At a time when modernism, minimalism, and Scandi-chic take center stage, it might seem passé to give your bedroom a vintage-inspired twist. But the right vintage bedroom ideas can be a classic choice that takes you back in time.
Vintage bedrooms may not exactly be all the rage at the moment, but they can be remarkably charming, thanks to the use of unexpected furnishings, pastel colors, and antique finds.
One of the best things about giving your room a vintage-inspired feel is that you can let your creativity run wild. Unlike many of the trending interior design styles, there isn’t one correct way to create a vintage bedroom.
Before we take a look at some of our favorite vintage bedroom ideas, let’s understand what it takes to achieve a vintage look.
The term “vintage” might have you picturing a room straight out of the 1900s. But you don’t need a canopy bed or curtains that match the rest of your furnishings.
The vintage designs are characteristic of the 1940s and 50s, which also marked the end of World War II. During the 50s, the American economy experienced a boom, allowing young married couples to move into their own homes. This allowed people to spruce up their homes with luxurious upholstery and furnishings. Post-war America was prosperous and happy, and the interiors of people’s homes also reflected that. Bright colors, loud patterns, and gold-plated mirrors were all characteristic of this time.
Vintage style is similar to shabby chic, but the main distinction is that shabby chic incorporates more frills, ruffles, and floral patterns. It also emerged much later, in the 1980s, which could be an indicator that the shabby chic style is an extension of vintage design.
Ultimately, vintage bedrooms are meant to evoke nostalgia, so you can either go big or play it subtly. Either way, vintage bedroom ideas are anything but boring. Colorful bedspreads, patterned wallpaper, and intricate fabrics all come together to create a room that’s both cohesive and distinctive.
A vintage bedroom may not be as straightforward to create as other design styles. Fortunately, these vintage bedroom ideas might just be what you need to inspire your next makeover.
Before you set out for a vintage overhaul, it’s worth doing some research to identify your inspiration. The vintage style isn’t just reflective of the 1940s and 50s; it can also encompass the 20s, 70s, 90s, and everything in between. Each period popularized different colors, fabrics, and designs.
For example, vintage bedroom ideas from the 20s largely incorporated Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, whereas the 60s popularized wooden paneling, bright pops of colors, and sleeker bedroom furniture. On the other hand, the 70s bedroom design took a monochromatic turn by embracing the idea of having one color throughout, while the 80s embraced ruffles, pleats, and all things shabby chic.
Because the styles varied so much from decade to decade, pinpointing your inspiration from the get-go can help you find all the essential elements for your vintage bedroom.
It might not be easy to spot vintage finds at the mall, but going to thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales is a good place to start. Once you find your inspiration, make a plan for a few specific things you need. Some essential vintage bedroom ideas for decor and furniture include upholstered armchairs, floral motifs, a rich color palette, Art Deco-inspired lamps, and a metal bed frame.
Alternatively, if you’re reluctant to purchase new items, you can also DIY some vintage bedroom ideas. One of the defining characteristics of many vintage bedrooms is furniture that’s been painted with a bright color, such as teal, pale pink, terracotta, or sage green. Whether it’s your nightstand or your bedside table, you can easily upcycle it to fit seamlessly into your new vintage bedroom by painting it yourself.
Vintage bedroom ideas often include unexpected items, such as four-poster beds, colorful quilts, and intricate dressing tables. However, if you can’t find all these items easily or just don’t want to give your room too much of a vintage feel, then you could also just add one distinctive item in your room. The key to creating the perfect vintage bedroom is being open to embracing all the quirks and oddities of the decor.
Though original vintage furniture may be harder and more expensive to find, you can add some eclectic touches to your room in other ways. You don’t have to get a four-poster bed if you can’t find one, but you can decorate a shelf with antique mirrors and globes or even just hang up a piece of vintage art.
With so many different textures, colors, and patterns at play in a vintage bedroom, there’s a small risk that your room may look cramped. But the best way to ensure that you’re working with sufficient space is to pick out a mattress size that fits within the dimensions of your room.
A bed is the focal point of any bedroom, so it helps to determine the correct mattress dimensions before you even start decorating. Ideally, your mattress should be big enough that you can sleep on it comfortably without feeling restrained, but also small enough that it doesn’t take up all the space in your room. Revamping your room with vintage bedroom ideas can be particularly challenging if your bedroom feels small and overcrowded.
Vintage bedroom ideas might seem loud, but they don’t necessarily have to be. If you decide to forgo the floral bedspreads and stick with something neutral, just be sure to tie up your existing decor with a vintage flourish.
For instance, a patterned pastel wallpaper is a great way to spruce up plain white walls, while still keeping the rest of the bedroom mostly minimal. Alternatively, you could also add a statement vintage rug to effortlessly add a pop of color and brightness to your room.
Ultimately, the key to creating the perfect vintage bedroom is all in the details. With vintage bedroom ideas, it’s essential to pay special attention to how you accessorize your room. The best part is this decorating style is your perfect excuse to experiment with vintage pieces and colors and create a room that’s distinctly you.