How To Pull Off The Vintage Theme At Home

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Modern nuances meet bygone times for a current rendition of history. With these old-school interior ideas, you’ll have no reason to stop romanticising the past.

Make your heirloom piece the point of interest

Unlike other interior genres, the vintage theme is influenced by different places and period in time. But no matter where it’s rooted, its old-world quality is truly inimitable. Set the tone by assigning an antique or heirloom piece inspired by the era of your choice as the room’s focal point. This could be a curio cabinet, an accent chair or a dining table.

Image credit: 0932 Design Consultants

Image credit: 0932 Design Consultants

Decorate with vintage-inspired accents or accessories

If you’d rather not divert attention to a big-ticket item, go the subtle route with larger decorative items such as a statuesque floor lamp, a massive mirror or, if you have the means, an antique gramophone. Round it up with glazed pottery, antiquated world maps or art as accents.

Image credit: IKEA

Image credit: IKEA

Adopt a nostalgic colour scheme

One of the elements that set old-school domiciles from present-time pads is its atmospheric quality. Nary is a dwelling of yore seen swathed in bright and bold tones. The palette of choice is more inclined to duskier and more natural shades like rust, caramel and teak brown and the occasional splash of olive green. This also serves to give dwellers insight into how these humble homes tend to refer to the great outdoors for inspiration.

Image credit: three-d conceptwerke

Image credit: three-d conceptwerke

Opt for retro-chic appliances

1950s style kitchen appliances such as the Smeg oven mimic retro sensibilities while keeping up with times. We also love how its pastel hue offers the perfect pop of zest in a cooking zone that’s predominantly clad in neutral tones.

Image credit: Smeg

Image credit: Smeg

Retain or preserve original architectural elements

This flat that was built in the 60s was likened to a conservation project as its design direction capitalised upon its history. Preserving as many original elements as possible and adding new acquisitions influenced by this era ensured its interior remained true to its period style.

Image credit: The Monocot Studio

Image credit: The Monocot Studio

Go for Mad Men-era furniture

Perhaps no other era boasts furniture design quite as iconic and distinctive as the mid-century modern style. With the rousing popularity of the American drama series Mad Men, this style became all the more covetable. Think clean-lined silhouettes that come alive with quirky accents, natural materials and graphic patterns. Thankfully you don’t have to bust your budget acquiring original pieces when remarkably realistic knockoffs are many and varied.

Image credit: Vitra

Image credit: Vitra

Celebrate the past

No reason to search far when one can simply delve into our city’s history when seeking a style that takes reference from the days of yore. Homes were modest, but they were full of character. For major throwback vibes, go beyond living spaces and seek inspiration from old Singapore’s urban landscape. Elements such as kopitiam chairs and those concrete round tables and stools at void decks make a great starting point.

Image credit: Free Space Intent

Image credit: Free Space Intent

Include some nostalgic designs

Ventilation blocks have come a long way. Once an architectural feature devised to provide homeowners cooling respite when air-conditioning was unheard of, these building modules are now elevated as design elements for building the vintage look. Since they can be easily stacked, these concrete components can also play role as a room divider or a partition in the living room. Another bonus: chambers within each block allow air and light to flow through for a semi-open look and feel indoors.

Image credit: Fuse Concept

Image credit: Fuse Concept

Clad your surfaces in vintage-inspired materials

Old-school surfaces are fast making a comeback – proving that trends always come full circle. Square ceramic tiles circa 1950s, terrazzo surfaces from the 60s as well as hexagon mosaic tiles are some of the surfaces used to incorporate an air of nostalgia into interiors. But that’s not all – they now come in fresh remakes to suit contemporary spaces and tastes. Think high-gloss tiles with contrasting grout lines to accentuate their clean geometric profiles; and terrazzo’s signature print incorporated onto present-day acquisitions.

Image credit: Free Space Intent

Image credit: Free Space Intent

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