Interior Design with a Vintage Twist

When we hear the word “vintage” in connection with interior design, it’s all too easy to think of the overly floral and the ornate. Of the twee, in fact. But adding vintage touches to modern interior design can create stylish and memorable spaces.

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Form and Function

In recent times, for instance, we have seen a renaissance of interest in the austerity of the postwar era and the slightly kitsch whimsy of the fifties. In keeping with this trend, the functional comfort of the various incarnations of Eames furniture has typically occupied prime real estate in the beautiful house of the past few years. Likewise, the primary colours, geometric shapes and American diner-inspired installations – updated but still essentially true to their 1950s roots – have been enduringly popular among home stylists. These iconic design elements smoothly combine form and function and they can be sympathetically and attractively included in the modern home without any hint of overstated nostalgia.

Homes with a Narrative

As well as the aesthetics of the vintage or the so-called “retro,” there is, of course, the inherent historical value of the fashions and artifacts of past generations. Old family photographs are an obvious way to have your home narrate your family story, but furniture, ornaments and the other paraphernalia of the past – whether they are heirlooms or purchased at a flea market – all carry their own stories and can add a fascinating dimension to your house.

In a recent article, the Guardian discussed the design philosophy of London-based fabric dealer Su Mason. The latter pithily summarises her rejection of what she calls “the throwaway,” “the short-term,” and “the disposable” in favour of living among things that have been carefully manufactured to last and have stories to relate. Adding this sort of vintage twist is more than an interior design strategy, she says. Rather, it is surrounding herself with the “stuff” of life. Homeowners looking to remodel their properties using a service such as will find intriguing food for though in Ms Mason’s ideas.

To paraphrase legendary designer William Morris, you shouldn’t have anything in your home that you don’t know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. Incorporating vintage quirks into your modern interior design schemes is a great way to achieve this laudable objective.