15 Vintage-Inspired Finds For Your Modern Home

Once you realize there are few (if any) rules about incorporating vintage or vintage-themed items into your room design, decorating this way can become habit-forming. Mixing old with the new, marrying vintage styles and modern themes through furniture, patterns, and other décor to create a look that's truly your own. According to Darla Powell Interiors, the secret to successfully integrating vintage goods into a modern home is the curation, or selection of items. (That's also the fun part!)

You want to strive for balance with a bit of pizzazz. But how? Powell says to avoid buying everything brand new. Instead, look for treasures at thrift stores and don't aim to match everything. And if you can't find a specific item that's authentic from the time period you're going for, rest assured there's probably a reproduction piece of it available.

To get started in this design direction, here are some vintage-inspired ideas for mixing up the décor in your home.

1. Create a vintage vibe with wallpaper

Wallpaper offers an endless array of options that can bring vintage charm and nostalgia. Not only will it add color to your room, but it's also basically a wall of art meant to enhance the vibe of décor. Manufacturers are now reproducing designs of bygone periods for use in modern homes.

2. Go sleek with mid-century modern items

Simple, smooth lines are a hallmark of mid-century modern design. Popular from the 1930s to the 1960s, this style has re-emerged in modern furniture and is easy to incorporate into any design. Credenzas (like the one featured in the photo above) were a common mid-century modern piece and are sought today for their beauty and usefulness.

3. Choose a chair with flair

Chairs are easy vintage items to find and are a sure way to add creative, interesting energy to your design. Whether you choose a chair that blends with your modern furniture or stands apart from it, you can't go wrong with this taste of vintage decor.

4. Soften your décor with macramé

Macramé had its shining moment in the 1960s when it adorned walls and fashion everywhere. It's back in demand with updated designs and uses. You can make your own macramé decor or purchase premade items from online retailers and craft stores.

5. Add color with collectible glass

Depression-era glass is incredibly diverse. The most common colors include clear, cobalt, turquoise, pink, yellow, and green, but it's available in almost any hue. Other popular collectibles include uranium glass (which glows under black light), milk glass (commonly found in solid white, blue, or pink), and jadeite (featuring a creamy mint-green).

6. Play with geometric patterns

Geometric shapes are always a welcome design choice. When added in small amounts to a room, there's a feeling of orderliness. Bringing in several different geometric shapes can be overwhelming and busy, especially if there are multiple colors involved. Keeping these elements simple is a good way to blend them into your modern design.

7. Bring new life to old frames and art

By decorating with vintage paintings and old frames, you can achieve any vintage vibe you want. These items are usually plentiful at auctions, estate or garage sales, and thrift stores. From classy to ecclectic, art and frame choices abound. Enjoy creating a special arrangement with them on your walls.

8. Add warmth with vintage rugs and tapestries

Fabric patterns, textures, colors, and weight all work together to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. From curtains to rugs and tapestries to pillows and quilts, vintage textiles are a natural way to add some old-world softness to your modern home. Mixing and matching will also help create an interesting view.

9. Create interest with antique vignettes

Selecting special items to feature as a small collection or in a vignette is an appealing way to bring little pockets of antiques into your design. Be mindful not to crowd your display with too many items or it will feel cluttered.

10. Complement with a vintage mirror

Vintage and antique mirrors are often ornate and beautiful. Both functional and timeless, they're the perfect choice for blended designs. Mirrors can be bold enough to stand alone as a statement piece or used as a complementary piece to other décor items.

11. Use color as a time warp

Certain colors evoke the nostalgia of certain eras. For example, mint green or retro red might remind you of the 1950s. So, when you're going for the feel of a specific era in your home, be sure to learn about the colors that reflect that time period.

12. Feature one statement piece

If you don't want to go overboard with your vintage elements, choose just one statement piece as a conversation starter. The item you choose should bring a wow factor to the room. Larger items that draw attention work best for this type of display.

13. Create ambiance with vintage lighting

Lighting does more than brighten a room — it also sets the mood. Mixing an old-style chandelier (or other lighting feature) with modern elements is aesthetically pleasing and easy to do. It's often easier (and safer) to shop around for brand-new lighting that's designed to look old.

14. Make it personal with family memorabilia

Old photos, baubles, jewelry and such add interest to your decor. And if these items are connected to you and your family personally, it becomes even more special. Feature these items prominently on walls, shelves, and tabletops as conversation starters.

15. Decorate with coffee table books

What could be more welcoming than a stack of old books with worn pages? Traditional coffee table books are large, hardcover, and loaded with pictures, but you can bend the rules and go with old ones that are interesting or pretty. To increase the vintage vibe, choose books that have a slightly weathered look.