Decorating through the Decades — Vintage and Antique Design

There’s something so very special about a room that feels like it has been decorated over time, with the perfect mix of antique pieces and contemporary elements, that gives a space the feeling that it has evolved naturally. Whether you’re looking to achieve that desirable eclectic, vintage interior décor look or want to create a room that’s inspired by a certain decade, these simple tips will work in your favor. Using cast iron home décor and other pieces that appear aged, you can transform a space through the decades.

1900 and 1910s: Capturing the Victorian Age with Turn of the Century Décor

The late 1800s and early 1900s brought a whole new culture from which to draw inspiration — from the intricate, ornate styling of the Victorian Age to the raw and authoritative look of steampunk and industrial design. With two opposite ends of the spectrum, this era works best when you pick your preference and stick to it. Victorian décor is heavily inspired by the era’s architectural splendor, with decadent scrolls and carvings that are detailed to high heaven. Wrought and cast iron home décor is a must for this look, so choosing accessories like cast iron furniture and cast iron shelf brackets, will help you recreate this era with authenticity. If you’re more inclined to go industrial, decorate with fashionable, functional pieces made of galvanized or rusted steel and iron.

1920s and 1930s: Jazzing up Your Home with Art Deco Home Accents

If you want to perfectly capture the romance and decadence of the Jazz Age, choose home décor staples that draw from the time period’s artful awakening, like art deco or French modernism. You can easily and affordably add a touch of ‘20s charm to your kitchen, dining room or living room with a delightful pressed tin ceiling, backsplash or wainscoting. This simple, affordable design upgrade brings architectural texture and intrigue to any space in your home. Wrought iron home décor, like flameless candle sconces or ornate iron firebacks, will help emulate the feeling of the interior of the Gold Coast mansions (or East Egg mansions, for fans of Fitzgerald) built by tycoons like Hearst, Vanderbilt and Phipps.

 

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1940s and 1950s: Sweeten Your Space with Mid-Century Accessories

The recent upswing in mid-century, Danish design has priced out many average homeowners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t affordably capture the simplicity and natural design sense of mid-century modern home décor without spending thousands. By decorating with vintage wall hangings — especially advertising wall art from the era and geometric art (think sunbursts and circles and Witco-inspired shapes) you can create a spot-on mid-century gallery wall without blowing your entire budget. Other delightful vintage home goods, like dome glass floor lamps and geometric wall mirror sets, will make you feel like you’re living in an original Frank Lloyd Wright surrounded by egg chairs and wood paneling.

1960s and 1970s: Creating an Out-of-Sight Environment with Vintage Goods

Whether you’re a baby boomer with a scrapbook full of snapshots from Woodstock or a millennial who dreams of the Summer of Love, you can create a groovy, vintage-inspired living space that speaks to your inner hippie. A shag rug is a must, but floral wallpaper is optional. You can create a classy, comfortable 1960s- and 1970s-inspired living space with a few special pieces, like super colorful and brightly patterned throw pillows or vintage wall hangings, and a daring disposition. This era is all about flashing back with oranges, yellows and deep reds — think sunshine and tie-dye.

 

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