How to Give Even a New Home’s Interiors a Vintage Look

If you have only recently bought a new-build home, its sleek, clean design and minimalist spaces could risk leaving the property looking rather soulless as a whole.

However, you can still imbue your contemporary home with touches of vintage style — and more easily than you might have expected, too. The following moves, for example, would not require you to undertake any large-scale DIY work.

Install a ceiling medallion

What are ceiling medallions? “These circular decorations often went around chandeliers to hide the holes carved where old gas light fixtures were replaced with electric ones,” real estate investor Brian Davis has explained to Best Life.

He added: “Today they’re purely decorative, but can create the illusion of age.” These days, it’s even possible to buy lightweight versions of them.

Apply antique wallpaper

You don’t necessarily have to look too far for this wallpaper, either — as you could simply peruse the generous selection of it available online, or have a retro pattern of your choosing reproduced on a wallpaper.

Bold floral patterns have become particularly trendy recently when it comes to wallpaper — but of course, you might have some enchanting design ideas of your own for vintage wallpaper.

Add some retro-styled appliances to your kitchen

You might not have realized that these days, you can buy kitchen appliances that pack modern technology but, on the outside, replicate endearing styles from past eras. Watch out for period-appropriate colors, such as cherry red and robin’s egg blue from the 1950s.

If you are unsure where to start your retro-themed buying journey, keep in mind that OnBuy stocks an array of mini fridges in nostalgic designs.

Replace your modern-design bathtub with a clawfoot one

You might not be surprised to learn that clawfoot bathtubs can be bought preowned. However, freshly manufactured clawfoot bathtubs are also available — including acrylic models that capture the antique charm of older units but are mercifully much lighter.

As a result, they can also be carried up to the bathroom with relative ease. This is no small boon, given that other clawfoot bathtubs can weigh as much as 300 pounds.

Go down the maritime route

A nautical theme can work wonderfully in a living room as well as afford you plenty of leeway for creative experimentation. 

The old items you could place in the room to foster this naval vibe include travel trunks, maps, and even a real ship’s wheel. If you don’t already have these example items at hand, you could potentially source all of them — yes, even the ship’s wheel — from antique fairs.

Breathe new life into period furniture

“Honor classic designs with furniture that evokes vintage styles. Look to retro shapes and timeless silhouettes to help create soulful spaces that unite unique self-expression with design nostalgia,” styling expert Francesca Hadland has told visitors to the Ideal Home website.

You could follow this advice through various thoughtful means, such as by re-upholstering an old armchair and upcycling a vintage chest of drawers. Your imagination might already be brimming with further ideas…

- by Matt Watts