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Vintage Bedroom Ideas

Look to patterns, patinas, and pieces from periods past to design vintage bedrooms that are cozy, comfortable, and stylishly collected.

Thoughtfully designed vintage bedrooms creatively combine repurposed furnishings, imperfect patinas, and architectural salvage in original ways. Vintage style is charmingly old-fashioned, cordially cozy, and, at times, cheerfully upbeat. With centuries' worth of options available, it's important to practice restraint when designing a vintage bedroom. Clutter equals chaos, so though vintage bedrooms should appear assembled over time, they should be nonbusy places that maintain the peace. Here's a look at how you can create calmingly cohesive vintage bedrooms that combine the best of both old and new worlds.

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Find a Muse

When devising a decorating theme and color scheme, take inspiration from a specific time period, a vintage tablecloth, quilt, or wallpaper, or evocative artwork that reflects days gone by. Set color and motif parameters so you stay on task when shopping for vintage bedroom decor and to help you create backdrops that showcase your preferred palette and period furniture profiles. Paint walls a color pulled from (or that complements) your main fabric; or, cover walls in period-apt wallpaper or white-painted beaded board. Since this look is above all else collected, mix different patterns in varying scales and incorporate textiles that share common colors. Consider crafting a feature wall by puzzling together various wallpaper samples or fabric remnants to create a quiltlike pattern. Lay down time-faded Oriental carpets or pretty handmade braided rugs to carry ageless appeal underfoot. Install embossed tin tiles across a bedroom ceiling or decorate upper reaches with ceiling medallions or picture moldings. With perimeters in place, move in larger furniture pieces that further an old-timey outlook.

Opt for the Unexpected

Reuse, recycle, renew, and repurpose are terms that come up often when talk turns to vintage bedroom decor and furniture. The style works best when rusty forms, refined finishes, and distressed patinas fuse for inherited appeal. Shop yard sales, flea markets, your garage, and family attics for sturdy and stylish furniture pieces worth reclaiming. Move in a statuesque iron, brass, or four-poster bed as a centerpiece for your vintage bedroom design. Update tired wooden furniture pieces, such as desks, dressing tables, bookcases, and armoires, with complementary paint colors, applied fabric or wallpaper details, decoupaged images, or stenciled motifs. Add vintage-style drawer pulls, crystal knobs, and decorative hinges to blast more modern pieces to the past. Move in a footlocker for foot-of-the-bed seating and storage; use commode cabinets or tea carts as bedside tables; and boost the bling with mirrored nightstands. Whenever you come across a vintage furniture form, consider how it can be used to instill beauty and function into your bedroom design.

Go Authentic

Keep your preferred palette and decorating style period in mind when shopping for accessories. Purchase antique, vintage, and reproduction objects, such as windup alarm clocks, antique table fans, Tiffany lamps, ironstone pitchers, and midcentury pots, that authentically anchor your bedroom in yesteryear. Decorate walls with groupings of attractive dishes, shapely mirrors, and/or salvaged windows. Collect old frames in a variety of shapes and finishes, and use them to exhibit handmade doilies, vintage handkerchiefs, sepia-tone photographs, botanical prints, and ancestral portraits. Incorporate make-a-statement items, such as crystal-draped chandeliers, full-size mannequins, and fabric-covered dressing screens, to keep interest high. Most importantly, bring in nostalgic notions, antique accents, and reproduction accessories that spark pleasant memories, trigger appreciative smiles, and delight your eye.

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