DIY How To

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Create Vintage Home Looks

Chaos and expense are the two things most people associate with redecoration and giving the interior of your home an overhaul. However, it's perfectly possible to change the look and feel of your house or flat with only a few tweaks, some carefully-selected and well-placed furnishings and a lick of paint. If you have a particular era that you want to channel, it will look like few other homes when you've finished working your magic. You can even mix the eras up if you so wish, but this idea should be approached with caution.

Read on for some inspiration that will help you turn your home into a stylish and striking haven of all things vintage.

Cost effective ways to achieve a vintage look.

In the kitchen
As this article is being written to offer you simple and inexpensive tips, we're going to save suggestions of having a full 1970s tangerine-and-chocolate kitchen suite refit for another piece. Instead, you can give the heart of your home the flavour of a bygone era in other, simpler ways.

If you want a taste of the '50s, seek out one of those classic Formica free-standing kitchen cabinets (a perennially cheap staple of junk shops) and invest in some candy-coloured tea, coffee and sugar jars. Hit eBay for some classic Midwinter crockery and finish off the look with a lick of sugar-pink or mint-green paint plus some tea towels and oven gloves with a pin-up girl motif. If you can find a working Sunbeam food mixer too, all the better – you'll wonder how you ever lived without one.

In the living room
A trip or two to either a car boot sale of market will most likely provide you with enough finery to create a minimalist early 1960s Danish Modern-style living room or alternatively, an eye-bashing 1970s pad. The former look is less expensive, as classic blond wood kidney-shaped coffee tables, Tretchikoff paintings, leopard-print cushion covers and Dansette record players are relatively easy to come by, whether in vintage shops or on eBay.Their odd ubiquity means they are less expensive than they might be.

The influence of Mad Men has been so far-reaching too, that many of the high street and discount furniture shops are selling inexpensive, quality furniture and fabrics in the style of this period, as well. If you want to skip ahead a decade and prefer the 1970s, shag-carpeted rugs can be bought on the high street too, as can smoked glass tumblers for your cocktail cabinet. Give one wall a lick of deep purple or orange paint and finish off the look with a towering cheese plant from your local garden centre.


In the bedroom
This is the place to indulge in a touch of vintage luxury – a boudoir, no less. If you want a decadent look, go for a blood-red paint job, thick, shaggy silvery-white rugs, scatter cushions with crimson plush covers and leopard-print bedsheets, which you can get for a song on the high street.

If you want a classier feel, Art Deco reproduction lamps, picture frames and ornaments are sold in most of the major department stores; the wall behind your bed should be painted a dusty pink shade. Fully mirrored, sliding wardrobe doors - a design favourite in the Beverly Hills bedrooms of Hollywood movie stars in the 1930s - will complete the look and save you space, too.

Mix and match, chop and change – create a smorgasbord of retromania – a living museum where you enter a different era each time you pass from one room to another. Or you could just stick with one era, one vintage style. This should all be about personal aesthetic, not purism.

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