7 vintage home trends that still look good, according to experts

Brown vintage cabinet in living room
Brown vintage cabinet in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Vintage home trends are known for adding character and nostalgia to modern living spaces. And for those who want to ditch flat-packed furniture for something more unique, many are embracing vintage, or opting to mix the old with the new.

But if you worry that 1970’s or 80’s-inspired decor will make your home look somewhat dated, there are vintage home trends that still look good, according to experts. Retro styling is definitely back in our homes.

Unlike these outdated vintage trends to avoid, there are some vintage styles that are timeless, and here to stay. And when mixing and matching styles, they should work well to complement your modern interior design. 

What’s more, embracing vintage finds in flea markets or antique stores  means you’re repurposing, and making use of what’s already there. Not only is this more eco-friendly, but will probably cost a lot less than buying brand new.

So, if you want to experiment with vintage decor without looking dated, check out these 7 vintage home trends that still look good.

Just avoid these 7 color scheme mistakes you might be making in your home.

1. Earth tones 

Brown wood floor in living room

Brown wood floor in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

One popular vintage trend is the use of earthy tones to add warmth to a cozy space. “Succulent earth tones are an incredibly important element of this trend, particularly when placed alongside coloured patterns and textures.” says Laura Burnett from Feather & Black, “Muted oranges, rich greens and warm browns evoke instant nostalgia and pair beautifully with tactile wooden accents such as rattan or shiplap. Combine these warm toasty elements with fringed curtains, cushions or lampshades, and weave in touches of gold for unbridled 70s flair."

If you want to accessorize with earthy colors, consider terracotta vases, planters, soft furnishings, rugs or handmade pieces. These all work well to add warmth to your interiors. 

2. Rattan/natural furniture

Peacock chair in room

Peacock chair in room  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, natural materials and rattan furnishings are a timeless element in vintage styling. In fact, statement pieces like the regal-looking, peacock chair adds much character to any space. Be it a rattan armchair, bed headboard, or coffee tables, these work well to add warmth and coziness to a room. 

"The rattan style has been steadily growing in recent months, with searches for ‘rattan furniture’ rising 316%,” agrees Burnett, “Whether it’s a side table, bed or wardrobe, rattan products offer a natural texture that can elevate your space. The warm and soft tones offer a sense of comfort that makes it a popular option for many.”

The good news is that solid woods and natural elements can be easily incorporated with modern interiors, should you choose to mix the old with the new. 

3. Repurposed furniture

Repurposed brown cabinet

Repurposed brown cabinet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Upcycling or repurposing furniture is a great way to bring vintage pieces back to life. Whether it be an old cabinet transformed into a drinks cart, or an old Chesterfield sofa that can be upholstered, there are many ways to give vintage a makeover. What’s more, this gives timeless pieces, such as the Chesterfield, a bespoke look and feel. 

“When it comes to vintage style, the Chesterfield sofa is one of the most iconic pieces in the world,” agrees Paul Fleming, Interiors expert and Managing Director of Fleming and Howland,A shining example of refined British design, the innate charm and sophistication of the Chesterfield have remained unchanged since its origins over 240 years ago. With a piece of furniture as rich in history as a Chesterfield, you can balance out the rest of the room with some more modern additions. Think metal elements, glass textures, sleek lines on furniture and minimalist artwork.” 

4. Bold vintage wallpaper 

Blue vintage wallpaper in living room

Blue vintage wallpaper in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to go big and bold, why not opt for vintage-inspired wallpaper to brighten up a room? “Pastel shades came and went with the pandemic,” says Jenny Shu, Interiors Expert at Property Rescue, “Today, homeowners are craving arresting, bold patterns with firmer shades and maximalist style. Think jungle themes and eye-catching floral spreads combined to give that perfect vintage feel.”

If you don’t want to cover the entire room, you can always stick to just one wall. This vintage-inspired, feature wall will add a pop of color in a neutral space, giving you the best of both worlds. Be it bold color or patterns, there is a wallpaper design to suit every home, so it won’t be too overwhelming.

5. Embracing curves 

Curved sofa and stool

Curved sofa and stool (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Considering these were once all the rage in the 1970s, curved furniture designs have never really gone away. Whether it be a curved sofa, armchair, lighting or decor, the days of straight, clean lines are losing their appeal. In addition, the softness of curved furniture makes a striking accent piece in a space, and particularly works well if you want to make a small room look bigger. 

If you want to experiment with curved decor, you can opt for circular footstools, coffee tables, pillows or even beautiful, rounded lamps. The boucle accent chair has been gaining popularity, and can blend in with any interior style.

6. Antique rugs 

Vintage rug in living room

Vintage rug in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Beautiful rugs can really transform a room, adding a burst of color, warmth and character. And if you want to make a statement, vintage or antique rugs are still a great investment. Typically, fibres in quality, vintage rugs have stood the test of time — and can handle being in high traffic areas. In addition, these can be pretty low-maintenance if well looked after.

With their distinct, patterned designs and muted colors, vintage rugs come in all different sizes and styles to complement your home. However, if you choose the wrong rug for your floors, it might quickly become an eyesore, so always take the precise measurements first. In any case, vintage rugs are versatile, and you can place them from the living room and kitchen to the entryway. Just avoid several rugs in one area or else it will look cluttered, and busy.

You might also want to check out how to clean a rug without damaging it.  

7. Wood panelling 

Wood panelled wall

Wood panelled wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

While there’s been much debate about the aesthetics of wood panelling, experts say they are making a major comeback. Rather than decking out a whole room in panelling, you can simplify this as an accent wall instead. This way, it won’t seem overwhelming, and less like a sauna! 

In fact, wood panelling one wall or even a section, will add more visual interest to compact spaces. Not only will it give a room that rustic charm, but is also an eco-friendly choice. Again, such natural materials are timeless and classic vintage touches.  If you want to go one step further, you can opt to paint panels in the color of your choice, so long as you avoid these paint colors that make your home look cheap!  

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!