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10 Tips for Decorating your Home with Vintage Posters

Updated on February 11, 2011

When you think about putting up posters in your home, you probably think of celebrity heartthrobs on the bedroom walls of teenagers. However, posters can be super classy in even the chicest of adult homes. There are lots of great modern posters designed with terrific fonts and lovely images that work in many homes. However, what I think really makes a poster terrific is if it’s old. Vintage posters add personality, flair and style to the home.

Want to try putting up vintage posters in your house? Here are ten tips to get you started:

1.     Take your time selecting the vintage posters that best reflect the message that you want to send about your home. There are many different types of vintage posters available. There are posters of celebrities, posters of sports, old advertisement posters and more. Think about what type of message you want the posters to send to people who see your home. Are you looking for something a little kitschy with tongue-in-the-cheek humor or are you seeking something elegant that really celebrates an era of the past? Is there are theme you want to go with or simple a time period you want to honor? The more that you shop around and look at all of your different options when it comes to vintage posters, the better the results will be. Plus you’ll be able to shop around to get good prices!

2.     Source your posters from several different spots. This is part of the shopping around process. Don’t limit yourself to just looking for vintage posters on eBay (although that’s a great place to start). Go to vintage paper fairs, yard sales, thrift stores, estate sales and auctions to find the vintage posters that are best for your home.

3.     Get your vintage posters professionally framed. A poster that has been matted and framed will look best in your home. This is done most effectively by a professional. Alternatively, do it yourself but take the time to do it right. You can put vintage posters in modern frames or in old frames depending on the look that you prefer. Modern frames bring them up to date and fit in with contemporary décor. Vintage frames help create a sense of the period from whence they came and make a true statement.

4.     Group vintage posters together for hanging. If you want to really make an interesting display in your home then consider hanging vintage posters together based on a theme. For example, you might get four vintage sports posters and hang them together in a 2 x 2 square to create a great display. Nobody will be able to ignore this great collection of images in your home!

5.     Play around with vintage posters of different sizes. Some old posters are huge (particularly old movie posters and old travel posters). Others are much smaller – the size of a magazine advertisement or even a book cover. Play around with different sizes to create interesting configurations and designs in your home.

6.     Hang single vintage posters in unique spaces throughout the house. You can also attract attention with a well-placed vintage poster in a part of the house that doesn’t typically hold poster art. For example, you might frame a large poster advertisement and hang it in the kitchen or bathroom. If you have a vintage poster that is colorful and playful then you might hang it in a child’s room. A sexy black and white poster of a celebrity works well in a bathroom or dressing room. A vintage poster of a car could even be hung in a garage!

7.     Add lighting to show off the vintage posters once you have hung them. It is important for you to make sure that your vintage posters look really great since you’ve invested money in hanging, framing and installing them in your home. The right lighting can really make a framed vintage poster pop. Look for art lighting that can be installed either above or below the vintage poster. Alternatively, you can use task lighting to highlight the area of the room where the vintage poster is displayed.

8.     Enhance the effect of the vintage poster with additional accessories surrounding it. This works best if you are hanging individual vintage posters alone although it can be done with collections as well as long as you don’t go overboard. The idea is to create a vignette around the area where the poster is hung, playing off of the vintage theme of the poster. For example, if you were to hang a sexy black and white vintage movie star poster then your vignette might include an old set of pearls, a great vintage vase with roses in it and some celebrity stills in smaller frames.

9.     Consider changing the paint around the vintage poster. The paint that you have on your walls can really affect the final look of anything hanging on those walls. If you put together a serious vintage art collection but it’s not “popping” the way that you want it too then you may want to consider painting the walls of your home to draw out and complement the colors in your vintage posters.

10. Think of your vintage posters as collectible artwork. All of the other steps hint at a bigger rule that you should make your mantra when adding vintage posters to your home – these posters are artwork. Treat them that way and you’ll be happy with the results of hanging such posters in your home.


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  • profile image

    Quiana 3 years ago

    I litreally jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this!

  • profile image

    Natael 3 years ago

    abarbara on This is the work done by Paula Gambin, Cherise Greach, Shannon Pace, Graziella Chetcuti and Megan Galea for the YRE cotiemitponabarbara on This is the work of Grace Anne Muscat for the YRE cotiemitpon

  • profile image

    Melissa 3 years ago

    I want to send you an award for most helpful inentert writer.

  • fotoviva profile image

    fotoviva 5 years ago from Swansea

    Nice hub Kathryn, I'm not a fan of vintage poster designs myself as I have a very modern interior design in my home but they do work great in the right environment.

  • Maria Harris profile image

    Maria Harris 7 years ago from Houston

    I would love to have some of these posters. Thank you for the great hub.

  • KristenGrace profile image

    KristenGrace 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

    Love vintage posters. Great idea for a hub. I like the idea of placing them in unique areas about the house.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

    Hi Kathryn,

    I loved this hub and it was so enjoyable to see all the vintage posters.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Take care,


  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 7 years ago from Minnesota

    This was fun to look at. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Nan Mynatt profile image

    Nan Mynatt 7 years ago from Illinois

    I have framed vintage posters of famous painting that are framed and they add a lot to my rooms. I can't afford the real painting or even a copy. Great ideas.