Wondering how to use that antique you just bought, or where to even find items you love? These vintage decor ideas will help you add historic beauty to every room of your house.
FAQs about Vintage Decor Ideas
Before I show off some of my all-time favorite vintage decor ideas, I wanted to answer a few questions people often ask about buying and displaying vintage items. If you don’t see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
How do you find quality vintage items?
Honestly, finding quality vintage items is a bit of a scavenger hunt, which makes it all the more fun! When you find that one unique piece that is still in amazing shape, you feel like you struck gold. It’s exciting and all part of the adventure!
Some shops will be better places to find high-quality items than others. I suggest asking around. If you are in someone’s house and they have a really stunning piece, ask them where they got it. There is nothing like word-of-mouth marketing.
If you prefer online shopping, then I suggest Etsy. It is a treasure trove of antique items that you won’t find anywhere else.
You can also browse eBay. Since it’s a larger site with a bigger focus, you’ll have to browse longer, but you can still find amazing things there too.
Is vintage the same as retro?
You might hear people say that they love your retro artwork – is it the same thing as vintage?
Thankfully, Apartment Therapy explains the differences in detail. Antiques are usually so old that they are almost historic.
Vintage items are usually mid-century modern or almost as old as your grandparents.
Retro items technically describe anything that is recently outdated or uncool. Remember in Mean Girls when Regina George called the girl’s clothes “retro?” That’s basically the standard and common use of it.
Of course, in modern vernacular, we all use those 3 words interchangeably!
How old does something have to be to be considered vintage?
Most antique dealers agree that vintage items are at least 40 years old. So for 2022, this can include anything from the 1920s to the 1970s. Again, that’s the technical definition, and not necessarily how we use the word today.
How to Decorate with Vintage Art
Over the years, I have become more and more into vintage art. After creating a collection, I built a gallery wall that makes me smile whenever I walk by it…then I built another (and another!). Check out my entire collection of vintage art and keep reading for my tips on decorating with your own finds below.
1. Take Care of It
The best thing you can do when you decorate with vintage art is to keep it clean and dust-free. This will help your pieces shine like new, making them even more awe-inducing.
If you buy a pricy vintage piece, you might even want to invest in professional restoration. They will bring it back to its proper glory and give you care tips.
2. Create a Gallery Wall
Once you begin to create a collection of vintage artwork, display them on a gallery wall. The wall space by your stairs is always a fantastic place just begging for conversation starters.
3. Layer on a Shelf
Don’t be afraid to display more than one vintage piece on your bookshelves. Adding multiple items together creates depth. These layers can be a very important design element that adds interest to your shelves.
Use Vintage Pieces in Every Room of Your House
Vintage decor can add charm to any room in your house. Check out my home tour and get inspired to place pieces in more rooms than just your library or living room.
One of the best ways to add charm to your house is to display seasonal vintage pieces. Set out vintage salt and pepper shakers at Thanksgiving, or place some vintage towels at Christmas. You can see an entire post filled with ideas for vintage Christmas decor here!
I also love to create contrast with textures. Next to my floor-length linen curtains, I set up a brass lamp. While the colors complement each other, the materials are very different.
Finally, go from room to room and create notes and visualize the kind of items you want or need. Then, keep an open mind and be creative while also staying true to the original goal.
For example, if you are looking for blanket storage in your bedroom, you might use a vintage ladder or an antique trunk.
You’ll find these tips and more in my quick guide to antiquing. It’s a valuable resource for anyone that is just starting out.
Shop at Your Favorite Antique Stores
You’ll find some fantastic items at flea markets and estate sales. I love going to estate sales because often people amass a collection, and you can get things together.
I live in Pennsylvania, and these are my favorite Pittsburgh antique shops. They can be a dangerous place to visit as I can usually find something I want every time I walk into them.
Best Vintage Decor Ideas
These vintage decor ideas will give you enough inspiration to decorate every room in your house.
Paint by Number paintings is one of my most recent fascinations. I display vintage artwork all throughout my home. Take some time and browse artwork at antique shops – you might be surprised at what you find.
You can also find lots of creative bookshelf decor ideas at antique shops too. If you love cats like I do, then you should be able to find some quirky ideas. It doesn’t have to be cats – go find things that match your aesthetic.
Your vintage finds can have practical uses too. For example, a vintage brass lamp can still work to create light in your reading nook while adding to the ambiance at the same time.
Check out this post for more master bedroom ideas.
Have fun creating your favorite collection. These vintage ideas from around my home are some of my favorites. I love collecting and displaying them in little groups.
5. Trophy Decor
This amazing trophy is from 1932 – it was from one of my favorite vintage hauls. It’s an instant conversation piece, which is exactly what I like about vintage items.
Another way to decorate your home is to create a vintage collection in every room. These rolling pins are perfect in the kitchen. I won’t use them, but they create an atmosphere of a busy kitchen full of flour and sugar.
That’s a Wrap on Vintage Decor Ideas
There you have it! This is everything you ever needed to know about how to decorate with vintage pieces. When something grabs your attention at a flea market, estate sale, or antique shop, snag it! It just might become the beginning of a new hobby.
Even More Decor Ideas
- Beautiful and Functional Pantry Storage
- Cozy and Stylish Outdoor Living Ideas
- Living Room Fireplace and Book Case Styling
- How to Display a Collection
- No-Fail Tips for Styling a Book Case
Looking For More from Inspired by Charm?
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