Vintage Furniture, Lighting & Decor

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Vintage Furniture ideas

Self-expression seems to be a fundamental part of human nature. People communicate their identities through the clothes they wear and the cars they drive; in the digital age, people broadcast their ideal selves via social media.

Another way to express yourself is through your home and how you appoint it. When it comes to interior decorating and design, there are many styles to choose from. Of these, retro or vintage trends are popular, and their intrinsic variety can provide the perfect array of fun and nostalgic elements with which to distinguish your home.

A retro table and chairs might outfit your study, and your kitchen could take on the feel of the mid-20th-century with a retro dining table. Antique dining tables might evoke a sense of a royal feast rather than dinner with the Cleavers. The temperament of any room can be redefined with the addition of vintage chairs, and French vintage furniture can lend a cultured air to any setting. Although furniture certainly sets the stage, lighting and décor refine the scene with nuanced accents. All in all, these styles could offer you a décor to conjure up just the personality you want.


Defining Terms

Antique generally refers to items that are at least a century old; although some in the business will attach that label to items that are 80 years, or roughly two generations, old.Antique furniture is often coveted by collectors, but that doesn’t mean they can’t serve a practical function in someone’s house.

Vintage is a label that originated in winemaking as a means of dating bottles of wine. Some experts insist that vintage applies to things that are between 50 and 100 years old. However, others refer to items that are at least 20 years old as new vintage. Labeling something as vintage suggests that it was produced in a specific era or year, particularly that time in which it first became popular. Vintage chairs, for example, are manufactured using an outmoded design; basically, they can be considered classical.

The term retroreferences a style from the recent past, or to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, anything that seems currently out of style. Often, retro items are constructed in the present.For example, a retro dining table mighthave a nostalgic feel while combining modern and traditional styles.

Vintage and retro share some meanings and are often confused, but one way to distinguish them is to view vintage objects as actually coming from a specific time period and retro objects as evocative of a particular era’s design ethos. You might also think of vintage in terms of construction and retro in terms of appearance. Something deemed vintage is also retro, but the obverse is not necessarily true.

It may not matter to you whether you are looking at antique dining tables, vintage chairs, or a retro table and chairs. That’s perfectly fine, because one rule of thumb when it comes to furnishing your home is to get what makes you happy.


Finding the Right Vintage

An understanding of the many varieties subsumed under the antique, vintage, and retro monikers will allow you to explore your aesthetic limits. For example, you could present your entire home as a rustic French farmhouse with certainFrench vintage furniture. With so many style options for antique dining tables you could create a dining room from any number of eras or just select a retro dining table to recall the kitchen you ate in as a child.

Danish modern is a popular vintage style represented by such designers as Arne Jacobsen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, BørgeMogensen, and Verner Panton. Vintage chairs created by these designers are highly sought after items, each boasting their own distinctive flair. Denmark, along with the rest of Scandinavia, was just one of the hubs for what is termed the Mid-Century Modern period, which ran from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s. Other design centers include Great Britain, Japan, and the United States, and each has a constellation of favorite designers. The period is marked by mass-produced and affordable furnishings with an informal air.

Furniture is just part of the picture. No décor is complete without the appropriate accessories. Lighting is one of the most important of these, anda living space can really come into its own with suitable light fixtures. A whole world of vintage and retro floor, table, and desk lamps as well as pendant and wall lights awaits you. Illumination is a key aesthetic consideration in determining a room’s mood.

Wall clocks from the Mid-Century Modern period are considered hot commodities. Other common household objects like televisions, radios, and even ashtrays are fun additions and add depth to the overall retro or vintage feel. Upcycling is another trend that brings true distinction to home décor. Upcycling involves taking old objects, such as iron gates or barn doors, and repurposing them to add character to a setting.

A little confidencecan help pull off certain interior design choices. With the right amount of chutzpah, your French vintage furniture in shabby chic could set the perfect tone for your book club get-togethers. You could dare your friends to raise an eyebrow at the kitschy lava lamps and retro table and chairs in your media room. To make a vintage or retro look work, embrace the style and go for it.


Things to Keep in Mind

A few guidelines can help you design truly playful living spaces with vintage chairs, a retro dining table, and other time-traveling pieces.Supply and demand, visibility, and functionality are factors to be considered when deciding which styles you wish to resurrect in your home. Give some thought to your home’s architecture when choosing your décor; French vintage furniture might be perfect, or not. Don’t forget your outdoor spaces; there are plenty of retro and vintage options for porch and patio furnishings. Make sure that retro table and chairs are from an era that you genuinely love. If you’re browsing through collections of antique dining tables, consider wall and textile colors in the prospective setting. Speaking of which, before buying anything, decide which colors really suit the overall tableau you’re trying to create.

Most of all, have fun finding those choice vintage pieces that say it all about you.


January 08, 2015