14 Unexpected Ways to Decorate with Vintage Art
Transform bare walls with the help of pretty posters, world maps, botanical prints, and more. These clever ideas will show you how to display vintage wall art in every room.
Whether purchased from antique shops, found at flea markets, or pulled from the attic, vintage art makes a timeless addition to your wall decor. Ornately framed portraits, landscape paintings, and vintage posters or prints introduce a sense of history and provide an opportunity to showcase your unique personality. Many antique works can be purchased ready to hang, but there are also plenty of creative ways to transform flea market finds into art. To create your own charming display, use these ideas for decorating with vintage art.
1. Botanical Vintage Art
Curate an assortment of botanical-themed vintage art for a gallery wall inspired by Mother Nature. Start by gathering prints and paintings of flowers, leaves, and other natural elements at flea markets or antique stores. Supplement the display by framing real pressed flowers and dried leaves. Arrange your vintage art above the headboard in your bedroom or a living room sofa.
2. Vintage Art in the Kitchen
Vintage art makes ideal wall decor for farmhouse-style kitchens. This antique portrait stands out in sharp contrast against sleek subway tile walls. A burnished metal frame ties in with the rustic style of bracketed wood shelves and butcher-block countertops. To safely hang art on tile, use self-adhesive picture hanging strips ($8, Target) for damage-free decorating.
3. Open Shelving Art Display
Showcase dishware by hanging small paintings behind stacks of bowls and plates on open kitchen shelves. To draw extra attention, choose vintage art that will pop against your existing kitchen color scheme. Floral prints in mismatched frames add texture and character to this white kitchen.
4. Stairway Vintage Art Gallery
Eclectic nature paintings line this staircase to create a striking gallery wall. Mismatched frames keep the look rustic, but the similar paint-by-number style keeps things compatible. Certain themes, including horses and water scenes, also recur throughout the arrangement for a consistent look.
5. Color-Blocked Vintage Art
Thrifted prints gain new life with a fresh coat of paint. Use painters tape to protect portions of the picture and frame, then spray with your favorite spray-paint color. Play with different angles and colors, then group together for an eye-catching vintage art collection.
6. Large-Scale Vintage Print
Enormous artwork can be difficult to display without overpowering a space. This larger-than-life poster is certainly the room's focal point, but an acrylic console table and entryway accessories help break up its dominance. A pair of sconces add symmetry.
7. Grid Art Display
Gallery walls can end up looking cluttered or disarrayed, but this four-by-four grid of same-size prints garners major style points. For this look, a little math goes a long way. Use a measuring tape to find the center of the wall, then begin hanging art at equidistant points.
8. Floral Vintage Art
Turn a flea-market find into stunning wall art with this clever DIY project. Tear out pages from an old book, then print floral images onto the pages. Sew the pages to a frayed linen mat for a textured background. Hang your vintage art in a row with simple clips.
9. Vintage Photo Prints
Large black-and-white fashion photos give a glam touch to any space. An asymmetrical arrangement on picture ledges against a dark-colored wall makes the photos pop. Accessorize the prints with hits of color through throw pillows, table lamps, or other artwork.
10. Colorful Vintage Posters
Framed vintage posters haphazardly hung along this staircase add color and personality to an otherwise neutral room. To pull the arrangement together, choose art with a common theme, like the U.S. Armed Forces recruitment pieces featured here. The repeating motif will connect the pieces, even if the color palettes differ.
11. '70s-Style Vintage Art
Bring decade-inspired artwork into a modern home for stylish contrast. This room's graphic burnt orange artwork and shag rug pay homage to the '70s. A sleek leather couch and coat of white paint bring the space into the new age.
12. Framed Map Art
A large map propped on a mantel adds subtle color to this white room. Add a personal touch to a vintage world map by highlighting a specific country, state, or county. The piece will serve as both decor and a memento of previous travels.
13. Rustic Vintage Art
Think beyond traditional frames to display vintage art in unexpected ways. Here, a salvaged window frame showcases simple botanical prints that could have easily been ripped from a vintage gardening book. Flea market accessories, including a typewriter, analog clock, and tarnished lamp, take the charming living room corner back in time.
14. Nature-Inspired Vintage Art
Hung above an old fireplace, these vintage landscape paintings complement the room's patinaed appearance. Modern dining chairs in splashy colors juxtapose the rest of the room's vintage style. Fresh florals bridge the gap between artwork and decor.