Use the word "vintage" and visions of elegant china teacups and floral prints may come to mind, but in today's design parlance, vintage means much more.
"I love the concept of homeowners using vintage furniture for a number of reasons – it's green design, and it's built to last," Toronto interior designer Jane Hall told AgentGenius.com.
Shabby chic is a good choice for a vintage style, because one of its features is a distressed look that may be enhanced over time. It goes well with pastel shades, cotton canvas cloth as well as airy fabrics and contemporary sisal rugs in a light color scheme.
Another vintage look that can be easily integrated into a modern home is the lively and colorful mid-century style. It's a vintage look that brings back the hues of the 1950s and 1960s in flooring, plastics and fabric patterns. Introducing bold patterns in decorative pillows and other soft furnishings is one way to exhibit the style that was popular in that era.
Period Decor, New Comforts
Vintage and contemporary room design may strike home decorators as "strange bedfellows," but they actually aren't. Mixing old and new furniture pieces gives the impression that furnishings have been collected over a long time.
Adding vintage style fixtures to a bathroom, for instance, allows homeowners to create design plans that can range from Victorian to Mission. But right next to period faucets and cabinet hardware there may be a heated towel rack, which is a comfortable addition to any modern bathroom. Having a towel warmer is something that people in past eras didn't get to enjoy, but there's no reason home decorators can't enjoy the decor of more genteel times and still have warm towels in hand.
Simple Vintage Ideas
An easy way to infuse a modern home with a vintage era is to do it with accessories. Light fixtures, fabrics and rugs that express a period's style can be offset by main furniture pieces of contemporary design.
Or, home decorators can have a vintage motif when entertaining that includes the cozy texture of table linens with vintage dinnerware. A few pillows, decorative throws and candles in soft garden or seashore hues may complete the look.
To guard against unnecessary damage to their aged pieces, Hall recommends that homeowners plan well when they situate antique and vintage furnishings in their rooms. Valuable pieces shouldn't be placed in direct sunlight unless they are protected by window treatments that filter light.