20 Best Vintage Home Design Trends You Should Try—According to Interior Designers
Now's the time to jump in on the clawfoot tub trend.
Previously trendy styles always seem to make their way back into the mainstream. Just take a look around you, and odds are that you'll see quite a few kids rocking the fanny packs and oversized denim jackets that used to be popular in the '80s and '90s. Well, this same concept also applies to home décor. Ask any interior designer, and they'll tell you that what's old is new again as far as your home furnishings are concerned. And if you're looking to give your house an old-school upgrade, these 20 designer-approved vintage trends are worth investing in.
Install some mosaics in the bathroom.
The bathroom is a great place to start when it comes to giving your home that old-school aesthetic. Specifically, Sarabeth Asaff, an interior designer at home remodeling website Fixr, suggests adding mosaics to the floor. "Octagon and dot, basketweave, hexagons, and penny tiles are all really inexpensive and can give your bathroom a vintage vibe in minutes," she says.
And a clawfoot tub!
If you've got a hefty budget, consider installing a clawfoot tub while you're retiling your bathroom floor. Asaff notes that this vintage-inspired addition creates "a really chic bathroom that will work in a wide range of architectural styles."
Invest in brass hardware.
The hardware in your home is easy and affordable to replace. And if your goal is to give a space an antique feel, brass is the way to go.
"Brass hardware is trending both in kitchens and bathrooms," says Nicola Croughan, an interior designer with Blinds Direct. "You can easily update an existing sink or cupboard with new brass taps or doorknobs."
Line your walls with wainscoting.
Wainscoting—wooden paneling that covers up the lower half of your wall—is a wonderful detail that can give your dining room the perfect touch of vintage charm. "[It] comes in a wide range of styles, so you can find one that matches your aesthetic, whether that's beadboard for a cottage or raised panels for a colonial," says Asaff.
Or install some tongue and groove wall paneling.
"Tongue and groove wall paneling creates a vintage look," says Croughan. Whether you refinish your entire exterior using this method or just your living room walls, some tongue and groove paneling is sure to instantly give your abode some old, bold appeal.
Mix and match photo frames.
If you want your transition from modern to vintage to be gradual, then start with something simple like wall art. Croughan notes that mixing up frame styles—or even mixing and matching empty frames—creates an "effortless look" with a "vintage feel."
Collect an array of vintage items and put them on display.
Curating your own unique vintage collection to strategically place throughout your home is a fun way to create that homey time machine you crave. Croughan suggests using "items you've collected during travels abroad, pieces that you've inherited, or items you've come across in second-hand stores."
Go for geometric patterns.
Geometric lines and motifs "add depth and visual appeal to your living spaces," explains Timothy Chun, president of M2H Tile Boutique in Santa Fe Springs, California. For an especially vintage feel, he suggests "going with shapes like hexagons, fishscales, or subway and herringbone patterns." You can even lay hardwoods in herringbone for a stunning antique detail, as pictured here.
When it comes to furniture, Croughan says that "geometric prints in pastel shades or earthier tones" can be a fashionable "nod towards the mid-century."
Buy a bold statement piece.
Whether you're focusing on your kitchen or your living room, adding a pop of color is a simple way to instantly give any space some mod appeal. In the kitchen, Rhianna Miller, in-house design expert at Rubber Mulch, says that you can "incorporate terrazzo as a tile, countertop, or anywhere you want to add a fun pop of color in a vintage, modern way." And in the living room, U.K.-based interior designer Amira Johnson notes that adding bright and bold furniture can give it "a vintage feel in no time."
Add some wooden furniture.
Whether you refurbish those original hardwood floors or add a 1950s-era wooden chest to your bedroom, wood is the ultimate material when it comes to vintage home trends. "Wood is a crucial part of the vintage design style," says Johnson. "It creates the warmth of vintage that paint colors cannot replace."
Or repurpose a flea market find.
If you're relatively confident in your crafting abilities, try transforming an old, tattered piece of furniture from the flea market into a stunning antique conversation piece. "Repurposing vintage finds is not only economical, but it also ensures you are getting a one-of-a-kind piece," explains interior designer Stephanie Purcell, owner of Redesigned Classics in Omaha, Nebraska.
Consider getting a curved sofa.
If there's one vintage décor item that deserves to be back in style, it's curved sofas. "Not only is this trend a total showstopper, but it's incredibly easy to find stunning vintage options," says Joanna Hawley-McBride, a Seattle-based prop stylist and the blogger behind Jojotastic. If you want an authentic period piece from the '60s or '70s, she suggests "scouring local selling groups like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for estate sales."
Put down some vintage rugs.
Your home can include vintage touches from floor to ceiling. But if you don't have the time or money to redo your floors entirely, invest in a beautiful vintage rug. "I love the depth and warmth that a vintage rug can bring to a space. There is a richness of texture there that newer rugs just don't have," says Nicole Alexander, founder and principal designer of Siren Betty Design in Chicago.
If you can't find a larger vintage rug in good condition—they are, unfortunately, hard to come by—Alexander has an insider alternative: layering. "Layering small Oriental rugs over a large wool or sisal rug gives a textured, boho vibe. It will totally warm up your room (and also your toes come winter)," she says.
And put up some wallpaper.
According to Chicago-based interior designer Sarah Back, wallpaper has been back in fashion for a little over a decade now. "Animal prints, chinoiserie, even plaid are offered in refreshed versions from their '70s cousins and are trendy and timeless all at the same time," she says.
Install vintage pendant lights.
"I love to use vintage light fixtures because they can add character without totally taking over the design of the space," says Alexander. In traditional, unadorned spaces, she specifically likes fixtures in bold colors and funky pendant lights, both of which "can create texture and mood in an otherwise neutral space."
Or hang a crystal chandelier.
Though people tend to shy away from chandeliers for fear of overdoing their décor, these light fixtures "give off a retro yet classy look and can be the focal point of a room," explains Keith Melanson, project manager of home renovation company RenosGroup in Canada. And you don't need to spend an arm and a leg just to get yourself one of these old-school accessories: On websites like Wayfair, you can snag a gorgeous piece for as little as $150.
Add velvet accents around the house.
"This rich fabric is very popular right now," says Purcell. "It's soft and plush, makes color seem richer and deeper in tone, and adds an extra layer of texture to any room. It looks sophisticated while still feeling inviting."
And mix and max your favorite fabrics.
And why limit yourself to just velvet or just leather when you can—and should—have both? According to Courtney Fenimore, a decorator with interior design company Spoak, mixing and matching fabrics on furniture in a particular room is "another vintage trend" that's seen a resurgence recently. Don't be afraid to add velvet pillows to your leather couch or a faux fur throw to your upholstered bed frame.
Put in some potted plants.
Fake plants were one of the most popular home accents in the '60s and '70s. And good news for those with a track record of killing succulents: According to interior design experts, they are very much back in style in 2019.
As Miller explains, adding "brightly colored plants that go with the rest of your décor theme" is a fun way to make your space greener and more inviting in a vintage way. "Place it in a spot where it stands out—like an entryway," she suggests.
Paint your door in a bold and brilliant color.
"A grand entrance in your home is one trend that will always represent a vintage look," says Fenimore. One of the ways to give your entrance a bit more extravagance, she notes, is with "a color pop for the front door." Try something like royal blue or crimson red. And for some seasonal décor inspiration, check out these 40 Super Fun Ways to Decorate Your House This Fall.
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