I’m sharing ideas, tips, and techniques for adding vintage charm to your home. From light fixtures to wallpaper and everything between you can use these suggestions to create a lived-in and welcoming look to your home.
How to Add Vintage Charm to Your Home
While my decorating style has changed and evolved over the years, one thing that has always been present is a touch of vintage charm. And this goes back as far as I can remember. I was going to flea markets and using old windows as mirrors even back in high school.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a fresh look and I’m always interested in the latest trends, but there’s something about a nod to the past, to antique treasures and vintage finds that will always have my heart.
Incorporating vintage charm into my home has become second nature to me and so I wanted to create this post to share some of these ideas with all of you. Now, before we get started, let me explain what “vintage charm” means to me.
What is Vintage Charm?
I don’t think that vintage charm has a standard definition in the design world, so I’m just going to explain how I see it and what it means to me and my design.
Vintage charm feels like a hug from the past. It’s comforting. It’s like walking into an old book store along a cobblestone road. Vintage charm evokes memories of simpler times. It’s a hand-sewn quilt, a pie on the window sill, or a handwritten recipe card.
It’s also worth mentioning that vintage charm doesn’t always mean “old” or antique things either. I will share some more examples below, but you can create a vintage charm with wallpaper or a unique collection of treasures. You can opt for wood-handled kitchen tools instead of metal or plastic. Make sense?
Okay, with all of that being said, let’s get into it! I hope these examples will serve as inspiration for you to create similar looks in your own space.
Vintage Charm: Artwork
Over the years I have amassed a unique art collection that I love. I’m constantly adding to and editing my collection. In fact, as I’ve developed my own art practice during these past few years, I’ve become a more avid collector.
When looking for vintage charm-inspired pieces, I start by checking out local antique and thrift stores. However, some of my favorite contemporary painters do work that evokes sweet feelings of the past. I’ve shared some of my favorite artists in this post here if you want to dive a little deeper.
You could also create your own art by framing old photographs of family members, an old love letter, a worn favorite recipe card, a sentimental piece of fabric, etc.
Vintage Charm: Start a Collection
I think adding a collection to your home is one of the best ways to infuse some vintage charm. In fact, I’m so passionate about this idea that I did a mini-series about it here on the blog. I will link all three posts in the series for you here:
What’s more charming than a grouping of vintage straw hats on a wall? Or how about a display of white vases on a kitchen shelf?
You can use some of the collections that I have HERE as inspiration, but get creative and collect things that bring you the most joy while also adding a little style and charm to your home.
Vintage Charm: Kitchen Essentials
As I mentioned above, making simple and subtle choices can quickly and easily evoke that vintage charm look and feel. For example:
- Choose wooden tools instead of steel or plastic.
- Opt for copper or cast iron cookware and put it on display.
- Designate a place next to a window for growing herbs.
- Display frequently used pantry items on shelves in large glass jars.
- Frame a vintage recipe card.
- Display an apron on a hook.
- Use a vintage wood table instead of a traditional island.
- Consider antique knobs and drawer pulls for your cabinets.
As you can imagine, this list could go on and on. In fact, as I was writing this list, I thought it would be a good idea to share a post dedicated to this topic. I have countless ways and product recommendations to help you create this look in your kitchen. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, I hope this list gives you some initials ideas and helps you develop even more ideas for adding that vintage feel to your kitchen. You can also find all of my favorite kitchen essentials HERE. I cover everything from my favorite dinnerware to small appliances.
Vintage Charm: Built-ins and Molding
Molding will forever be one of my favorite ways to add character and charm to a home. While it can be a time consuming task, require some skills/specialty tools, and there is a cost involved, you get a lot of “bang for your buck.”
For example, a couple of years ago I added board and batten to my bedroom and it completely changed the look and feel of the room. It instantly added a cozy, rich, and cottage vibe.
Other things you could consider/do:
- Add beadboard to a wall in your home.
- Create a shelf with a board and wood corbels.
- Add a peg rail to your entryway.
I’ve also been adding several built-ins to my home as another great way of adding vintage charm. Built-ins give this effect especially when they include details like corbels, beadboard, decorative molding, built-in lights, peg rails, etc.
These projects can be a bit more expensive if custom cabinetry is involved, but I’ve seen dozens of DIY versions that look just as fabulous and add that vintage charm too.
If you’d like to take a closer look at my custom cabinetry you can follow these links here:
Vintage Charm: Wallpaper
If you follow the design world in any capacity, you’ll know that wallpaper is having a big comeback. Wallpaper isn’t used solely for creating a vintage charm look, but if you select the right pattern and use it in the right way, it can definitely emulate that sweet cottage vintage charm esthetic.
I have one example to share with you and that is my powder room. I love this space. While the wallpaper is a deep navy color, the whimsy in the pattern (which features foxes, bunnies, bees, foliage, etc.) adds a whole lot of charm.
In the coming months, I will be wallpapering another room in my home. Stay tuned for that. I’ll be certain to update this post when it’s finished.
While there are many, one of my favorite brands that really nails that vintage charm look is Lake August. I want to wrap myself up in their wallpapers.
That’s it for now!
That’s a wrap. I hope you’ve been charmed!
While this list could potentially go on and on, I hope that these examples have sparked some ideas and inspiration for adding a little character, whimsy, and vintage charm to your space.
Did I miss anything that should definitely be included? Let me know in the comment section below.
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