Retro Vintage Decorating Ideas

Express your love of eras past with retro or vintage home decor, or some combination of the two. Display collected items, such as vintage kitchenware or advertising pieces, as a way to show off your favorite finds in every room decked out in vintage decor. Turn your kitchen into a Mid-Century diner complete with checkerboard flooring with new or retro-inspire furnishings. Choose a color scheme, such as red, black and white, using any two of the colors for a checkerboard floor and one or two of the shades for a bench-style booth or bar stools and a breakfast bar countertop.

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Add a large wall clock encircled in neon, or a kitschy cat clock with moving eyes. If you enjoy kitchens from other eras but don’t want the diner vibe, add a dinette set with a Formica-topped kitchen table, decorated with atomic-style boomerangs in pink and gray, or your chosen kitchen color scheme. Display old kitchen canisters and small appliances that match the era or the kitchen’s color scheme, such as harvest gold or avocado green from the 1970s. Remove cupboard doors from a cupboard or two to display cups or glasses from your chosen decorating era, such as collectible drinking glasses with screen-printed cartoon characters or stacks of jadeite coffee cups.

Vintage Living Room

String ball lamps pair with starburst clocks and wall art as additions to vintage furniture displayed in the living room. For an all-out mod look, choose bright colors such as orange and red, adding an area rug in those tones, as well as the furniture. Op art decorates the walls, while a rattan chair provides a place to read a book in the corner. For a room more inspired by the Atomic Age, pair a boomerang-shaped coffee table and bark-cloth curtains with green or blue upholstered furniture.

Decorating Bedroom Walls in a Vintage Style

Nothing tells the story of an era better than vintage bedroom wall decor, which encapsulates the dreams of past generations. To create a vintage ambiance, opt for vintage colors, wall decor and wall treatments that embody an era’s defining imagery. From the 1930s to the mid-1960s, period styles often overlap, containing references to preceding eras but maintaining time-specific characteristics. Feel free to filter in some items from a previous decade to increase the authenticity of your vintage bedroom. For instance, though the Jazz Age was its heyday, Art Deco works in ’30s and ’40s bedrooms, especially less opulent Deco items.

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Create a Depression era-farmhouse bedroom, while filtering in some Dime Store Deco accents. If WPA posters aren’t your preference, hang an assortment of pink, Depression glass plates, which often feature Deco motifs. Painted, white decorative plates correspond with a white iron bed and a white, popcorn chenille bedspread. Choose simple floral wallpaper or paint your walls in the favored muted hues of the era: dove-gray or grayed lilac. A white, glass oil lamp on an embroidered, skirted table adds a vintage touch.

Decorating Bedroom

Bring post-war optimism to bedroom walls with the ’40s jewel-tone palette. Deep reds, blues and greens enliven walls, or use floral wallpaper and floral prints in simple frames, which echo the era’s emphasis on home and hearth. Your Colonial-style poster bed with a ruffled canopy top pairs with a skirted dressing table stool and a glass lamp with a scalloped-topped, melon shade. Use carpet, the increasingly popular 1940s alternative to wood flooring. For plainer bedrooms, opt for ’40s Deco furniture, a gymnasium clock and ’40s travel posters.