Bedrooms can be one of the more challenging rooms in the house to decorate. You don’t want to sacrifice the function of the room for non-functioning design but at the same time, you want it to be a safe haven to relax and unwind after a busy day. Thankfully, the vintage style offers both comfort and decorative aspects that work in tandem to give you a calming, functional sanctuary.
In general, vintage style means decorating with furnishings, fabrics, and colours that were popular a few decades back. The term vintage is defined as something that is more than 20 years old but less than 100 years old but can also incorporate details from the shabby chic style. The mix-and-match aesthetic of vintage design makes it easy to achieve a high-end look with DIY and secondhand pieces without the high-end price tag so is an excellent choice for those on a budget.
1. Vintage textures and patterns
Mixing and matching textures is key to achieving the perfect vintage style. Using different textures of materials can add depth and detail to a space without adding clutter. Consider adding touches of lace, Broderie Anglais, and heavy knits in similar or complementary colours to create a soft and cosy room. Light colours such as cream, duck egg blue, and pale pink are ideal. Pair these soft colours with delicate patterns such as micro florals or fleur-de-lis, and combine with textured fabrics to add an instant vintage style to a bedroom. A soft rug such as sheepskin will keep your toes cosy on winter mornings and don’t forget the velvet armchair in the corner to finish off the look - Swyft has a great range to choose from for the perfect vintage style.
2. The perfect colour
We mentioned a few ideal colours in the last section but there’s a lot more to choosing the perfect colour theme than meets the eye. Different colours will evoke different emotions and can help you to feel relaxed, confident, or energised, among many others.
Whites, creams, and light purples are thought to help you feel relaxed, calm and serene when incorporated into a bedroom’s decor. For more energising colours, take soft greens for a spin to help relieve stress and if you’re looking to feel soothed and happy, pink is a great option to go for. Avoid colours like bright orange and yellow unless you’re trying to create an atmosphere to help you feel energised and joyful - beware though, brighter colours are reportedly responsible for promoting less restful sleep.
3. Opt for a theme
Many vintage rooms feature a specific theme that can be seen throughout the decor. Flowers such as roses are very popular but you can also choose other flowers such as daisies, lilies of the valley, or irises. All are popular motifs in vintage decor.
Stripes offer a vintage french or nautical style and are really versatile. They can be mixed and matched with other stripes or with other patterns in similar colours for an interesting twist on a classic. Polka dots are also very popular among vintage enthusiasts and can also be mixed with spots of different sizes or colour combinations.
Incorporate your chosen theme in the bedsheets, patterned storage, and even wallpaper to complete the look.
4. Wall panels
If patterned wallpaper isn’t to your tastes, panelled walls are something that can be found in many vintage-inspired homes. It gives a mature detail to your home and can help add depth and detail to your walls without encroaching on floor space.
Pair deep jewel-toned walls with dark wood tones and an arrangement of luxurious velvet sofas for a moody, cosy feel, or lighter colours with white wood for a more bright and airy finish. The panels can be as detailed or plain as you like but whether you opt for simple shapes or intricately embossed designs, you’ll be left with a classy, vintage feel to your room.
5. Time for bed
The furniture, and especially the bed, is one of the most important aspects for your vintage style room. It’s the place you’ll be spending the most time, whether that’s actually sleeping or spending a quiet evening reading and watching a movie, so you want to make sure it fits the aesthetic.
If you’re going after the French vintage style, choose a bed frame with high head and footboards, preferably with a decorative aspect to the bars or wood in pale wood or white. Embellished and embossed wood is a classic aspect of vintage French design. If your room is very small though, the closed-off wood can feel a bit overpowering so decorative metal bars work really well to keep the space open while still feeling vintage.
If, however, you’re going for a more pared-back and simple style, an antique-looking bronze-finish bed frame will give your room a rustic farmhouse appeal. Make sure your other furniture compliments your bed as well, opting for simple wood or metal to go with the simple bed frame. This style is perfect for pairing with old trunks and crates for storage too.
6. Light it up
No room in the house is complete without lighting - you need it to see, after all. You have plenty of lighting options to choose from for your vintage style room.
If the aim of the game is opulence, a chandelier is the perfect choice of light fixture. If you don’t have the space for a full-on chandelier though, a sparkling glass or crystal light shade will be very effective as well. The multiple glass surfaces refract the light and give the space a warm and comfortable glow without any harsh light.
Floor lamps are another excellent vintage lighting option. Set up in corners of your room or over a sofa as a reading lamp. Find a vintage-looking tasselled lampshade for the ultimate finishing touch and cosy vibes.
Another excellent option is old fashioned lanterns. You can find these lanterns in craft shops and homeware shops all over the place and they’re a wonderful decorative touch. Cluster a few together in the dead space above the wardrobe or set up in varying heights in a corner. Be careful if you decide to burn candles in them as they can get very hot - opt for strings of LED lights instead for a cosy glow.
7. Can’t buy it? DIY it
Sadly, not everything you’re looking for will be available to buy from shops. Thankfully though, the vintage style lends itself really well to DIY projects.
A DIY project could be something as simple as repainting a set of picture frames or as complicated as creating a set of furniture from scratch. From distressed, shabby chic furniture to a mirror gallery wall, and even DIY headboards, there are countless projects out there to help you achieve that perfect vintage feel in your bedroom.
No matter what you are looking to make or decorate, DIY projects can be as simple or as complicated as you like. If you have a piece of furniture that’s seen better days, a coat of chalk paint is a great way to breathe some life back into it. Alternatively, why not make something out of vintage trunks or storage crates? You can find these types of items in second-hand and vintage shops and they make excellent focal points to your room. Pallets are another favourite among the DIY community for their versatility and low price tag. The only limit is your imagination.
8. Beautiful bureaus
No lady’s room from days-of-old was complete without a dressing table. Serving as a place to apply makeup, perform skincare routines, and do your hair before heading out, a dressing table is an excellent addition to a vintage-style room.
Dressing tables we are familiar with today were popularised in 18th century Europe, but it wasn’t until the Hollywood glamour of the 1900s that they gained proper traction and became staples in the dressing rooms of many starlets and members of high society.
Second-hand and vintage furniture shops are a great place to start your search for the perfect dressing table. Alternatively, you can make them out of old trunks or vintage suitcases. Wherever you find your dressing table, it’s not complete without a chair or stool to sit at while you use it.
Swyft’s Model 00 stool is the perfect companion to your bureau. Available in a plethora of colours to suit your decor, these stools are comfortable to sit on and slide easily under the dressing table when you’re not using them.
9. Mason jars
Everyone loves a mason jar. They make great decorative touches to your room and can double up as storage for things like makeup brushes, cotton rounds, and cotton buds.
Genuine vintage mason jars sell for quite a lot and are very valuable but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make use of these jars. Instead, you can use new ones for the same effect. Pick them up from any craft or homeware shop. Collect a few different sized ones for a dynamic display on your dressing table or chest of drawers. You can leave them clear for subtle but functional storage that shows off your things or gives them a coat of chalk paint in a chic colour to add some interest to your space. You could even go crazy with decoupage or papier-mâché for a fun, shabby-chic style. By using coloured tissue paper you can create a stained glass effect that glows when you put a string of LED lights inside. It creates a comforting glow and adds a unique detail to your space.
10. Canopy over the bed
A common detail in vintage bedrooms is a canopy over the bed. They originally offered a sense of privacy as well as protecting the sleeper from insects like mosquitoes. In colder climates, they also helped to preserve heat to save on the need for room heaters and central heating systems. Nowadays they tend to just look pretty and add something interesting to a room’s decor but they’re still a great way to bring a little vintage feel into your space.
If you have a four-poster bed, hanging light and gauzy curtains can offer you a slightly private space and breaks up the room, offering more of a broken-plan living effect. A canopy over the head of the bed gives your space a vintage French feel without any long hanging curtains which can require a bit of specialist care to keep clean and dust-free. Alternatively, a net canopy offers some delicate feminine detail and can even be decorated with string lights for a warm, cosy glow in the evenings.
The perfect sofa for your vintage room
If you’re interested in the vintage style but don’t know where to begin, we hope this blog has given you plenty of inspiration. It can be difficult to decide on what style to decorate or redecorate, your bedroom in but the vintage look is absolutely timeless and the perfect way to incorporate new, second hand, and DIY pieces into one space.No cosy bedroom is complete without a comfortable sofa to relax in so make sure you shop Swyft sofas to find the perfect timeless bedroom companion. For more expert advice on bedroom decor ideas and bedroom sofa styling inspiration, check out our blogs.