06. May 2022
Vintage Room Ideas
Have you ever wished to be born at an earlier time? A few generations back, perhaps? While humanity has yet to innovate a way to make time travel possible, we don’t fall short of artistic concepts that date back to the late 20th century or even the early 1900s. If you love reminiscing the features of the distant past and tend to resist modern minimalism, then the vintage aesthetic might be your go-to style.
Nostalgic, often maximalist, and sometimes even too old-fashioned. Truly, vintage is a concept of its own that covers a multitude of more specific motifs, such as shabby chic and indie. Even if you ask lots of people or search on the internet about vintage, you won’t find a uniform look of the aesthetic given its diversity. Depending on your age group, some design elements may not count as vintage or old to you.
However, we’re here to elaborate on some of the most notable interpretations of the vintage style as well as vintage room ideas to help you find your own artistic identity. Read on as we travel back in time, aesthetic-wise!
The Vintage Aesthetic
How do we exactly define the vintage aesthetic? The foundation of what we know about this style is that it is rooted in the word ‘vintage,’ which simply means ‘not new.’ In general, all iconic elements that are at least 20 years old up to 100 years old count as vintage. This means that in a few decades, even the minimalist style of the 21st century would also be put under this spectrum.
If we focus on the current interpretations of the vintage aesthetic, though, the members of Gen Z would associate it with features from the 80s and 90s as well as faded shades of teal and orange. With that, both grunge and indie can be classified as vintage. However, French country, shabby chic, bohemian, dark academia, cottagecore, and even ethereal styles also borrow elements from the vintage aesthetic. Like what we have said earlier, vintage is open to a lot of interpretations–even if they may seem contrasting.
Generally, the vintage aesthetic values warmth and coziness, with a gradually growing emphasis on technology depending on the period. It also allows you to express your personality with posters, vinyl records, and picture frames like a typical 90s teenager. At the same time, it can also emit a soft and dainty vibe with florals and wooden elements like what you envision a grandmother would love. It can be as loud or as easy on the eyes as you want it to be. It’s totally up to you on which vintage vibe you should go for.
Some common hobbies linked with the vintage aesthetic are letter writing, typewriting, and old-fashioned picture-taking. Playing music using a turntable, keeping a diary, and having an afternoon tea time with dainty tea sets are also common. You can also think of vintage Polaroids, cassette tapes, and old radios under this aesthetic.
What is Vintage Aesthetic Room Decor?
The vintage aesthetic room decor is about paying homage to the interior design trends of the distant past, starting from the wall finishes up to the furnishings. What currently counts as vintage are the retro elements of the 70s to 90s, but details dating to the early 1900s also go under the same umbrella term.
With that said, even vintage room ideas are not universal due to varying age groups. There were also contrasting retro motifs simultaneously or succeedingly released in the past, making the vintage concept a bit cloudy. In general, though, vintage decor can be any decades-old feature of a room that brings you back to your childhood. Or at least to a setting that you’ve only witnessed in vintage shows and movies.
For example, old movie and band posters, as well as faded Polaroid films, would make a nostalgic ambiance. Just like in our indie room ideas, worn-out books and outdated machines like a typewriter and gramophone will leave the slightest hints of modernization, which is crucial for an old-school vibe.
If you want a vintage feel that gets closer to antique, you can visit thrift stores and search for a grandfather clock or anything similar. Carved wood accent chairs with vintage upholstery and floral tapestries would also do the trick.
Of course, these vintage room ideas don’t fully summarize the expanse of the aesthetic. You can also delve into more specific old-fashioned styles like bohemian with a dreamcatcher, hippie with peace signs, and so much more. Truth be told, even minimalism emerged around the 1960s, which makes it count as vintage. Of course, given its prominence today, it won’t be the best depiction of the aesthetic. But just so you know, many of the decor ideas we have now are inspired by the past. That will at least provide you with creative freedom through a variety of decor options to nail that vintage theme!
As an aesthetic encompassing lots of more specific motifs, the vintage aesthetic welcomes an array of hues that are mostly faded. Orange, blue, teal, and yellow are common for the more recent vintage styles that can be classified as fun and youthful. You can draw these hues from vinyl covers and other art pieces. As we have observed, perhaps iconic vintage hues are more toned-down due to how time eventually fades some objects’ original colors.
For a versatile feel, vintage is also known for neutral hues like cream, beige, and black. Green colors stem from quaint in-door plants while shades of brown are derived from wooden furniture like dressers, vanities, and frames. In addition, almost any color you’d see from an old Polaroid photo would give a memorable vintage vibe. It’s a fluid color palette that fits almost all vintage enthusiasts.
As expected, natural lighting is a vintage room’s best friend. Always aim to open your curtains and windows during the day for sunlight to warm your little abode. It is always best to capture the vintage atmosphere of your room during noon when the sunlight isn’t as intense. If sun rays do not frequent your place, you can use an old-school lamp, candles, or even a small chandelier for that vintage Victorian look.
Fairy lights are also a great alternative for more recent-inspired bedrooms. They give faint and cozy lighting that doesn’t overwhelm your vintage room without making it too dim. If you want a more intense strike of brightness on a particular area, say your study or your bedside table, then a plain and minimalist lamp will do the trick!
Your wall’s design can be very different depending on the vintage motif you want to follow. But the rule of thumb is to be as expressive as you want with details, patterns, and art pieces. The motto here is that ‘more is more,’ and even an already printed wall can still be adorned with numerous paintings.
For the fans of a vintage classical interior, you can opt for a floral or patterned and embossed wallpaper with a luxurious or elegant note. Hanging golden or wooden frames with intricate carvings will also add a nice touch to your room.
Another classic yet elegant idea is to transform a bland wall into a two-tone one with a chair rail, picture frame molding, or wainscoting. You can imagine the interiors of English country houses through this vintage enclosure of your room. Even if you don’t have a lot of furniture or decorations in your abode, it will definitely give a fancy illusion of a room that’s neither lacking nor crowded.
On the other hand, indie-inspired rooms should feature a wall collage of photos of various sizes, colors, and motifs. If you don’t have many photos of yourself, you can check out stock photos with quotes, landscapes, album covers, and band or movie posters. These wall decorations can be the best representation of your quirky identity and interests.
Vintage furniture can be highly coveted and valued at extremely high prices at a thrift or antique store. However, you can always ask your grandparents and scavenge some treasures hidden in their attic for iconic vintage pieces. Carved wooden wardrobes, vanities, and dressers will provide a rustic spin to your room along with a wrought or cast iron bed for an illusion of a bigger space. A retro TV would also make a great bedside table for a little bit of nostalgia.
For a posh spin next to your bookshelves or a mini library in your own room, you can place a velvet accent chair in vintage hues like deep orange and green to emulate the style of the 70s. If the space permits, you can even replace or partner it with a velvet diamond tufted sofa in any deep color. Its textural elegance will make a timeless statement in your vintage-inspired room.
Old-school patterns like gingham and florals are ideal for vintage bedding. If you don’t prefer to play with prints, you can opt for neutral-colored beddings and compensate with laces and ruffles. As part of the norm, let your bedding reach the floor for a comfortable feel that occupies the space. A quilted blanket is also a must-have handicraft for that grandmotherly love and comfort.
If you’re really leaning more towards an old-fashioned setup, then feel free to mimic the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea. Vintage beds are known to have high mattresses and a great amount of fluffiness, so you can fill your bed with a bunch of pillows and a thick comforter. Of course, remember to keep the bedding’s design vintage on its own with the patterns and understated details listed above.
Now, when you still have ample space left after setting your furniture, you can display various vintage or antique trinkets like limited-edition Polaroid cameras and a good old-fashioned typewriter. Stacked leather suitcases also occupy a significant amount of space, especially when set in a corner. Also, fill up your shelves with vinyl records (vintage cannot get enough of it) to complement an iconic gramophone placed on a console table. You can also count on cassette tapes and an old telephone for that retro setting.
If you want to copy a typical grandmother’s favorites, then hanging embroidery hoops, doilies, and intricate porcelain tea sets would be great for a Victorian style. A roman numeral clock and several worn-out books, like an encyclopedia, almanac, or diary, are also excellent finishing touches for a stylistic throwback. Choose classic hard-cover books for an older and more elegant vibe and opt for paperback ones like comic books for that casual 90s feel.
Anyhow, as long as an item brings you back to the past periods or holds a sentimental value to you, then it’s definitely something worth displaying in your vintage-inspired room.
We hope you got a good grasp of vintage room ideas and found the perfect motif that resonates with your nostalgic dreams! Again, vintage is open to lots of interpretations, so there’s more to vintage than the elements we have covered here. Moreover, you and your culture play a huge role in what counts as vintage or not, so we recommend you trust what you personally like!
Thanks for reading and happy shopping!