Home decorating in a “modern vintage” style means using a few vintage pieces for maximum design impact in an otherwise clean and sleek space. Incorporating a few vintage elements into home decor means that meaningful, beautiful antique pieces can be used without making space feel cramped and cluttered.
Standout Pieces Of Vintage Furniture
Antique shops, estate sales, and websites like Etsy and eBay are great places to discover deals on antique or vintage furniture. There are plenty of ways to use an irresistible piece in modern home decor.
- Let the piece stand on its own. The modern design means clean surfaces with little clutter, so allow big pieces like a vintage rolltop desk or antique wardrobe to stand out by not covering them in accessories. Stick with minimal and simple decorations, like a potted bamboo or a sleek timepiece, that can help tie the piece with the room’s color and design.
- Mix with modern pieces. Modern vintage decorating means using an eclectic blend of furniture and accessories that create visual interest through juxtaposition. Pair a vintage settee or footstool with a monochromatic, modern living room set. Place antique accessories in a sleek cube bookcase.
Creative Storage Using Vintage Pieces
Put the piece to good use. Take advantage of a well-built antique’s ample storage space to rid a living area of clutter.
- Store craft supplies in an old-fashioned armoire. Use an office or closet organizing system to keep supplies sorted.
- Keep small craft supplies like beads or buttons separated in an antique printer’s tray.
- Keep holiday decorations or off-season clothes in an antique trunk or other antique luggage pieces. Hatboxes work as excellent ornament storage, while a vintage wardrobe trunk is ideal for storing shoes and clothing.
- Stow scarves and other accessories in a vintage shoeshine box.
Unique Vintage Items
Even in modern home design, there is plenty of room for unique vintage items. The trick is knowing how to display and use them to maximize their impact.
- Use unique pieces for multiple purposes. A unique vase, small globe, or bottle can function as a bookend. A set of antique canisters are useful as holders for kitchen utensils. A vintage watering can serve as an unexpected vase for flowers.
- Similar to big furniture pieces, vintage accessories feel modern when showcased on their own. Place an antique manual typewriter on a clean glass or white surface with a green houseplant for a visually intriguing design.
A straightforward way to work vintage elements into modern or contemporary home design is by using vintage fabrics in window treatments, bedding, and furniture cushions.
Browse the fabric sellers on Etsy to find thousands of vintage fabric options. Depending on the weight of the item, these fabrics could be used for window treatments, throw pillow covers, or reupholster a worn-out antique cushion.
Reupholstering a vintage chair, settee, or couch is one way to make these pieces feel modern. Replace an outdated floral print with monochromatic color, or bold wide stripes to update the cushions.
Modern Vintage Tips
Follow these guidelines to begin decorating in a modern vintage style.
- Don’t be afraid to redesign or update vintage pieces. An item with chipped paint or worn corners can be corrected with a coat of paint. Painting a wooden piece white, red, green, or even purple can add a funky element to the item that makes it feel less like an antique.
- Add modern accessories. Pairing heavy or dark vintage pieces with silver or galvanized metal makes the space more industrial, giving it a soft feel.
- Go easy on the color scheme. A lot of color and wood tones gives the feeling of busyness and clutter, which strays from the modern aesthetic. Stick with one or two main colors and find ways to bring them out through accessories: green houseplants, a red teapot, or purple throw pillows.
Modern and vintage elements can work together in home decor through unexpected pairings, a common color scheme, and by minimizing clutter. Using antique items rather than all brand-new furniture is also a way to stay friendly to the environment, making modern vintage a green design solution.