A ‘vintage décor’ can be defined as an interior design theme that incorporates elements of the past and in particular, the best elements of a particular time. Prachi Chavarkar, co-founder of ArchiLab Designs, explains that a vintage design can be associated with a region (for example, Rajasthan, Maharashtra or Kerala) or even architecture belonging to a particular era, like Indo-Saracenic (or Indo-Gothic or Mughal-Gothic). “In terms of a global look, it can also be British, French or colonial design. Some may also call a local historical look as ethnic but it is a part of vintage décor,” adds Chavarkar.
Elements of vintage décor
Home owners can remodel their homes based on a vintage theme, by either recreating the style or bringing in old décor elements, such as distressed furniture, a grandfather clock, ceramic tableware or even a sword hanging on the wall, into the design.
“Wall plaster treatment that mimics Greek architecture or red oxide flooring, for example, could instantly give the space an old-world charm. An old metal trunk, placed right at the center of the living area, can add an element of nostalgia and serve as a functional coffee table. Old bamboo rocking chairs, incandescent or industrial lighting, wooden fans, bohemian carpets, are all simple examples of this,” states Sameer AM, founder and CEO, Bonito Designs. Floral soft furnishings or wallpaper, add a vibrant colour to any room. “For fabrics, opt for jute, cotton and recycled fibres with muted floral patterns, to add a soothing feel. These are ideal for a vintage look,” adds Sameer.
Antiques and souvenirs as décor accessories
People often collect old antiques or souvenirs, from the various places they travel to. A home owner may also have inherited many artifacts and antiques. “It is a nice concept to showcase antiques in your space. However, these items should be displayed with a lot of thought and care. When you display numerous pieces from different locations, historical periods, types and materials, one has to be mindful about the order of display. Depending upon the size, scale, material and type, they should be properly framed or placed. Ideally, these should have a showcase or a background/surrounding that complements the items displayed,” Chavarkar suggests.
Colour scheme for a vintage home décor
Vintage-looking furniture, made from old reclaimed wood or wood that looks colour-washed and weathered, are in vogue. Winged chairs or a royal armchair, can be used as accent pieces. The flooring, from designer cement tiles, wooden floor, carpets and area rugs, should have colour schemes that enhance the vintage décor. While designing the home, decide the colour scheme or materials for the vintage theme, based on the size and volume of space and the amount of natural light that is available.
Sonali Puri, a home maker from Delhi, who designed her house on a vintage theme, shares that “I have silver and brass artifacts, which are family heirlooms. I have also been collecting antique curious like jharokha frames, textiles and lithographs for a long time. In my living room, I have framed and put up an old textile tapestry with rich embroidery, as a backdrop. A silver-plated divan that belongs to my grandmother and silver frames, with family photos in black and white, add to the vintage look. I have tried to maintain a balance between the modern and antique. For example, the dining table, which I picked up from Chor Bazaar in Mumbai, has a pedestal of the teakwood and a glass top.”
Dos and don’ts for remodeling a house to add a vintage look
- Ideally, the colours in a vintage-themed home, should be shades of blue, pink and peach.
- Wallpapers with floral patterns, are ideal for this theme.
- For furniture, opt for old designs, like a carved four-poster bed, an ornate dresser or a maharajah chair.
- One can have a mix of themes but it should be handled carefully. Mix old pieces with modern design elements, to create a perfect amalgamation.
- Understand all the details of the era, so that there is no messy mismatch. Do not overdo the theme as the home may end up looking like a shop that sells vintage items.
- Gold and silver accents and accessories of matte or shiny finish, can add some sparkle. So, opt for interesting lamps, frames, knobs and door handles.