Grandmillenial & Vintage-Inspired Room Design Ideas
Published By: Shades Of Light
Date Published: April 13, 2022
Last Updated: May 12, 2022
Decor trends come and go, but we can't deny vintage and antique inspired decor has staying power. In the interior design world, vintage inspo is all the rage, with 'granny chic' and 'grandmillennial' style dominating our favorite designers' insta-feeds. Classic decor is classic for a reason, and traditional home design is coming back with a vengeance and some practical modern twists.
Crafting the perfect modern vintage space is all about mixing trendy current designs with antique-inspired decor staples. If you've been considering giving up your modern farmhouse kitchen aesthetic for a look that would make your grandma proud, Shades of Light is here to help! We've got all the tips and tricks you'll need to make your design dreams a reality.
Vintage Bedroom Ideas
Vintage Bedroom Lighting
To begin your bedroom make-over with a bang, consider the glitz and dazzle of vintage bedroom chandeliers. Chandeliers are perfect for adding ambient lighting, which illuminates the entire space and supplements dedicated task lighting, like swing arm sconces or desk lamps. Chandeliers with aged wood finishes and materials will impart a rustic, weathered, or antique feel. Crystal accents and warm gold or brass finishes can bring an elegant classic or victorian-glam aesthetic. Beaded chandeliers (or semi-flush ceiling lights for lower ceilings) add a soft, feminine touch to a room and are ideal for the uber-trendy granny chic look.
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Once you've got the ambient light handled, don't forget that bedrooms need task lighting too! Swing arm wall lamps mounted on either side of your bed will save surface space on your nightstand and give you an adjustable light source within easy reach without sacrificing style. Choose a flashy finish in gold or brass and look for crystal or glass accents if you want to glam it up. Alternatively, an understated dark finish in black or bronze, or a wooden design can help tie other aged vintage elements in the room together without overwhelming the area.
If you need some extra airflow in your room, consider swapping your ceiling light for a vintage ceiling fan. There are plenty of options available to keep your bedroom feeling cool and chic, and many pull double duty with built-in light kits. Look for fans with wooden blades and weathered or galvanized finishes for an unmistakably antique air. However, don't be afraid to embrace more modern elements too! Our Jemma Ceiling Fan, with weathered wood blades and a sleek LED light kit, showcases both vintage and minimalist modern elements that make it an ideal choice for the grandmillenial crowd. If choosing a new ceiling fan seems like an overwhelming endeavor, check out our Ceiling Fan Buying Guide! We've laid out all our simplest tips for selecting a fan of the proper size with the right airflow, energy usage, and functionality for your unique needs so you can be sure your new fan will look great and work for your home.
Vintage Bedroom Decor Ideas
From aged side tables to antique-inspired sideboards and dressers, you have nearly limitless furniture options to complete your vintage-style bedroom. If you want your bedroom furniture to stand out, contrast the finish and material with the existing lighting and decor; for example, a dresser with iron, like our Ember Highlighted Accent Chest, is a beautiful stand-out in a bedroom with lots of wood. For a more cohesive look, match the material of the furniture to that of the rest of the bedroom decor.
No vintage bedroom is complete without a gorgeous antique-inspired mirror. Before you pinpoint your dream mirror design, first decide what use your mirror will serve. For styling your daily outfits, look for full-length floor mirrors that double as oversized statement pieces. If you plan on pairing your mirror with a piece of furniture, or need something for a smaller room, check out versatile vanity mirrors— choose one that’s about two-thirds the width of the furniture it will hang above. With the right size in mind, you can begin personalizing your choice with fun shapes and striking finishes. If you're going for that nostalgic glamorous aesthetic, choose aged brass, gold, or vintage wood mirrors. For an unexpected eclectic vibe, a mirror with a unique shape can't be beat!
Vintage & Retro Kitchen Ideas
Vintage Kitchen Light Fixtures
For even, ambient lighting, particularly over your kitchen table, a vintage brass or wooden chandelier will help illuminate the room and emphasize an antique vintage air. If you want to lean into the aged look, opt for a distressed or beaded chandelier— especially for kitchens with lots of darker elements. On the other hand, the translucent nature of glass and crystal fixtures keeps kitchens with lighter elements feeling bright and breezy.
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If you need some extra light for meal prep, opt for a pendant for focused lighting. A vintage glass pendant light is the perfect solution for an elegant, antique vibe.
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Vintage Kitchen Decor Ideas & Furniture
Searching for more tabletop space in your kitchen? A kitchen island serves as the perfect bridge between form and function and can be a beautiful centerpiece for the room. For an old-fashioned feel, look for kitchen islands with weathered woods and distressed accents, and be sure to match the size of the island to the size of your kitchen—petite, portable islands are great for renters or apartments, while larger pieces are more suited to big, open spaces. And don't forget, kitchen islands often double as seating space, so stylish bar stools are a must-have if you like to host friends and family!
If a new kitchen island isn't in the cards, decorative accessories like a vintage kitchen scale can make a dramatic impact without taking up much space. Similarly, a retro bar cart is a compact, multi-functional, and classic decor piece that makes a statement in any home.
Vintage Living Room Ideas
Antique & Vintage Living Room Lighting
As we know, chandeliers make statements in any room. For a modern vintage living room, embrace your inner maximalist and go big with glitzy aged gold and silver finishes and shimmering crystal and glass accents. Fabric shades can soften the look, as can chippy painted finishes like those popular in French Country fixtures.
For a more subtle shine, or for rooms with lower ceilings, a vintage flush mount ceiling light or semi-flush mount ceiling light is a great chandelier alternative. Though they are usually smaller than chandeliers or lanterns, ceiling lights can still radiate just as much glamour and style— especially if you choose a bold geometric shape or a gorgeous crystal design.
You can't go wrong by adding a portable light source for your living room, and vintage and retro floor lamps are functional, versatile, and pack a lot of style into small spaces. Pharmacy lamps are classic choices that always evoke an aura of bygone days. Alternatively, traditional styles with shades are totally timeless—and you can always update the shade in the future to change up the look of your room without having to purchase new fixtures. Table lamps also serve as a phenomenal light source, while saving you valuable living room real estate.
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Vintage & Retro Living Room Decor & Furniture
An antique bookcase or display cabinet is the perfect way to keep things interesting in your living room. Specifically, they are essential for displaying all your favorite odds, ends, tchotchkes, and knick-knacks—this design wouldn't be granny chic without showcasing lots of decorative trinkets! A vintage console table or vintage buffet is another tried-and-true way to add some surface space to your living room if a full cabinet doesn't quite suit your needs. Look for distressed or weathered pieces with natural finishes for that beautiful, aged aesthetic.
Seating is crucial in a living room, and antique and vintage designs are great for mixing comfort with style. Natural finishes and subtle colors are the perfect way to complement the existing furniture in your living room, and always exude an understated posh presence. Choose neutral tones that can move with you when you decide to update your decor and use vibrant pillows and throws to keep these furniture staples fun and fresh.
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Vintage Bathroom Ideas
Bathroom Lighting Ideas
Antique-inspired wall sconces are excellent for creating a modern vintage bathroom. Many of these vintage wall sconces come in several finishes including brass, black, bronze, white, and nickel which offers flexibility for your bathroom’s interior design. This antique style brings sophistication and established presence to the ambiance of the bathroom, creating a more intimate setting. Look for sconces with white, seeded, or wavy glass, and finish this vintage look with an elaborately trimmed mirror to match.
If the vanity or mirror you are matching your lights to includes specific design embellishments, uncommon curves and angles, or distressed finishes, a well-selected antique vanity light can create a customized, one-of-a-kind feeling. Vanity lights with chippy painted finishes are particularly popular for this style since they add an uncommon element to the room, especially when fitted with clear or opal glass shades.
Remember, when installing bathroom vanity lights above a mirror, the vanity lights should be at least 1/3 the width of the mirror, but the fixture should not exceed the width of the mirror. For most bathrooms, vanity lights with two or more lamps are best for over-mirror lighting; if you plan on putting vanity lights on the sides of a mirror, use single-light bath sconces instead. For more guidance on how to select the best bath lights for your room, check out our Bathroom Lighting Guide!
Vintage bathroom decor ideas
Of course, a vintage vanity will make a big impact in your room! Pieces like our Parker Slat Shelf Vanity are a great choice because they bring distressed wood tones into the space, giving the room a vintage feel— but they are versatile and subtle enough to match with other decor styles if you decide to change up your bathroom look in the future.
No vintage bathroom is complete without a vintage bathroom mirror. Depending on your personal style, an antique-inspired mirror can either dominate the aesthetic of the room or add a subtle accent to existing decor elements. Thick, ornate frames in gold, silver, weathered wood, or iron finishes are striking details that lean into that stunning glam antique aesthetic. Alternatively, if you've chosen elaborate lighting or other decor elements, a mirror with a simple shape or understated frame in a complementary finish can add a modern note that will keep the space from looking dated.
More Design & Lighting Tips: How to Mix Modern and Vintage Decor
Bold, Colorful Pendant Lights
DECORATE SMALL SPACES LIKE FOYERS AND HALLWAYS
INCORPORATE VIBRANT TEXTILES WITH REPURPOSED PIECES
Grandma loves throw pillows, and we do too! Compared to your living room sofa or that shimmering chandelier, it's easy to forget about small decor accents like pillows and throws. But these are the details that will tie your whole room together, plus they're easy to mix, match, and upgrade without breaking the bank. Stack throw pillows (and blankets) of different textures, patterns, fabrics, and embroidery and use them to accent other decor elements; if your rug has some subtle rust tones, a velvet pillow (and nothing says vintage like velvet!) in the same palette will make that color pop.
Rugs are a staple of vintage style. Handwoven and hand-knotted rugs provide a unique texture that creates a warm, lived-in vibrance for bedrooms and living rooms. Look for rugs with rich colors and intricate patterns—and don't forget a rug pad to keep your rug right where you want it!