Vintage Chic Interior - A How To Guide

Saturday, November 25, 2006

With the recent trend for all things retro, I thought I'd share my thoughts on this quick and easy guide to creating a picture-perfect vintage chic home interior:

1. Planning Think granny's home in the 60s and 70s with floral motifs and lace tablecloths. There are no hard and fast rules on what makes for a vintage look. Generally, the furnishing includes antiques, second-hand furniture or new pieces deliberately 'distressed' to look used. This means reinventing vintage items and giving them new life.

2. Key Pieces Whimsical designs ranging from crystal chandeliers, floral fabrics, old-fashioned lampshades, wrought-iron furniture, comfortable armchairs, candles, recycled accessories and offbeat ideas like using an old teapot to hold fresh flowers. There's no running away from wallpaper, furs and curtains if you're going for the European vintage look.

3. Color: Light vs Dark Personally, I like to opt for light colors like white and cream as they evoke a more breezy and casual touch. It's also the classic base palette of the vintage look. This color is also easy to work on since you don't have to worry about clashing color. Alternatively, rich and darker color like burgundy, purple, black with gold accents can also character to the room.

4. Cheap & Chic The key to a bona fide vintage look is, well, vintage pieces. As such, you'll need to include second-hand pieces which do not break the bank.

5. Coordination Rules There are practically no rules on putting the pieces together. However, it is important to visualize the impact of all your mismatched bits and pieces when placed together. While we are not talking Stepford Wives perfection, it helps to create a theme or motif that recurs throughout the space. For instance, pick a family of colors and vary them subtly. Using white as an example, we'd be looking at egg shell, cream, caramel etc.

6. Where to Shop Anywhere! From ebay to antique malls and flea markets, the important rule is to know what you want but be flexible to adapt when necessary. If doubt sets in, do not commit to a purchase.

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