Getting your home to look ‘effortlessly cool’ can sometimes feel anything but effortless, particularly when it comes to incorporating vintage items. There are so many eras and styles to choose from it can feel overwhelming, but get it right and you’ll create a home that is unique, chic and full of personality – yours that is – and not someone else’s. We’ve asked our team of Decologists for some expert advice on how to mix old and new for an eclectic style that suits you.
Keep an open mind
If you’re drawn to something but it’s not the right colour or finish, think how it could be altered,’ says interior designer, Lizzie Lester. ‘Annie Sloan chalk paints are great for bringing a contemporary spin to an old piece of furniture.’ This is also good option if you have something that’s of sentimental value but doesn’t currently suit your home.
Photo Credit : Paul Massey, One Fine Stay (King Henry’s Road) – cabinets and table painted using Annie Sloan chalk paint – onefinestay.com
All in proportion
‘Dimensions and proportions are always important,’ says Lizzie Lester. ‘First and foremost the piece needs to fit, so when shopping take your tape measure. You might have fallen in love with that bargain leather armchair but you need to be able to get it through the front door and into a comfortable space, where it can breathe and not look cramped.’
Photo Credit : Roger Oates – rogeroates.com
If you’re new to buying vintage start with some accessories and build up from there. Vases, jugs and cake stands will add interest to a room. Pick materials that will tie in with the existing furniture and mix with some modern pieces in similar colours or finishes.
Photo Credit – Neptune – neptune.com
Set the tone
‘Textures and colours are key to blending pieces from different eras and making them work together,’ says interior designer, Victoria Jackson. ‘Be bold but keep some uniformity in the tones.’ Rich deep colours will create an indulgent feel, while earthy muted tones suggest a more carefree style.
Photo Credit : George Home – george.com
Tailor’s mannequins or wooden shoe lasts may be all the rage but if you choose something purely because it’s on trend you run the risk of your room looking contrived or worse, creating a design cliché. Take your time, question why you like something and stick with things that you love.
Photo Credit : House of Fraser – houseoffraser.co.uk
‘There’s something intriguing about being introduced to someone’s style by the things own,’ says Victoria Jackson. ‘So be true to yourself and highlight your passions or quirks. Don’t be afraid to personalise things or display junk shop finds in unusual ways; you want to feel relaxed and happy in your own space.’
Photo Credit : Shutter Store – The Shutter Store – theshutterstore.co.uk
‘Avoid decorating in one style or era as it will quickly date,’ says interior designer, Lizzie Lester. ‘Mid-century works in small spaces and goes well with current and older styles. So look at what you have already and add other items gradually.’
Photo Credit: Apollo Blinds – apollo-blinds.co.uk/you-choose
Think about any architectural features your home has. If you live in a period property you can introduce a contemporary element to the original structure with bold wall-coverings and stylish paint effects. Antique furniture and objet d’art will have a fresh feel against a dramatic backdrop.
Photo Credit: Surface View – surfaceview.co.uk
Treasured hand-me-downs and family heirlooms bring soul to a scheme and are a charming touch in a nursery. Have a rummage in your parents’ loft and introduce favourite vintage pieces from your own childhood.
Photo Credit: Hibou – hibouhome.com
On the move
‘As you accumulate vintage pieces over time, move them around,’ advises Victoria Jackson. ‘Be flexible and repurpose things, often something that looked great in one room can look better used in a different way in another.’
Photo Credit: Christy – christy.co.uk
Want to find out more about incorporating vintage into your scheme? Visit us at The Old Cinema London this Saturday 22nd of April for interiors talk, bubbles and free design consultation. Book your ticket today, limited availability.