Make your home your own by borrowing ideas from your grandparents, yes, seriously!
Thinking about your grandparents’ home might evoke memories or doilies and busy floral fabrics, but the hottest design trends come straight from generations past. From flea markets and factories, vintage furniture trends are hot!
The Top Vintage Furniture Trends
Vintage furniture is defined as furniture that’s more than 20-years-old but less than 100-years-old. By the time furniture reaches the century mark, it’s considered antique. If you want to add a vintage touch to your home, here are some of the hottest trends.
1. Shabby Chic
Wait, wasn’t that a 90s thing? Yes, it was, but shabby chic, which includes soft colors, comfortable, overstuffed seating and distressed wood furniture is back, and for good reason. Almost any home can pull it off and it’s very livable.
2. Mid-Century Modern
Mid-Century Modern furniture is much like the name implies. It was popular during the middle of the 20th century.
Much of it was originally made in Denmark or in other parts of Scandinavia. Its streamlined looks and warm wood (often teak) gives it durability, functionality and a classic look that rarely goes out of style.
3. Art Deco
The Art Deco period began in the early 20th Century and lasted until about 1940. Art Deco is both feminine and geometric with a nod to the Industrial Age.
One of the most modern movements in vintage furniture is Minimalism, which is alive and well to this day. As the name implies, Minimalism involves clean lines, simple colors and often geometric shapes.
Modernism is perhaps the most confusing of the vintage furniture trends. Unlike contemporary furniture, which is simply a generic name for what’s popular right now, Modernism is a movement all to itself. Modernism was an early 20th Century departure from the ornate furniture that was popular during the 19th Century. It uses multiple materials, such as leather, steel, and even plywood. Modernist furniture is known for unique, often curvy, lines and sometimes bizarre and interesting shapes.
How to Find Bargains in the Hot Vintage Furniture Market
True vintage furniture can be a bit pricey, especially if it’s in good condition. If you prefer the look over authenticity, you can find brand new reproductions at virtually all price points. For authenticity, though, head to flea markets, Craigslist and even Facebook’s sale pages.
How to Make Everything Old New Again
Once you find your flea market bargain, the next step is to make it fit into your more contemporary life. That might mean staining or painting. If the furniture is upholstered, a more contemporary fabric might be in order.
Paint or stain?
If you found your vintage bargain at a flea market or on an online sales site, there’s a good chance it needs to be spruced up. Today, you have so many alternatives it might be difficult to choose. In most cases, re-staining your furniture will help keep the vintage look. One exception is Shabby Chic. you might want to keep its peeling veneer or even lightly sand and add another coat. Lightly sand the new coat as well to give it its distressed look.
If you decide to keep a natural wood color, you want to remove all the old paint or stain, sand it and re-stain it. Today, there are no limits on wood color. Dark wood, light wood and everything in between is in style. And unlike in days past, it’s fine to mix wood tones. Many like to keep warm tones with warm and cooler tones with cool, but that’s a personal choice.
Here is a great tutorial on staining wood.
How to reupholster
Reupholstering is a bit more tricky than repainting or staining. If you are new to reupholstering, you might stick with simple pieces, such as a chair, before graduating to sofas. Choose a fabric that coordinates with, rather than exact matches, your existing furniture.
Here is a simple tutorial on reupholstering a basic chair. The tutorial’s by Waverly and recommends their brand, but you can use any upholstery-quality fabric you like.
Here’s a complete tutorial on how to reupholster a sofa.
Blend Styles to Make Your Home Pop
Matchy-matchy furniture is out. Many of today’s most stylish decors incorporate a mixture of contemporary and vintage furniture trends. The key is to mix up shapes and textures along with styles. If you have some streamlined furniture, add some cozy pieces. Add rounded pieces to a room with blocky furniture.
Don’t overdo the vintage furniture trends. A piece or two can be great focal points. More than that and you risk having a dated look. If you have a room full of vintage furniture, add some bright, modern colors to the walls and more contemporary artwork.
If you don’t want to take the leap into vintage furniture, but still want a touch of vintage, display some vintage books or put a contemporary picture in a vintage frame or some vintage knick-knacks. Most importantly, have fun with decorating. The nice thing about contemporary style is that there is no real contemporary style. Anything goes, to a point. It’s all about what makes you happy in your own home.