Incorporating vintage finds with your existing decor gives your home an inviting, lived-in look. Here's how to include antiques without having to rethink your entire decorating scheme.

By Jessica Bennett and Jamie Lott
Updated October 19, 2020
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Decorating with vintage finds adds a sense of time and history to your home, but you don't have to go all-out on antiques to get the look. The key is to blend flea market accessories, salvaged decor, and antique furnishings with your existing decor to create a personalized mix of old and new. These decorating tips will help you incorporate vintage items into your home in fresh ways.

farmhouse style music room piano
Credit: Rett Peek Photography Inc.

1. Refresh Your Living Room with Vintage Finds

Tuck vintage items among modern living room furniture for a unique, layered look. For furnishings you'll use most often, such as a sofa or accent chairs, it's typically best to invest in new items to ensure they'll hold up well with regular use. Then opt for antiques and thrift store finds for accent pieces, such as a small side table or coffee table. For wall decor, frame and hang large vintage posters that coordinate with your color scheme, or mount flea market finds on the wall as standalone art. Cover the floor with an antique patterned rug, then lay a faux cowhide on top for added texture and interest.

master bedroom remodel with wall decor
Credit: Laurey Glenn

2. Bring Vintage Furnishings into Your Bedroom

In bedrooms, vintage items can help contribute to a casual, comfortable vibe. When decorating your space with antiques or flea market items, remember that the pieces don't need to match exactly. Choose items with similar styles or color schemes, then use the concept of symmetry to create a cohesive look. Serving as nightstands, the two mismatched wood dressers next to this four-poster bed are tied together by their similar finish. Small antique rugs add a splash of color on either side of the bed. The vintage artwork mounted above the dressers shares a consistent nature motif, and the similarly-sized pieces are laid out in the same manner.

Vintage kitchen
Credit: Kimberly Gavin

3. Use Vintage in the Kitchen

Even if you have a modern kitchen, vintage finds can still have a place in your decor. Hang an antique sign or decorate open shelves with vintage dishware to quickly add an old-fashioned look to your contemporary kitchen. In this farmhouse-style kitchen, a found metal sign reflects the rustic look of distressed cabinets and shelves fashioned from salvaged wood. It's paired with other timeworn elements like vintage glass jars filled with dry ingredients and window treatments sewn from old grain sacks. These simple elements could also work in a white kitchen outfitted with stainless steel and marble. Each element adds warmth without taking away from the other more modern elements.

Rustic entryway vintage decor
Credit: Jay Wilde

4. Decorate with Vintage Textiles

Old grain sacks and tea towels make perfect pillowcases, and old quilts can be beautiful wall hangings in an otherwise modern space. Frame vintage scarves for instant artwork, or use antique curtains or blankets in the place of modern fabric for a covered headboard with a vintage vibe. Thinking outside the box and using vintage textiles in out-of-the-ordinary ways allows you to incorporate those quirky retro items you love without dating your home.

Reed Davis
Credit: Reed Davis

5. Accessorize with Vintage Table Decor

White or neutral walls make a great backdrop for vintage items like a rustic table, chairs, or bench. Adding a chippy old stool and vintage blanket keep this dining room inviting without looking cluttered. A vintage ceiling fixture draws the eyes up, while bright red artwork and an old dough bowl filled with fruit bring additional color to the room while contrasting with the warmth of the wood furniture. Don't be afraid to pile on some of your favorite finds in a neutral room; it's the perfect backdrop to show them off.

Black and white bathroom
Credit: James Nathan Schroder

6. Add Vintage Style to a Bathroom

Vintage pieces have their place, even in a freshly updated bathroom. Instead of opting for a new storage unit, repurpose an old dresser as a vintage-style cache for extra towels, bath products, and other necessities. Paired with flea market wall art and rustic wood shelves, antique furniture adds interest and warmth to the neutral room. Other options for vintage bathroom decor include antique glass jars and wire baskets, which you can use to stash cotton balls and rolls of toilet paper.

drop leaf table mason jar porch decor
Credit: Matthew Benson

7. Continue Vintage Decorating Outdoors

Bring vintage decor outdoors to showcase your style on the porch or patio. Vintage jars and vases provide a beautiful way to display your garden's finest blooms or stems from the farmers market. For added height, layer them on old stools. On this porch, a vintage drop-leaf table tucks between two vintage chairs that have just been treated to a fresh coat of paint. A limited color palette is key to keeping your vignette cohesive.

Comments (3)

Anonymous
October 16, 2019
I like only the porch photo. Rest are kind of ugly.
Anonymous
October 16, 2019
I like only the porch photo. Rest are kind of ugly.
Anonymous
September 24, 2018
The text covers almost half of the picture - there's got to be a different way to do this .