How to Decorate Vintage Style
Ideas for Decorating Your Home in a Vintage Style
Vintage decorating is fun and easy! On this page you'll find ideas on how to decorate your home in a vintage style, including the living room, kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, den, and even your bathroom.
Whether you want to give a vintage feel to your entire home or just one room, it can be accomplished easily and inexpensively by shopping flea markets, yard sales, antique stores, and even in your grandma's attic! Posters & tin signs are another money saving idea.
The suggestions on this page will get you started, but you are sure to think of more on your own. Let's take it room by room.
The Living Room
Lace doilies, antique vases, cabbage rose and calico print fabrics are must haves in your vintage living room.
Decorating Tips For the Living Area
Cabbage roses and calico prints were the going thing in the 30's and 40's! You may not want to paper your living room in cabbage roses, but you could upholster a chair or just cover some throw pillows in coordinating designs. Lace doilies, lamps, head vases, and a variety of nick knacks were usually found in the living room. Browse antique shops, flea markets and yard sales for just the right things. You can also find replicas of vintage items at very reasonable prices.
The chair in this photo is an old chair that has been re-upholstered in a cabbage rose print fabric. A coordinating floral fabric was used for the footstool. You can also use a cabbage rose fabric for throw pillows, window treatments, and throw rugs. You could make a wall display (shown below) of photographic prints.
If you have a fireplace, add vintage fire andirons, hand wrought tools, bellows and foot long matches. If your home doesn't have a fireplace, you can purchase an electric fireplace to give the room that comfy, cozy feel. Combine old with new, by adding vintage framed photographs, glass vases, and bowls. I love the little cat in front of the fireplace!
This chair is actually in a bedroom at my daughter's home, but the same idea would apply for a living room.
Vintage linens, feather beds, unique lamps, old dolls, women's hats, and antique photographs.
Accessories Make the Difference
I love this vintage white dresser! This dresser was found at a local used furniture store! Stuck in the mirror are a couple of greeting cards found at an antique store. It's amazing how just a small thing can make a big difference in your room. Also, the cute straw hat, vintage lamps, dolls, and other accessories make for a beautifully decorated dresser.
Use Your Linens for a Vintage Look
Transform your bedroom into vintage style with linens! Quilts, eiderdown comforters, afghans, a featherbed, and piled high pillows will put you well on your way to the vintage look. The Shabby Chic style would be a great choice for a vintage bedroom.
Other suggestions: doilies on the dresser and chest, bowl and pitcher, baby cradle with antique doll. Ideas for walls: floral art prints or family portraits in antique frames.
Romantic Rose Quilt Set
I love this pretty bedding set. It has antique pink cabbage roses and green leaves on an ivory color background. It reverses to a tiny rose striped design. Fine stitching, 100% cotton. This set Includes the full/queen size quilt, two pillow shams, and two decorative pillows. Also available: bed skirt, curtains, and valance in the quilt's reverse side design.
Add a Rose Trellis
Unique Vintage Idea
I love the unique idea of a rose trellis in the bedroom! This is an old trellis from my daughter's front porch that was no longer in use, so she used it just like it was, and added silk flower garlands.
Framed Floral Prints
These floral photographic prints were in a book of prints found on sale in a local paint store. The frames were purchased at a local discount store.
This beautiful floral prints wall display was very inexpensive, but looks wonderful.You can easily find a wide variety online. They are very inexpensive. You can purchase the prints and frame them yourself or buy them already framed.
This idea could be used in a living room, bedroom, or den.
Vintage aprons, mixers, enamel ware, Fiesta-ware, canning jars, milk bottles, iron frying pans, salt & pepper shakers, mercury glass, and butter churns are all easy to find in consignment shops that feature "old stuff".
Decorating Ideas for the Kitchen
A vintage kitchen is the most fun to decorate! You'll need to shop the antique stores and flea markets to get the real thing (or eBay), but you can also find many new items that will serve as well.
Look for any of these: blue speckled enamelware, fiesta ware, colored depression glass (cranberry is a favorite), Bakelite, salt glazed pottery, and mercury glass. Kitchens usually had blue or red and white enamel pots and canister sets. And, don't forget iron frying pans!
Also, look for vintage egg beaters, salt & pepper shakers, salt cellars, butter molds, tin breadboxes, colored canning jars, milk bottles, butter churns, vintage mixers, and antique cookbooks.
If you can find any, feed sacks were found in all kitchens with a variety of uses, including dish towels, aprons and clothing.
Use colored or clear canning jars for storing dried beans, etc. and add a lid cover made of calico or feed bag material and some ribbon.
Ideas for walls: vintage tin signs or display a collection of vintage aprons, plates, or appliances on your kitchen wall.
Use These in Your Vintage Kitchen
Blue speckled enamel
Old egg beaters
Blue or red enamel
Colored depression glass
Tin bread boxes
Salt glazed pottery
Red enamel canister sets
Iron frying pans
Salt & Pepper shakers
Iconic Vintage Kitchen Design Ideas
You will love the video below if you're looking for design ideas for your kitchen. Many of the suggestions I gave you above are carried out in the kitchens shown in this video. I loved seeing many of things I grew up using.
Bringing Back Memories
Vintage is all about bringing back memories.
A Hoosier cabinet is my all time favorite trip down memory lane. Add blue willow china and an old-time kitchen table.
Remember Hoosier cabinets?
A free-standing cabinet, made in the 1900s to 1930s, were generally called Hoosier cabinets. They were very handy and were found in many kitchen's much longer than the 1930s. My mom used one in the 1950s when I was a child, and I had one myself in the 1970s.
If you have room in your kitchen, one of these cabinets would make an awesome vintage decoration. You can usually find one at an antique store or used furniture store at a reasonable price. It will probably need to be restored, but it will be beautiful when it's finished. If you enjoy restoring furniture, this would make a great project. I believe you can still purchase a new Hoosier cabinet also.
The Laundry Room
Display a wooden ironing board with a calico, floral, or ticking cover in your laundry room. Or, cover your own board if you can't locate a wooden one. Also, display a clothespin bag with clothespins, a washboard, or old tin washtub! Ideas for walls: a vintage laundry room tin sign (I love these) or hang vintage items on the wall.
Laundry Room Decorating Ideas
The video below shows some amazing ideas for decorating a vintage laundry room, using some of the ideas I mentioned above. I love the unique ideas for laundry tubs, scrub boards, clothespins, and wooden hangers. Who says a laundry room has to be dull?
Vintage toys, games, and collectibles, old tin signs.
Ideas For the Den
Decorate a vintage den with antique toys, games, and collectibles. What is your passion? Here is the place to display your collectibles. If you are looking for vintage ideas, you're probably a collector of something vintage! The variety is wide and you can include more than one theme. Display your collectibles in cases, on bookshelves, or tables. The possibilities are endless. You can find these at flea markets, antique stores, and yard sales. eBay also has many vintage toys. An example is shown below.
Tin Signs in a Shadow-Box Table
Give a vintage look to a bathroom with a collection of mustache cups or shaving mugs with brushes and a razor strop, a collection of small vintage prints or tin signs.
Vintage Bathroom Design Ideas
The video below includes a slideshow of different vintage bathrooms. These will give you some amazing ideas. Many include a claw foot tub, of course. One of my favorites features a wall of vintage mirrors. Love it!
To summarize, I've presented on this page, vintage decorating ideas for your home, including the living area, bedroom, kitchen, den, laundry room, and bathroom. Vintage usually includes cabbage roses and calico, along with a lot of "old stuff" (either authentic or copies) and collectibles of some type. I hope these ideas will help you.
© 2009 Faye Rutledge