Do you love that vintage look? Do you shop at Urban Outfitters because you love that style (but may not love the price?).  Here are 3 easy ways to get that vintage look with things you probably already have at home!

These are just a few ideas to get you started on recreating that vintage chic look!

  1.  Wallpaper:  I know I have blogged before about my love for wallpaper, but for that chic vintage look, wallpaper is key.  It took me a long time to figure out that a lot of times, when you see a fantastic spread in a blog or design mag that has that super vintage, multilayered look, that a lot of it is about the actual fixtures and architecture of the room.  Like, it was probably shot in an old apartment in Europe or New York, it probably has high ceilings, crown molding, chair rails, etc.  So it’s hard to pull off that look in a circa 2014 apartment, if you feel me.  But wallpaper is one easy way to add some layers to your space.  I love these florals, think anything dark, deep and flowered.  Also I got a really nice message last time I posted about wallpaper (Wild Walls) from a wallpaper pro at York Wallcoverings (yorkwall.com), she wanted me to mention, when papering small spaces, if it’s a small room, like a bathroom, with lots of fixtures, to try an easy match or a stripe with a random match since there’s so much cutting, etc.  She also suggested murals, which I think is a really cool idea for that vintage look as well.  For example, York Wallcoverings has this cool vintage floral used as a trunk liner (a bonus awesome vintage idea):

    And then they have a bunch of murals too, I really like this horse one because it’s exactly the vintage look I would be going for, and it’s just an arch, so it’s like permanent artwork for your wall:
    Think Ralph Lauren, lots of dark, deep tones and cabbage roses.  If you’re going with paint, Victorian colors like moss green, mauve or rose are always great choices and of course there’s a million tutorials on Pinterest for antique finishes to paint.

  2. Antiques:  This is the time for trotting out all that furniture that you would ordinarily snap up and paint over (I’m a huge fan of refinishing old furniture, I refinished so much of my late husband’s grandfather’s furniture that my mother-in-law had to come over and point out what I could and could not refinish, I’m not a good antiquer lol so sometimes I need help determining what’s what as far as what might potentially lose, like $5k in value with my paintbrush (whoops!).  But in this case, the darker, the chippier, the woodier, the better.  Unless you’re really searching out fine, high-value antiques, this is the time where yard sales, flea markets, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity comes in super-handy.  Look for real wood if you can find it, the more ornate, the better.
  3. Art:  Like I always have said, art is the single best way to remake the look of a room.  In this case, seriously, Goodwill is also your friend.  One of my favorite Goodwill hacks is to snap up all those old, preframed botanical prints that someone’s grandmother left and either replace the picture, or paint over the glass with chalkboard paint (voila, instant and almost free chalkboard wall art!).  But this time, no need to replace the painting.  You might want to touch up the frame with a little gold leaf, but check out the artwork in the inspiration photos above.  Portraits, botanicals, a little kitten, it can all work if placed correctly.  And don’t be worried about matching it all up, the key is to create a space that looks a little random, like it’s been curated over the years.

Going vintage is a great way to handle a room that doesn’t get a lot of sun, the sun won’t fade the dark colors and it will already have that sort of dark and aged look going.  Try a brass lamp with a pink or low-wattage bulb for a little light.  Also, to freshen up a vintage-style room, a great vase of white roses or peonies (real or faux) can add a nice light pop.  And to keep things from getting too dirty-looking (I feel like vintage is always just a touch dirty), have any upholstered items redone, and for pillows, throws and other soft furnishings, go new.  It’s pretty easy to find plaids, florals and ticking patterns that will fit in with your retro vibe but haven’t been moldering in someone’s basement for years.

And there you have it!  If you like this style, I have a couple of cool Pinterest boards that might interest you, Go for Baroque and Kitsch-y.  And if you have any tips or examples on retro decorating, I sure would love to hear them below!


NO HUSTLE, JUST GORGEOUS INSPIRATION ON THE DAILY!