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Modern Vintage Interior Design


on June 6, 2023


We often say that history repeats itself, and it’s no different for home styles and décor trends. Modern retro interior design incorporates modern materials and sleek lines with antique or vintage pieces to create a unique and eclectic look. This style has grown in popularity due to a rise in maximalism and a greater desire for a personalized look, allowing individuals to express personal taste while creating the cozy and inviting atmosphere we all crave. To achieve this look, combine vintage décor trends with contemporary pieces to create a unique design style that can be customized to display your favorite colors, textures, and features.

Inspiring Vintage Home Décor Trends

Vintage-inspired décor is making a comeback and heavily influencing home design, colors, and interiors as people seek to add warmth, character, and a touch of nostalgia to their homes. In particular, mid-century modern designs, with their clean lines and geometric shapes, have become a popular vintage-inspired choice. Additionally, vintage-inspired color palettes, such as muted earthy tones, pastels, and jewel tones, have become popular choices for walls, furniture, and accessories. Overall, vintage-inspired décor offers a way for homeowners to incorporate history and character into their homes while still maintaining a modern and fresh feel. Let’s take a look at six key trends that exemplify vintage inspiration.

1. Velvet fabrics

Sumptuous fabrics, such as leather, linen, and velvet are making their way back into homes. The vibe of velvet decor is a mix of retro, glamorous, and welcoming, all rolled into one. The opulent ambiance that velvet brings to a space can be very comfortable and add  unique charm to any room. A leather or velvet couch and chair can be the perfect vintage-inspired addition to your living room. However, you don’t have to incorporate the fabric into a large-scale piece like a chair or couch to capitalize on the popularity of this particular vintage-inspired trend. Instead, try velvet drapes or pillows. If you’re worried about upkeep, don’t let velvet intimidate you. Many manufacturers utilize performance fabrics on upholstery, making them durable enough to withstand daily usage.

2. Art Deco and dark wood grains

Art deco, made famous in France, is rising in popularity and taking over dressers, cabinets, tables, and even floors. As the reign of white oak comes to an end, darker more profound wood tones are taking center stage. Luxurious walnut and timeless cherry wood hues have caught design experts’ attention not only for flooring, but also  furniture, shelving, and wall and ceiling treatments. The current trend favors natural wood grains, while painted wood textures have become less prevalent.

Accents, furniture and wall and window trim with dark wood grain give a throwback feel to any room, but darker wood coloring isn’t the only throwback design element gaining popularity once more. Even the vintage aspect of wood paneling is making a comeback — especially as an accent wall. Nowadays, though, many modern wood walls are hung horizontally rather than the vertical panels of the 60s and 70s.

3. Wallpaper and layering patterns

Bold prints never seem to go completely out of style, but they’re back again in a big way. Wallpaper, the bane of existence for so many years, has come back en vogue with patterns ranging from big, bright and bold geometric to sumptuous floral and more. Even more, there’s no limit to where these ornate wallpapers are showing up. They are being used in bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, behind glass cabinetry, and even in beautiful butler pantries. Modern florals and vintage botanicals appear with bold colors and eye-catching designs. Pattern mixing and layering has become a smart way to integrate this design — try blending your floral prints with a neutral palette to make them feel elegant and elevated.

4. Warm Color Palettes

Vintage-inspired color palettes, such as muted earthy tones, pastels, and jewel tones are all on the rise in home design again. Incorporate these colors in walls, furniture, and accessories. Warm and rich colors, like brown, tan, ruby red, emerald green, and even pink are also making a comeback in home decor. Many of these retro color combinations, like vintage pink and green, can add an elevated sense of whimsy and fun to your interior design. 

While gray remains a popular color, the key to rocking it as part of a vintage-inspired palette is to choose a warmer tone. Similarly, warm metallics like brass, copper, and rose gold are also on the rise. Incorporating these vintage room colors can add a cozy and nostalgic feel to your home without veering into the realm of “out of touch.” By combining old and new elements, you can create a unique and inviting space that truly reflects your personal style.

5. Dark and moody design

The ageless charm of an all-white room is indisputable. For generations, designers have favored white walls and bright lighting. However, there is a recent shift towards the dark side, and it fits beautifully with vintage-inspired decor and design. The trend of "moody design" is gaining popularity, characterized by dark cabinet colors, organic materials, and deep-toned accents.

SEE ALSO: Get The Look: Dark Interior Design

Moody design often features deep, rich colors and a subdued atmosphere, creating a sense of mystery and drama. Common colors used in this style include shades of black, navy, and dark gray, which are often paired with metallic accents, such as brass or gold, to add a touch of glamor. Dark walls and ceilings, as well as dim lighting, contribute to the moody ambiance. To avoid going overboard and creating an uninviting environment, it's essential to add texture and contrast. Plush fabrics, natural materials, and bold patterns are all options for creating interest and balance within this muted color scheme. A more modern retro interior design, this style establishes an intimate and luxuriant feel in any room, perfect for creating a relaxing and inviting space.

6. Biophilia

Speaking of patterns, patterned houseplants are another prevailing trend popping up in homes all over the country. Vibrant and intricately-patterned plants are a perfect option to add life and greenery to your home. Choose a brightly-colored plant that goes with the rest of your vintage décor theme and give it a place of honor in your home design. For those enamored with the vintage pink and green palette, there are several indoor plants like the Philodendron “Pink Princess,” that can even highlight your preferred color scheme.  For a simple way to incorporate plants into your design, try placing a single palm leaf inside a clear glass jar. Want to go a little more vintage with this trend?

Macrame hanging planters add a retro touch and greenery that complements almost any design.

You can also enhance your retro-inspired, biophilia designs with windows that add an abundance of natural light. Awning windows, for instance, embrace the sleek, rectangular shape favored by many mid-century modern home designs, while also providing an uninterrupted expanse of glass for maximum natural light. This extra light can be great for sunlight-seeking plants and creates a stunning shine on any vintage metallic accents you’ve incorporated. 

The vintage vibes are real, and we are here for it. Even though these trends are blasts from the past, they are still relevant and modern in today’s décor. Now, get your vintage shopping on and give your house a throwback, yet modern feel.

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