Vintage redecorating principles
Feb 6, 2019 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
With the weather being so frigid lately, my view has turned inward. Besides, with the flurries flying, what better time to rethink how to spruce up your interior environment? Join me as we uncover some vintage redecorating principles. Taken from the 1968 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book, we hope this list fuels your retro inspiration! Let me know your favorite tip in the comments…
When you’re ready to pep things up a bit, here’s what the vintage experts suggest: start with your background, draw attention to existing details, reconsider how you zone the areas of your space, think about storage, and don’t be afraid to DIY.
When it comes to the backdrop of your rooms, sometimes a splash of color or pop of pattern is all that’s needed. Consider finishing touches such as the texture of a new drapery, lampshades, or slipcovers for your sofa. They even recommended combining patterns – don’t be afraid to go big with stripes, dots, and florals! As you start to pull together your color story, rethink how your space is arranged. Would regrouping your seating areas lend a better harmony? How would a few accessories, like a coffee table with storage, breathe new life into a static space? Look at your room with fresh eyes – if you have a rockstar feature wall or fireplace – make them pop. A bold color or pattern will draw the eye and that contrast brings a natural dynamic quality to an old room. If you don’t have natural details (and aren’t afraid of a little work) add some decorative molding to make your own feature.
Need color inspiration? Check out Pantone’s color of the year!
As it happens, the longer you live in a home, the more you learn about its quirks or problem areas. The vintage experts who faced these trials turned to zoned compartment storage. These larger units not only help you stay organized, but depending on your arrangement of the books & treasures within them, can become focal points all on their own. (Think of grouping your books together by color or size, for example.)
One thing that the experts put to the top of their list is something I often overlook: window treatments. But little did I know how much a bit of fabric can do. For example, if you have two odd-size windows on the same wall, consider floor to ceiling curtains to bring unity. Shutters for an over-the-sink window provide a canvas (as well as privacy). Artwork doesn’t just have to hang on the walls – it can hang from the windows!
Searching for multi-purpose space is not a problem exclusive to the modern home dweller. Before the days of open floor plans, vintage experts leveraged a few tricks to make every room work around the clock. Mainly, they tackled this by incorporating storage units and fold-up tabletops. These simple tricks allow you to transform rooms – like turning your dining room into a hobby / crafting space or a buffet into a desk for studying.
With these tips in mind, what room are you going to redecorate this year? Share your redecorating story in the comments…