Vintage House Decorating Guide: How to Use Vintage Decor in a New Home

Vintage House Decorating Guide: How to Use Vintage Decor in a New Home

Americans spend anaverage of $14,000 to redecorate just one room in their house. This demonstrates how much people care about how their living environment looks, both to themselves and those who are visiting.

You're likely thinking about redecorating a room or vintage house decorating. You might be going for a theme or time period, or trying to decorate around specific antique pieces.

When decorating your home with antique pieces or antique reproduction pieces, there are a few things to consider aside from cost. Most people don't want to feel as though they live in a museum and want their vintage pieces to fit into their modern home.

Read on for tips on incorporating old-fashioned items into your modern home.

Have a Plan

When you start decorating your home, vintage aside, you should have a plan. Do you want your home to evoke an 18th century feel or do you want it to look like a collection of antiques?

Do you want anything in your home to look modern or do you want everything to look old?

If you are building your home from the ground up, you can also have control over the architecture of the home and what time period it fits into.

You may choose to have a house that evokes Victorian architecture with a few Victorian items dotted throughout the interior.

But even if you are working with a house that was already built, you should have an idea of the theme you are going for.

Mix It Up for Vintage House Decorating

Don't decorate your home entirely with antiques or antique reproductions, unless you want to pretend you've stepped into a time machine. Instead,  mix it up with old and new items.

For example, if you have a few antique pieces of art, hang them strategically around the house. You can also pair them with more modern pieces.

Try not to get bogged down with a particular historical theme, unless that's what you're going for. Place a Traditional lamp on a modern table, or put a vintage end-table next to your brand new sofa.

You want your space to evoke a vintage feel, without feeling like you're in a reproduction of the era or on a movie set.

Start With a Vintage Piece and Decorate the Room Around It

Say you have a to-die-for 19th-century table you want to use for your dining room. Awesome.

Instead of  decorating the room and then inserting the table, place the table in the room and then pick out things to go around it.

You can stick to a certain theme, such as dark wood, or you can choose contrasting items.

Decorating around your statement piece will make it stand out, making it fully worth the purchase price.

For a Full Vintage Feel, Utilize Wood

Most older homes were made of wood. We've since abandoned this practice due to technological advances in materials. However, a home with a full vintage look would incorporate wood on the walls.

Some people commit to wood and place it all over their homes, eliminating more modern materials. This isn't an option for everyone, especially if you're on a budget.

Instead, use wood for a ceiling or accent wall to create a streamlined vintage look.

Use Reproductions of Old-Fashioned Lighting

Electricity has only come into play in the past 150 years in most American homes. However, you can use reproductions of old lighting designs, such as fixtures that evoke the style of gas lamps or Edison lamps.

Edison lamps, styled after the first lightbulb invented by Thomas Edison, have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These can be placed strategically throughout the house to create the illusion of vintage lighting.

You can also use chandeliers that mimic old-fashioned versions for a statement effect in a room you use every day.

Reframe Vintage Artwork

If you've inherited a piece from your great-grandmother or you've found some amazing artwork at an antique shop, you can give it new life by reframing it. The frame can really add character to the room, and make things blend in more easily.

Update old paintings with more modern gold or copper frames. Or, you can purchase cheaper frames that look expensive and ornate to give the room a monied feel.

You can also use vintage artwork to hide imperfections in the walls or things like wall switches you don't want on display.

Collect Usable Vintage Items

Don't just collect vintage items that sit on the shelf. Buy things you can actually use. This includes plates, china, dishes, beds, shelves and anything else you like.

Don't purchase things just to look at them; integrate them into your home and make sure they play a part in your everyday life.

Keep Items Grouped By Color

In a museum, things are often grouped by time period or what they were used for. You may not want your house to have the same feel, so instead, group items by color. If done this way, the items will look more homey and less like they are on some kind of display.

Don't Hide Items Away

If you've got a great antique or antique reproduction piece, don't hide it away. Not only should you place it in a room you use every day, but you should keep the items close by.

One suggestion is putting these unique items on your coffee table or at the center of your dining table. This means guests can look at them more easily, and they can be great conversation starters when you have people over.

Putting It All Together

When vintage house decorating, the key is having a plan but staying flexible. Vintage pieces are not as uniform as items you buy new, so remember to allow it to add character to your home.

For more tips on decorating your home with vintage and vintage style pieces, visit our blog. There you'll find information on creating amazing spaces with antiques and reproductions of furniture.


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