Home » What Is Vintage Interior Design? [Retro vs Vintage]

What Is Vintage Interior Design? [Retro vs Vintage]

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This article will focus on vintage interior design, its features, how many years it actually takes to be vintage interior, tips, colour palette, and its comparison to retro design. First lets say few words about interior design in general.

Vintage look bathroom interior design

When you have your own home or wherever you choose to live, you want it to be exquisite and pleasing to the eyes, both in terms of design and comfort. No one will enjoy visiting or living in a home that has none of these effects. This is where interior designing comes into play. It doesn’t need t be expensive. It needs to be out of box and interesting enaught to pay attention like this lamp made of hemp rope below.

vintage thick hemp rope ceiling lamp
Vintage thick hemp rope ceiling lamp

Interior designing is most times confused with interior decoration, but looking deeper into it, there is a vast range of differences that can be seen. While interior decoration only deals with designing the interior of an already existing living space, interior designing goes a step further, as it takes care of living space right from its conceptual development to space planning, inspection of site, management of construction, execution of design, etc. It also involves choosing the right colour and fabrics to use within a space.

With the right interior design, user experience is improved, as the available space in the environment is better managed. You should also know that interior designing is not a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) practise; you will need the input of specialists, who as professionals merge your ideas with theirs to give you that dream design you want.

Vintage interior designed living room

These specialists are known as interior designers and they have special rules to follow, which connotes to the elements pooled together and necessary for a successful interior designing procedure.

Elements of interior design

We know 7 elements of interior design this are:

  • Space: This is the core on which interior design is built – it is the basic foundation. An interior designer uses his knowledge and experience to balance the space that exist, which are of two types and are termed ‘positive space and negative space.’ The former comprises of space filled with furniture and décor while the latter is the empty spaces that remain. 
  • Line: In interior designing, lines are essential to bring a sense of contrast, unity and harmony in a space. They also allow the establishment of forms and shapes. These lines are of three types, namely: Vertical, Horizontal and Dynamic. Horizontal lines bring safe and secure feeling to available space and are created by chairs, beds and tables. On the other hand, vertical lines are found on doorways, windows, etc., and induce a free and expensive nature of spaces. Dynamic lines, also known as angular lines, bring that action and dramatic effects and can be seen in stairs.
  • Forms: Forms bring harmony and adds equilibrium to space. They are also known as shapes and can be created by the combination of two or more shapes. They can be natural or geometric, as well as open or closed. Open forms can be looked into while closed forms are enclosed by a surface.
  • Light: This is the most illuminating element in the interior designing process and can either be natural or man-made. All other elements such as pattern, colour and texture are rendered insignificant without this element. Light also adds ambiance to space and serves to set the mood of the living s pace.
Vintage light
Vintage light
  • Colour: Colours connect objects aesthetically and also sets the mood. You should choose the right colour for each space and such choice should be based on the dweller’s psychology and mind-set.  For example, red colour can be used in the dining area, as it symbolizes appetite while green colour can be used in the bedroom where it will symbolize health. For each colour you use, there are three characteristics, namely hue, value and intensity.
  • Texture: This has to do with how a surface feels or looks, and it defines the appearance of a living space and adds interest and depth into it. They are mainly of two types, namely Visual Texture and Actual Texture
  • Patterns: Patterns work in tandem with colours and they are repetitive in nature, as they tell a story of their own, thus bringing forth the feeling of continuity and transition in a living space.
Vintage home interior dining living room

Different interior design styles

The elements above when merged, give room for interior design styles. There are many design styles to choose, and they include:

  • Modern
  • Minimalist
  • Scandinavian
  • Urban
  • Boho
  • Shabby Chic
  • Country
  • Coastal
  • Traditional
  • Vintage … etc

Lets now focus more about Vintage interior design and see how to implement it in our home.

What is vintage interior design

Though the term “vintagemeans old or dated from an earlier period of time, when it comes to interior designing, it is far from that. It refers to old objects on which modern day designs are based on. Sometimes, it can be confused with retro and antiques.

This style of interior designs references the 1940s and 1950s where after the Second World War, people worked with whatever was available to rebuild their destroyed homes. People were left with no choice other than to mix and match materials, and they created warm and loving space. This is what gave birth to vintage interior design.

The colours used are usually in neutral and light tones with little focus on intensity. Colours which are deep were however used to create impact. Primary colours which are low-key, such as grey, sand, cream, and beige are also used. Colours like pale blue, pale lilac or light pink also fit the design – all done to add a bright, noble and calm effect to the living space.

Furniture and décor which are old or aged artificially are used in the design. The use of natural materials such as wood, natural fabrics, and stone is remarkable, for they reflect trends of several years ago.

Amazing old vintage interior style designed living room

Vintage interior design is usually romantic, making use of flowing lines and elegant colours that bring the feeling of legacy. The design is usually simple and graceful, thus creating an atmosphere of relaxation and peace. It features abrasions and cracks, which give the atmosphere a comfortable look.

Features Of Vintage Interior design

Let’s describe main features of vintage interior design:

  • For the furniture, only natural materials such as wood and upholstery fabrics are used.
  • Texture is very vital, as the need to grind pieces of wood to make it smooth is not necessary.
  • Elements such as bronze fitting and wood carvings which are forged, are considered relevant
  • Handles of wardrobe are usually carved.
  • Chairs and sofa with wooden frames usually have rounded carved legs.
  • It also features a large dining table and a large bed.
  • For textile, the curtains are usually long, yet graceful, which can only be decorated with clips and cords.
  • Walls are usually of two types, which can be either plain low-key tone or wallpaper with floral pattern.
  • The ceiling can be plastered with white, whilst including subtle enough roughness or cracked woods.
  • Hardwood floors are best choice.

Vintage Interior decoration tips

Giving your home that vintage interior design can be a tad tricky and you have to strike the right balance to achieve your desired design. Just follow the tips below and you’ll be good to go.

Vintage living room

Use well-made antiques

Since they form the backbone of the vintage home, you must choose wisely to help you create that feel of a unique sense of history. It should be decent – even if not in excellent condition, it should be able to stand the test of time and not easily susceptible to wear and tear. To choose the right antique, consider the weight (if heavy, it is made from natural sources), joints, rusts, etc.

Make such antiques your focal point

It should be the first thing you see or your eyes are drawn to when you enter that particular space, as this helps pave the way for the rest of the vintage interior design. Make sure furniture take centre stage. Here you can use a vintage dining table or accent chair.

Mix and match the right items

Here, you can combine the modern vintage-inspired materials with their real vintage counterpart, which gives your space that true feeling of being vintage. Colours and patterns on walls also have a huge role to play in this part. Vintage-inspired drawings should take centre stage, probably on the wall, and pattern should do same.

Retro designed dining room

How many years does it take to be vintage?

Once an item is more than 20 years old but less than 100 years old, it is considered Vintage. Anything more than one hundred years is called an antique, while those not up to 20 years are called retro

What is the difference between Vintage and Retro?

In simple words, an object that is vintage can also be retro, but an object that is retro can never be vintage. Retro items do not necessary have to be old because it is ideas from vintage that gave birth to retro. Retro items are usually less than 20 years, whereas vintage items are usually older.

We have interesting articles about minimalism, Japanese Interior, contemporary design, Indian interior and transitional style. Read about each of them and see what is best style for you.

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