The vintage style is timeless and is renewed over time as additional decades are added to its portfolio; nevertheless, its blueprint remains unchanged: it’s still a nostalgic choice in which every detail is unique.
The first tip to add a retro touch to your home is to refrain from overdoing it! Unless you want to live in a time capsule, all you need are a few details to give your house a unique feel.
It’s not easy to create the right harmony between furniture, accessories and architectural elements but you can start by following a few guidelines: your personal aesthetic taste and experience will do the rest.
Identify the historical period you want to reproduce
Would you like a house that looks as if it’s just been used to film Baz Luhrmann’s The great Gatsby? Or do you prefer the minimalist Bauhaus style? How about the pop colours and contrasts of the 80s?
To avoid creating an untidy medley of objects, cluttering rooms and – ultimately – achieving a kitsch result, it’s really important to define your primary goal from the very start.
Choose a suitable colour combination
Above all, the period you choose will affect the colour scheme. Think of the warm tones of the 70s, ranging from shades of brown, acid green and orange. Or to the 50s palette in which neutral tones are paired with yellow accents and warm wood shades.
Define your basic colour scheme and then add a palette to use for accessories and decorative objects.
Add some plants to your rooms
Plants have always played an essential role in interior décor and – as far as possible – they should be chosen in the style of the home. For instance?
Vases of flowers for a 40s-style home, exotic plants with shiny leaves for the 50s and climbing plants in macramé pot hangers for the 70s. Remember that the type of vase or pot is important.
Add theme-based furnishings
As already mentioned at the beginning of this article, if you choose to give your home a vintage touch the details will make all the difference. So which should you choose? Here are a few suggestions:
- the 20s: rugs with geometric patterns, mirrors with metal frames, Art Decò pictures and posters, chairs and occasional furniture inspired by the Bauhaus movement.
- the 30s: flowery, pastel-coloured rugs, a vintage radio, dishware decorated with pastel colours.
- the 40s: copper pots and pans, natural Vichy-print fabric curtains, gold, copper or brass accents.
- the 50s: lamps inspired by the cult designs of the decade (such as Arco), curved vases, wooden elements.
- the 60s: paisley-print fabrics, brightly-coloured vases (e.g. orange and green), pop art.
- the 70s: large house plants, woven fabrics, rugs with geometric patterns and “burnt” shades.
- the 80s: vases with complex floral arrangements, zig-zag patterned cushions, neon accessories, Terrazzo flooring.
- the 90s: metal finishes, dried-flower arrangements, Provencal-style tablecloths.
Our last tip is to take great care when choosing each object: a few, well-selected ones are your best bet!
Cover photo: Palazzetti Elsa wood-burning stove with beige ceramic cladding