If you love understated vintage with clean lines and plenty of originality then Simple Vintage is your style.
The Simple Vintage style blends together aged timber and dark patinas with painted one-off piece. This style perfectly balances cozy fabrics, faded stripes and worn florals.
Simple Vintage is epitomised by its unfussy finish and personalised uniqueness. It’s an easy, laid back look (as always!) with character and stories to tell.
Here are a few important principles to follow for the most successful finish.
How to style your home ‘Simple Vintage’
5 Basic Principles
This style adds soul and character to any space, offering sustainability in the preloved materials, the chance to re-upholster or repaint existing furnishings and a great opportunity to add depth and meaning to an interior. This look is relaxed, personal and fun so needs a gentle, considered balance between original and new materials in order to avoid slipping into an ‘antique’ style.
1) Avoid dark wall colours
To avoid a traditional antique look try to steer away from dark wall colours typical of the time. Instead, brighten a Simple Vintage scheme with pastel, muted or neutral paint. This creates a quiet backdrop to layer the more distinctive features onto.
2) Add painted furniture
Choosing which pieces to paint which colours can be tricky but there is a fairly easy equation if you are ever in doubt. Try to decide which item might be the focal point of the room. In a bedroom for instance, this is often a sideboard or chest of drawers, opposite or adjacent to the bed and might have a mirror or artwork above. Choose this item to paint in a colour that won’t be replicated in the room or leave it natural if all other pieces are to be painted. Either way this item needs to be different and stand out somehow.
Then look at the rest of the room and its symmetry when deciding which other pieces to paint. For instance, in a bedroom or living room with twin side tables, paint them the same colour as each other. If you want to go for a paired down look choose the same colour as the walls and ceiling and go neutral or organic for the focal point piece. Green is a good choice here.
It is also a good idea to keep at least one item in the room natural wood in order to ground the space. Again use symmetry here where possible to unify the look.
3) Limit pattern to one main piece
If you decide to use a printed wallpaper, bedspread, rug or throw, try to limit pattern to one item only. This maintains the feeling of calm but provides enough interest to capture the essence of the style. If using wallpaper I would keep the pattern as minimal as possible to avoid the scheme becoming fussy. Tiles used low to the ground or on the floor add vintage interest without overcrowding the rest of the scheme. Rugs are also useful here for the same reason.
4) Contrast with contemporary fittings
In order to avoid feeling like you have just stepped into Grandmas’ house I like to pair antiques with contemporary fittings. Lighting is a great option to use here and there is so much choice that finding something to work with your treasured furnishings shouldn’t be too difficult. Other options include combining modern brassware with a roll top bath, a smart stone worktop with a wooden shaker kitchen, or on-trend accessories such as a round weave or crisp woollen rug with traditional wooden furniture.
5) Carefully add original artwork
The choice of artwork in a scheme is so important and speaks volumes about the personalities that live there. If you love vintage you may also be partial to a few original pieces of vintage art. Carefully placed prints can liven up any space, especially when used to accentuate focal points above a bed, chest of drawers, fireplace or sideboard for instance.
Used sparingly these originals can inject such character into a scheme. To balance their contribution try adding them in contemporary ways – such as a collage, for instance, with other similar pieces.
Alternatively group them with more modern artwork such as line drawings, black and white photos or simple abstracts or landscapes in wide mounts with modern frames. Another option is to use modern picture shelves to display antique portraits, neatening up the lines of these vintage masterpieces.
A sneaky tip off if you are looking for suppliers of original treasures – a wonderful interior design friend of mine sells beautiful one-off pieces on Instagram from
GET THE LOOK with this Free Mood Board!
including my hand picked selection of high street products.
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Further styles in the Homing Instinct feature, including links to their Pinterest board counterparts, can be found below in the Home Style Collection.
The Home Style Collection
Bright bazaar, Kinfolk Home, Modern Eclectic, Globally inspired, Scandi classic, Coastal Decor, Handmade Home, Beach Chic, Rustic Home, Easy contemporary, Thrifty Decor, Naturally inspired, Soulful minimalism, Modern Boho, Bold & beautiful, Pale and interesting, Soft industrial, Simple Vintage, Muted mode