Vintage Style

vintage-style-blog-header-vintage chair, mirror and lamp


What is it and how do you get it?


Many people talk about vintage style but not everyone knows what it really is or how to get it. At Vintage Style Living, we believe when it comes to vintage décor  it helps to understand what it is in order to understand how to use vintage pieces in your home.  When done well, vintage style is warm, welcoming, beautiful, and portrays a sense of timeless elegance. 




The term “vintage” refers to something 40 years of age or older according to those selling antique items but today, the term “vintage” can be applied to something brand new or way older than 40.  Vintage in our mind refers to something that reflects a sense of timelessness.  It might be a little worn around the edges or a little frayed here and there.  It could be a sideboard where the finish is created to look old and used lovingly while passed down through the generations. Or at the same time, vintage can apply to an actual antique sideboard.  We’ve come to use the term loosely to refer to anything that looks or feels old.


Vintage Style Is . . .


Vintage style is using items that incorporate vintage furniture and decor in such a way as to add warmth and depth to your décor.  Vintage complements so many design styles.  Whether you love Country French, farmhouse décor, rustic chic, cottage bungalow or you want the modern, urban loft look, vintage pieces provide depth to your décor.  They express personality and convey a casual and often, a playful tone to décor. 


urban-loft-living-room-idea sofa, chandelier, coffee table, art, side chair


How do you get it?       


We recommend you pursuing vintage style in the same way we would recommend achieving any style of décor.  This is the process we recommend following:


What do you like?


First, you should figure out what you really like.  Pinterest is a great way to do this.  So is the old-fashioned method of looking at décor magazines.  Find pictures of rooms and vignettes you love and pin them or tear them out and glue them to a vision board.  You’ll find in doing this that when you go back and look at the pictures you’ll start to see elements you were drawn to repeated in the images over and over again.  Your personal style will appear in this repetition. 


Laser Focus


Focus on one room at a time.  Many people move into a new house and think they have to do the whole house at once.  This is overwhelming, even for the pros.  Focus on one room at a time and you’ll achieve the whole house a lot sooner and have a much more cohesive design that you love. 


The Basics


The basics come first.  Walls, ceilings and floors are large areas – start with them.  Determine paint colors, wallcoverings, flooring first.  Then move to your large scale pieces.  For example, if you’re working on your living room, decide on the sofa and entertainment center.  In the bedroom, choose the bed and dresser.  Now we know, some of you are shaking your heads here and saying I can’t choose paint color first.  We confess, we often make this selection last, BUT we think about it first so that it guides our choices.  What do we mean?  You have to start with a general idea of what you’re wanting here.  You may wait to choose the exact shade of robin blue until you’ve chosen fabrics for the room but you started your search knowing you wanted to head in that direction.  Make sense?  We recommend waiting for the final paint color until you do have those fabrics – it is much easier to match the paint than it is to find a fabric that matches the paint sample.


timeless bedroom idea - iron bed, nightstand, art, lamp


Next Layers


It helps to think of your room in layers – accomplishing one layer at a time gives a great sense of accomplishment and again, helps to keep you from getting overwhelmed.  Once you’ve determined your surfaces and the large-scale pieces of furniture, now you’re ready to move on to the next layer – mid to small pieces of furniture.  So in our bedroom example, this would be the nightstands, a chair or settee and the rug.




Remember your layers here as well, you’ll need overhead lightingceiling fixtures.  Natural light from windows and lamps for direct and ambient lighting.  If you have a mirror or painting, think about focal lighting like portrait lights or wall sconces. Hint:  lighting is a great way to add vintage style to your décor.


The Fun Stuff


Once all of these items are in place, now it is time to take stock and work on the fun stuff.  This layer includes the art, pillows and decorative pieces that accent the room.  This layer is arguably the most important layer of the décor.  Why?  Because this is where your personality shines through.  Any house can have pretty furniture, but what makes a house a home is the warmth and personality that shine through in the décor. 


Ta Da!


That’s it.  That is how you approach and achieve vintage style.  We’d love to see what you do so be sure to share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.   Comment below if you have any questions, and remember, if you need a little inspiration, just follow us on Pinterest!