Cue the Nostalgia: These 8 Vintage Decor Trends Are Taking Over Home Decor
Home & Gardening

Cue the Nostalgia: These 8 Vintage Decor Trends Are Taking Over Home Decor

Vintage pieces create a lived-in aesthetic and a comforting “always-been-there” feel. Whether it’s a reclaimed furniture piece with a charming patina or a treasured oil painting, vintage pieces tell a story and add warmth and character. Just like any other home styles, vintage decor trends are always changing, so we’re sharing the scoop from three interior designers. They share what’s hot this year, along with practical tips for implementing vintage pieces into your existing space.

“Incorporating even just a few vintage pieces can give your design aesthetic a more timeless look that does not have a short expiration date,” says interior designer and antiques expert Debbie Mathews. “I believe these trends are so popular right now because people are yearning for ties to the past where life was seemingly more simple.”

If you’re looking to incorporate more vintage style elements into your space, here are the pieces and decor elements to look for on your next trip to the flea market—or your grandmother’s attic!

Brie Williams Photography, Inc.

1. Rattan, Wicker, and Cane Furniture

Breathe warmth and a relaxed coziness into any room with vintage rattan, wicker, cane, and bamboo furniture that provides nice contrast to solid wood, stone, and metal surfaces. “Over the past few years, we have seen a huge movement towards the use of these natural materials as they not only lend a textured, organic look to a space, but they also have a timeless and casual aesthetic that appeals to so many,” Mathews says.

Kim Cornelison

2. Rich Browns and Wood Tones

Embrace a warm vintage-inspired color palette and trade cool grays for rich brown tones. “If you talk to designers and antique dealers, you will hear that the pendulum is swinging back from stark white and grey interiors to warmer, more saturated colors and with this, the use of warmer, rich wood tones,” Mathews says. She shares that people are gravitating toward walnut, mahogany, and rosewood that develop a beautiful patina over time and add warmth, richness, and character to any space.

To implement these vintage trends into your home, Mathews recommends starting small. “Perhaps add a vintage or antique accent chair in a rich brown walnut finish or a rattan chair if you are looking for a more casual look,” she says.

3. Mix Old and New

“Everyone wants something unique, and the most unique way to create that is with blending materials from past and present,” says interior designer Sarah Latham. She explains the importance of striking the right balance between unique character, practical functionality, and modern comfort. “A new sofa with an antique coffee table can add character and interest to a room with functionality and modern comfort,” she says.

“It’s easy to implement vintage decor into your home, whether it leans old or new, by pulling in the opposite and using balance to have a little of both,” Latham explains. Not only does juxtaposing a vintage decor trend such as a floral wallpaper with a modern upholstered headboard make for an interesting design moment, it allows you to view the floral pattern in a fresh way as part of a transitional aesthetic where the old meets the new.

Mathews is also a fan of mixing time periods to breathe new life into an older piece. Her trick of the trade for making it work? “If you inherit or purchase an antique chest, consider placing a more transitional piece of art above it to keep it fresh,” she suggests. Upholstered furniture provides another great avenue for layering the old and the new side by side. Since bold floral patterns are another hot trend, consider upholstering a vintage furniture find with a contemporary floral print.

Courtesy of Caroline Sharpnack / Debbie Mathews

4. Big and Bold English Florals

“In the design world, we are seeing a resurgence of big, beautiful floral patterns,” Mathews says. She shares that historic patterns are being brought back in their original form, but are also being printed in new color palettes for an updated look. “If you are interested in incorporating florals into your design, start with pillows or a skirted table as opposed to committing to drapery panels which can require many yards of fabric, and thus, a larger financial investment,” she suggests.

Hector Sanchez 

5. Vintage Lighting

Vintage lighting is a good place to splurge a little, because no matter how styles change or how many times you redecorate your home, vintage lighting will always look timeless and will forever have a perfect place in your home while keeping it current at the same time,” says interior designer Ashley Ferguson. She points out that one of the benefits of this vintage trend is the uniqueness it breathes into a space. “I think it’s so refreshing to be able to get a cool statement lamp or chandelier and know that no one is going to have that, it truly makes your space unique,” she says. “You can just change out a lamp or two and viola—you have a whole new updated vintage feel!” 

6. Fringe and Tassels

Bullion fringe, ornate gimp, and colorful tassels are all the rage when it comes to this year’s vintage trends. “I think the design pendulum is swinging back into the more over-the-top and ornate side, which is why all the details like fringe and tassels are making a comeback,” Ferguson says. These vintage-inspired details are a beautiful way to elevate a room and add character to upholstery, decorative textiles, and window treatments. Ferguson adds that these trim details also offer a place where you can have a little fun with color. “You don’t have to completely overhaul your space, you can make a big impact with some larger throw pillows made in a bold, large floral accented with long bullion fringe,” she says.

Adam Albright

7. Colorful Prints and Patterns

Don’t be afraid of incorporating colorful prints and patterns into your space, whether it’s through wallpaper, curtain panels, or a beautiful comforter. Think lattice, toile, florals, or stripes—all of which lend a vintage feel to wall coverings and textiles. “I love seeing these elements in more recent designs and people not being afraid to use color,” Latham says.

If you’re drawn to vintage-inspired floral fabrics or want to add old-world sophistication with decorative trim, take Ferguson’s advice and turn to textiles. “It’s really easy to incorporate details and fabrics via throw pillows or maybe switching out an ottoman—it’s not necessary to update the whole room,” she says.

8. Pieces with Sentimental Value

Vintage pieces that hold sentimental value are the ultimate way to add a unique and personal touch to your home. Whether it’s an heirloom quilt or a set of holiday dishes from your grandmother, Mathews says incorporating pieces that have been passed down is a big reason people are leaning into vintage decor styles. The key is allowing them to make a statement while implementing them in an updated way to maintain a cohesive overall design. “If you have inherited a family heirloom such as a chair, sofa, bench, or settee, consider recovering that piece with an updated fabric to make it feel more current,” Mathews suggests.