Simply Vintage: Your Guide to Designing with Unique Home Décor

There is no place like home to express yourself, feel comfortable, and create a space that represents your sense of style. As we grow and stretch as an adult, leaving our college dorm for our first apartment, we begin to develop preferences in our style and want our homes to reflect our growth.

Not all of us develop an impeccable sense of style. It can be considered a true gift. Some of us need a little more guidance in putting things we like together tastefully. Maybe we know what we like, but not how it all fits in one space. When you know what you like, collecting the pieces to make your home happy is the natural next step.

person holding paintbrush in front of wall

Room Decoration Styles

  • Vintage = Time
  • Rustic = Place
  • Shabby chic = Style           

Vintage Décor

Vintage home accents are typically from the '40s and '50s, but they can be anywhere from 20 to 100 years old. It is widely accepted that vintage room decorations are items from before 1999. Vintage home décor represents a feeling of comfort and nostalgia that is sure to communicate your personal style.

Rustic Home Accents

Rustic room decorations are all about honoring ruggedness and natural beauty. A relaxing atmosphere highlighting organic elements like wood, stone, and natural fabrics, rustic home accents can also include details like rust on metal and knots in wood.

The more natural, the better; even the most modern home can transform into a cozy beach cottage or lake house with a rough, aged, and naturally rustic design. 

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic is all about style – transforming a room with a worn, lived-in look and mixing vintage with modern unique home décor for a comfortably curated design. Shabby chic has traditionally been considered feminine, focusing on pastels and floral patterns to create a softer, cottage feel.

This style relies heavily on the appeal of well-worn vintage pieces but readily embraces a modern or glam room decoration to round out the look.

Which Unique Home Décor Fits You Best?

end table with decoration next to gray couch

When you think about your personal style, what style brings you joy? When you are meandering through the local furniture store, is there a particular style that catches your eye? Do your home accents already have a theme? If you aren’t sure, you are not alone.

Whether you are starting from scratch with unique home décor or have a few pieces upon which you wish to build, chances are the items you already have in your home are coming together to reveal your personal style. There are a few that stand out in unique home décor, including: 

Popular Styles of Unique Home Décor

  • Mid-century Modern
  • Eclectic
  • Minimalist 

Mid-Century Modern

This is an enduringly popular style for furniture and home accents. It is roughly defined as an American design movement during the United States post-World War II era, from 1945 – 1969. With organic shapes focusing on clean lines and made from contradicting materials and textures, mid-century modern remains a popular design for room decorations.

Mid-century modern inspires obsession with its function, neutral and bold color palette, and the art of bringing nature indoors. The geometric forms and smooth teak wood offer a minimal look with maximum impact. This unique home décor is typically summed up with one word – timeless. 

Eclectic Home Decor

Mixing old pieces of furniture with new is often referred to as an eclectic design. Keeping family antiques and pairing them with modern home accents is an interior design classic. Keeping the wall colors neutral and using the room decorations to create the style allows an eclectic design to communicate your originality and creativity while giving a respectful nod to your past.

Minimalism

Minimalist bedroom showing side table with clock

Minimalism is a design concept that has experienced a resurgence in recent years. While some embrace the full lifestyle, minimalist décor takes the foundation of modern design and simplifies it further.

With efficient use of space and purposeful by design, this concept also encourages the use of less as more. Clean, confident, and characteristically chaos-free, minimalism can be a breath of fresh air if developing your home décor style becomes overwhelming.

How Do I Make a Modern Space Look Unique?

Moving into a new home is an exciting experience! Whether the home is new to you or a new build that has never had a nail pierce the drywall to hang décor, this blank slate is the ultimate opportunity to establish our unique home décor and personal style. However, if we are looking to make our home a little more vintage, rustic, or shabby chic, there are ways for helping our new home look “old.”

Use Home Accents to Make New Look Old

  1. Hang Real Paintings
  2. Use High-Quality Organic Materials
  3. Mix Eras
  4. Replace Modern Hardware
  5. Use Worn Rugs 

Hang real paintings and avoid prints

Pink and white canvas flower painting

Home accents such as artwork can reveal a lot about the home and homeowner. Canvas paintings can be family heirlooms and give a homier vibe than a slick, framed print. A canvas painting in a modern frame gives an eclectic look, while a painting in a weathered wood frame leans towards shabby chic.

Use your art to help define your space. This can include using paintings or art to commemorate adventures such as travel or a favorite vacation destination. For example, a high-quality wood map of the Great Lakes is a home accent that invites conversation and shares a personal experience.

High-Quality Organic Materials Warm and Soften a Space

A new, modern home may have clean lines and white or grey palates that need to be softened and “aged.” Organic materials such as wood, metal, or heavy fabrics like burlap or cotton and linen can take the edge off some of the clean lines and neutralize the harshness of the grey and white. Room decorations made of natural materials are an easy add to soften your space and make it feel a little more lived-in. 

Mix Eras and Create Unique Home Designs of Your Own

Everything in your home doesn’t have to be new, old, or even from the same era. Embolden your space with a mixture of room decorations from various eras. Layer your interior design styles to bring added depth, dimension, and interest to each room. For example, pair an Art Deco console with a modern sectional or a raw edge wood coffee table with antique lanterns and candlesticks.

Patent Art - Bicycle

Consider high-quality patent art of an antique bicycle or compass etched in Baltic Birch. This addition brings an element of organic material while adding a symbol from another era into your unique home décor. Two ways to make your new home look “old” in one high-quality home accent!

Replace Modern Hardware with Funky Home Accents

Going for shabby chic? Replace your drawer pulls with forks, knives, and spoons. Looking to embrace minimalism? Install push latches on the inside of the cabinet for an invisible yet practical function. Mid-century modern? Look for futuristic shapes in brushed brass and art deco designs.

Doorknobs, fan pulls, switch plates, and cabinet hinges are all home accents that create a subtle and simple change in décor. Whichever design style you choose, look to these small home accents to significantly pull together your style and create a comfortable space. 

Use worn rugs to give the illusion of age

Flooring can be impactful in the overall design of your home. New hardwood floors are gorgeous but may not reflect the aged look your design is aiming to communicate. 

Tapestry Fringe Rug

Benefits of a Well-worn Rug

  • casual elegance
  • tones down the shiny-new floors
  • maturing and defining your unique home décor as warm, comfortable, and lived-in

Rugs made with organic materials such as bamboo, jute, or sisal soften the space and take the focus from the newness of a modern home. A floor covering is a subtle way to make a great impact. These home accents go a long way to give your home character and help you define what unique home décor suits your personality.

Take Your Unique Home Décor One Room at a Time

Like many tasks, home decorating and determining the unique home décor that works best for you is best accomplished one step at a time. For room decorations, choose one space at a time. Start with a small bedroom to sharpen your skills and evaluate how the home accents work for you.

Styling Your Bedroom with Unique Home Décor

  • Shop for furniture
  • Make use of fabrics
  • Consider wallpaper
  • Add room decorations
Bed with throw pillows and decor

Start the design for your bedroom by considering the furniture. Will the larger pieces be streamlined and modern, weathered wood for a shabby chic foundation, or natural-edged, unfinished wood for an organic, minimalist look? These home accents set the tone for the style you will use to complete the room design.

The next layer of home accents will include fabrics – on the bed, the floor, and other pieces of furniture. The fabrics will continue to build on the design inspired by the furniture. For example, a modern, streamlined bed can be matched with a bright, solid-colored blanket. Simple and unassuming.

A weathered wood bed begs for a fluffy comforter—pastel and floral, both soft and inviting, whereas a natural wood bed invites a cream linen duvet, crisp yet yielding, and open to more layers of organic materials like cotton throw pillows or a chunky knit throw. 

Wallcoverings Can Add Visual Interest

While these furniture and fabric choices have landed on the neutral side, your unique home décor can level up with the addition of a visually interesting wall covering. An unusual pattern, color, or texture can enhance the style of the room and create a focal point for the space, complementing the overall décor.

Wallcoverings for Each Style

  • Wallpaper
  • Shiplap
  • Mural 

Wallpaper

person painting wall gray with roller

Wallcoverings that can enhance your unique room décor can be permanent or temporary. Wallpaper is somewhat temporary, but peel-and-stick styles of wallcoverings allow you to change designs as often as you change your personal style.

So, whether you choose the large, geometric shapes of mid-century modern or winding floral vines for your shabby chic vibe, wallpaper can bring a beautiful focal point to your room.

Shiplap

The weathered wood look of shiplap ties in well with a shabby chic, warm cottage look. Whether you choose weathered hardwood affixed to the wall or the peel-and-stick variety that leaves flexibility for the future, shiplap is an undeniably classic addition to this unique home décor.

Minimalists can switch it up and calm it down with bamboo wall coverings, adding a natural element while buffering noise to keep your space chaos-free.

Painted Murals

Are you a budding artist? Express your inner Picasso or O’Keefe on a big, blank wall. Create a masterpiece all your own that lends to the overall theme of the room. Use color, shape, and clean lines to communicate the mid-century modern effect. Flowers, pastels, and fuzzy bees add whimsy to a shabby chic bedroom, while flora and fauna bring nature to a simple, minimalist space.

painted tree mural in bedroom

Don’t like your painting? Start over with a clean slate!  Paint the wall white and give it another go. Explore your creative side, and don’t be afraid to create a room decoration that expresses your artistic talents.

Designing a space that communicates your style and makes you feel at home is as simple as finding what you like and layering it into a functional, cohesive design. Whether your personal style includes a nautical wood chart collection or faux animal print rugs from the 20s, own your style and express yourself through unique home décor.

Own Your Unique Home Décor Design

Whether your unique home décor resembles the living room of The Brady Bunch or your guests are invited to sit on a zafu in the meditation room, your design is an extension of you. The most important thing to remember in creating your unique home décor style is that you can’t be wrong! If the piece of art or furniture sparks joy, or the linens and home accents bring you comfort, you nailed it!        


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