Types of Vintage Interior Design: How to Get the Look
Vintage interior design refers to styles of the past. There are many interior design trends to draw inspiration from, and your vintage-inspired home can be a mix of old and new.
If you’re unsure which era you like most, here’s a look at some of the most popular vintage interior design styles.
Popular Vintage Interior Design Styles
Rather than its own style, vintage interior design incorporates details from 50+ years ago. A vintage-inspired room can have a mix of modern furniture with period pieces. But choosing your favorite style can help guide the room’s design.
Art Deco Vintage Interior Design
Art Deco interior design was popular in the early to mid-1900s. It originated in France but spread worldwide, becoming an international interior design style. Art Deco designs feature rich, luxurious colors and materials, streamlined furniture, geometric shapes, and abundant use of metallics.
Art Deco is a vintage interior design style to explore if you like a luxe but modern look.
You can get the Art Deco look by painting your walls white and using rich, jewel-toned furniture and geometric metallic accents, like a sunburst mirror. Weave in luxurious fabrics like silk and velvet where possible.
Vintage Farmhouse Interior Design
Vintage farmhouse interior design follows trends from early farmhouses, which debuted in the United States in the 1700s. The original farmhouse style features many wood accents and neutral decor focusing on practicality.
Another vintage farmhouse style is American Farmhouse, made famous by interior designer Sister Parish in the 1930s. Parish grew popular for her unique style: she’d paint wood floors, paint all furniture white, and use patterned upholstery. Many of her wealthy friends hired her to design their homes, helping this style grow.
You can get a vintage farmhouse look by using wood or painted furniture, installing wide plank hardwood floors, using practical furniture, and incorporating patterned and plaid upholstery.
Vintage Rustic Interior Design
Rustic interior design features aged but natural materials. It dates back to the first homes when people used local materials for construction. Elements like wood floors, hand-hewn ceiling beams, raw wood accents, and stone play a big part in the look.
Rustic interior design can take on many forms based on location. For example, it might look like a log cabin with lots of exposed wood for those living in a forest but may look like an adobe home for those in desert-like locations.
You can get a vintage rustic interior using local natural materials – but instead of making them perfect, find beauty in their imperfections. Also, stick with a neutral color palette, comfy furniture, and minimal decor.
Vintage Glam Interior Design
Vintage glam interior design is based on the Hollywood Regency period that coincided with Art Deco. Hollywood Regency style was an imitation of luxe film sets of the 1930s. It included a maximalist look, using rich jewel tones and playful decor.
Many of today’s glam-inspired rooms feature a mix of new and old, with a throwback to the Hollywood style.
You can get a vintage glam design by using furniture with curved, unexpected lines. Also incorporate an array of fabrics like velvet, silk, and furs. You can add metallic touches and decorate with glossy ceramic animal heads and unexpected sculptures.
Mid-Century Modern Vintage Design
Mid-century modern design was dominant from about 1940 – 1960. It’s sometimes called “retro” design. The mid-century modern era featured minimalism in interior design, which was a revolt against earlier, more maximal styles.
Mid-century modern furniture features clean lines and geometric shapes. It’s often lower to the ground than other furniture styles.
You can get a mid-century modern vintage design using a neutral color palette, streamlined furniture, and incorporating natural textiles into your room. Keep decor minimal, and choose pieces that have form and function.
Vintage Interior Design Tip: Mix the New with the Old
If you’re after a vintage style, mixing and matching pieces is okay. You can pick one style to guide your decisions, but feel free to add modern furniture and conveniences. Your design doesn’t have to be historically accurate to have a vintage flair.
Unless you’re 100% committed to a specific design style, keeping semi-permanent elements like flooring, cabinetry, and countertops neutral and classic is best. Doing so lets you change the look of your space without having to remodel your home.