Shabby or Chic?

How to Work a Vintage Theme into Your Home?

While modern and sleek furniture may be all the rage today, how can they compete with the effortless elegance that comes with old-fashioned vintage furniture?

That said, we are well aware that a vintage theme can be tricky to pull off, and more often that not, we can inadvertently wind up with a messy, worn out look instead of the chic retro aura we were going for.

If you are one of those who have ever experienced the aftermath of a bad vintage makeover for your home, then this article is for you!

Here, we will give you some great tips on how to get that stylish vintage theme going for your home, and outline some common pitfalls and mistakes.

#Tip 1: Stick to a Taupe Colour Palette

Vintage themed living room

The colour scheme is often the most characteristic feature of vintage themed homes, for it is this that sets the overall atmosphere of the room.

As a general rule of thumb, leave the bold and bright colours for modern decorating; after all, how often do you see photographs of brightly coloured homes in olden days?

As you can see in the picture above, vintage homes tend to be swathed in plain, earthy colours, which we tend to associate with rural landscapes.

Combine this with furniture with dusty patterns (consider the uneven shades of the rug in the above picture, for instance), and you’ll wind up with a charming effect that makes the room appear almost lost in time.

Tip #2: Have a Nostalgic Centrepiece

Vintge flower centrepiece

In decorating, the centrepiece is always the attention grabber – the most noticeable piece of décor in the room.

Flowers are always a lovely choice for a vintage centrepiece, and if you must add some bright colours to the room, here is the place to do it. Flowers give off a certain bucolic charm, bringing to mind an atmosphere of a picturesque countryside.

Flower decor

Of course, if you prefer to leave nature outdoors, there are many other choices of décor that would give off a similar timeless aura – any ornate table piece would often do the trick.

Tip #3: Be Careful When Choosing Your Antiques!

Antique furnitures

When trying to pull off a vintage look, you can’t go wrong with old décor, right? Wrong! In fact, here lies the most common pitfall people make when attempting vintage interior design.

The common misconception here is that all knick knacks and decorations that look old must fit in perfectly with interior design – and then we wonder why the room winds up looking like a clustered mess.

While antique decorations are certainly vital in pulling your vintage theme together, the key is choosing well made antiques!

In other words, true anachronisms that can stand the test of time, and still remain in the quality they were in when they were made. Unless you are sure they will last, don’t settle for cheaper “antique knockoffs” that were manufactured to look old from the beginning.

More often than not, the daily wear and tear will take its toll on them, and while they may still be in good condition, even the slightest blemish in their vintage façade can betray how recently they were made.

Tip #4: Get Ornate Furniture or Use Lace

Ornate table and chairs

While this is by no means a necessity, having a few pieces of furniture with elaborate designs on them can certainly add to the illusion of times past.

Chairs and tables are the easiest to find in this regard. Just like with centrepieces, here, we are also looking for those gentle curves and intricate carvings and in the design of the furniture.

Don’t forget to stick to plain colours! White or wood are perfect for this purpose. But if you can’t find these, don’t fret! Just stick to simple wood furniture, and make use of lace tablecloths and doilies!


Vintage is a great look, but it’s definitely essential to find the right balance to get “old-fashioned” without “outdated”. But with these few tips, you’ll soon be putting together the perfect “lost in time” look!

Looking for interior designers with years of experience to complete your home renovation? Sourcing for affordable renovation packages or renovation contractors to complete your dream home? Get a quotation here!

Looking for inspirations for a particular interior style? Browse through our inspirations here!

Have you shortlisted a few interior designer firms but not sure if they are reliable? Curious to know about their renovation works? Get reviews here!