enjoy the tour!
August 20, 2016
Barcelona Home

A Vintage Apartment with a Modern Flare

Open airy spaces, vintage furnishings and modern accents make this Barcelona apartment a dream to live in!
May 8, 2015
Vintage Home Office

Vintage Office Design in Private Residence

The beautiful combination of brick and wood makes this vintage home office by Denis Krasikov utterly attractive and intriguing.
February 25, 2015
Brody House Boutique Hotel

Vintage Hotel Steeped in History and Style

The absolutely incomparable Brody House hotel in Bucarest will take you on a journey back to the 19th century. You need to see it!
November 8, 2014
Vintage Kitchen

Stunning Home Decor With Vintage Flair

What happens when modern meets vintage? This stunning home surrounded by lush greenery will answer the question.
September 8, 2014
Scandinavian Vintage Home

Danish Designer Birgitte Raben’s Home

Interior designer Birgitte Rabens knows best how to combine Scandinavian simplicity with a touch of vintage flair.
March 31, 2014
Antique Loft

Aged Glory: Antique Decor

Full of surprises, this vintage loft apartment impresses with unique interior design and numerous antique decorations.
March 27, 2014
Charming Feminine Living Room

Rustic Charm with a Feminine Touch

One of the most adorable houses you will ever see is located in Spain and amazed with vintage decors and feminine touches.
January 20, 2014
Adorable Vintage House

Wonderful Vintage Home

Home to many vintage finds, this amazing cottage has a unique atmosphere that makes you feel like living in a fairy-tale.
November 4, 2013
Terrace Of A Vintage Penthouse

This Vintage Penthouse Has It All

This adorable penthouse in Spain has everything you would ever want in your collection of vintage goodies.