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The Vintage Design Style

Western civilization has a long history with significant forms of artistic expression accompanying it. The genesis of these movements can be traced to various regions and movements, but their influence on today's interior design is unmistakable.

One of these design movements that has made it through hundreds of years of artistic expression and experimentation is the idea of putting up items from a design language prevalent in the past. That is the vintage style, and it is a favorite of people enamored by rustic, retro, or homespun decorations. Let's take a better look into what the vintage style entails.

Vintage Style Architecture

As a style that developed before street lanterns and electric bulbs were a thing, builders emphasized the harnessing of as much natural light as possible. To this end, you find buildings with an orientation or various openings that allow lots of daylight from the sun.

  • Massive windows encourage the free flow of air.

  • Simple straight lines make up much of the architecture.

  • Color schemes hint at calm composure and elegance. 

  • The colors you'll encounter are muted earthy tones such as creams, yellows, sapphire, and browns. Blue greens and blue grays are a particular favorite.

  • Simple lines and curves across different architectural tenets. 

Vintage Materials

Vintage style elements can be traced back to the Age of Reformation. Many of the things present on the dining tables and kitchens during Martin Luther's time of reawakening the Protestant movement can still be found in today's homes. The materials present included the following:

  • Brass, which can be used today as a vintage style candleholder.

  • Wood comprises many features, from doors, flooring, shelving to the roofing structure.

  • Vintage mirrors with ornamented frames and edges.

  • Ceramic, crystal, and metal for the flower vases and various kitchen utensils. 

  • Dried flowers for ambiance.

Vintage Colors and Finishes

Because the vintage style heavily relies on muted colors from readily available light shades, the purpose is to conjure a spirit of nostalgia and faded memories. The colors making up the vintage style should be easily observable from the environment around to meet this aesthetic.

  • Ornamented wooden stands in beige or light brown shade

  • Tables and other simple furniture are best left with their natural brown color.

  • You can choose to paint the walls beige or go for blue-greens and blue grays to bring out the contrast.

  • It's common to have cracks, frays, and chips on finishes to add to that vintage nostalgia.

Vintage Furniture and Decor

The ideal way to replicate how a home would be back in the 17th century, is by emphasizing the details. This is by putting furniture and décor in strategic enough locations to influence the general outlook. Furniture and décor pieces play a large part in this.   

  • Placing a clamshell-style sofa with tufted cushioning as the focal point of a living area 

  • An ornamented candlestick or shaded lamp completes the setup.

  • An antique mirror always sets the mood in whatever setting you choose.

  • An embellished bed frame also works well for a vintage-style bedroom. 

Vintage Lighting

Recreating vintage lighting in a modern environment calls for looking at a different era. It's not feasible to duplicate the oil lamps that lit up homes three or four centuries ago, but it's easy to replicate how people living then must have observed the flames lighting up their homes.

  • Use incandescent bulbs or LEDs with low color temperatures under lamp shades for that vintage glow.

  • Chandeliers and other hanging light fixtures are a direct pick from the period.

  • Large windows are a standard fixture to allow daylight. 

  • Wall-mounted light fixtures, especially in hallways, are a superb throwback.

Need Help Picking Out Fixtures?

At Urban Ambiance, we are here to help you. Whether you want something futuristic, or you'd like to replicate how the emperors of France used to live, we have many light options to help. Contact us to learn more about this and other styles.