How To Create a Vintage Look for Your Home

by Bethany Day on May 14, 2013

Vintage Home StyleVintage styling is becoming increasingly popular as people look to add character to their home by taking inspiration from bygone decades.

Some people go all out and replicate interiors trends from the ‘20s or ‘60s with a real dedication to authenticity, while others are happy to simply add a few vintage-style pieces from their favourite era to complement their modern furnishings. You could even evoke the sense of the past by using flowers which were popular in a particular period.

If you want to add a vintage twist to your abode, why not follow our simple tips for creating a particular decade’s ‘look’ in your own home.


Simplify, simplify, simplify was homeowners’ motto in the 1910s. Gone were the days of heavy dark Victorian furniture which was replaced with fresh, light, informal pieces made from bamboo and wicker. Floral wallpapers and fabrics were also hugely popular.

To get the look in your own home, scour junk shops for wicker furniture which you can give a new lease of life with a lick of paint and fill vases with lilacs, wisteria and sweet peas, all of which were commonly seen on wallpapers and cushion fabrics.


The glamorous 1920s are set to be hugely popular thanks to the new Great Gatsby movie. The era was epitomised by old school Hollywood, art deco and touches of the exotic from the Orient and Africa.

With chrome and all things shiny also being hugely popular, the best way to bring the 1920s into your home is with an art deco mirror. There are plenty of original items to be found in antique shops or you can find modern replicas which look like the real thing.

Peacock feathers were also a staple of ‘flapper’ style so arrange some in vases alongside calla lilies or roses for an authentic 1920s look.


Modernism was key in the 1930s and sleek, minimalist designs were favoured in the home and the Scandinavian influence was also strong.

The key piece of the decade was arguably the Savoy Vase, created by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. Made from coloured glass, the asymmetric vases featured undulating sides which looked different at all angles.

While an original will be hard to track down, there are plenty of replicas, with pieces dating back to the ‘30s and from recent years available. Simply fill one with the flowers of the day, lilies and dahlias, for a true 1930s feel.


Post-war interior design was big and bold and modern and a number of iconic pieces became popular at this time including Eames coffee tables and Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair.

Kitsch was also in and items such as nodding dogs and decorative salt and pepper pots littered people’s sideboards and shelves. The popularity of knick-knacks makes it easy to create a 1950s look in your own home, simply hit eBay or start scouring junk shops for eye-catching accessories.

Flowers for the era were also bold and bright so fill your vases with bright pink carnations or clashing red roses and pink peonies.


The groovy 1960s were all about fun, disposable furniture in psychedelic colours. Lava lamps, pop art prints by the likes of Andy Warhol and space-age pod-shaped furniture were all popular.

The 60s look is becoming increasingly popular with vintage enthusiasts thanks to TV show Mad Men and it’s easy enough to recreate in your own home. Space-age plastic lamps in bold colours, retro rugs with geometric prints and a lick of orange paint on the walls will all help you get the look.

It was also the era of flower power, so pop some daisies or irises into a vase.


The 1970s was all about escapism and fun, with tropical prints and colours dominating interiors. Think curtains and cushions splashed with prints similar to those found on Hawaiian shirts and bright reds, oranges and greens for both walls and the highly fashionable plastic furniture found in many homes.

If you want to recreate a ‘70s look, the brighter the better should be your motto but you don’t have to go the whole hog. Just add a few quirky pieces such as a bright egg-shaped chair or plastic coffee table or even just a block colour plastic vase filled with birds of paradise and hibiscus.


The 1980s may have been a disaster for fashion (shoulder pads anyone?) but they more than made up for it in terms of interior style.

People had disposable income to splurge on home furnishings and people were willing to spend to get the ‘wow factor’ in their home.

Chandeliers and home bars were commonplace and large comfortable furniture dominated the rooms. Sleek black TV cabinets, leather sofas and glass-topped coffee tables are classic design pieces from the time which still look great in homes today.

If you want to make a nod to the ‘80s on a minimal budget, few homes didn’t have a potted palm in one of the corners.

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email or connect with me.

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