Grandmillenial & Vintage-Inspired Room Design Ideas

Published By: Shades Of Light

Date Published:

Last Updated: May 12, 2022

Vintage inspired room with green walls and traditional chandelier


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

The right vintage- or antique-inspired bedroom design provides a wonderful sense of comfort and familiarity. By incorporating aged looks and natural finishes with modern embellishments, contemporary vintage bedroom design has the potential to evoke that 'lived-in' feeling, creating a welcoming space that you want to be in–not just sleep in! Whether you’re updating your lights or adding a new piece of accent furniture to your room, these tips will make bringing vintage vibes to your home a breeze.

Vintage Bedroom Lighting

Selecting new vintage-inspired bedroom lights is a great way to begin re-styling your room. Getting your bedroom lighting design just right is essential to making it a comfortable place to rise and retire each day, and there are tons of options available to help create the perfect vintage-style bedroom.

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.

Sophisticated Sophie Chandelier Vintage Modern Crystal Chandelier



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.

Cyrus Arched Swing Arm Light Mercury Dome Single Swivel Sconce



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.

Southern Shores Ceiling Fan Norfolk Indoor/OutdoorCeiling Fan



Vintage Bedroom Decor Ideas

After you've reinvigorated your bedroom lighting, you're ready to fill that well-lit room with stunning vintage furniture and decor. There are a couple of different paths you can choose when selecting vintage furniture for your bedroom. Rustic furniture is great for leaning into an aged, natural look. Traditional furniture, on the other hand, has a more classic feel. Because of the grab-bag nature of vintage chic design, there are tons of decorating possibilities and opportunities for you to get creative!

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.

French Country Burlap Side Table Vintage Josephine Sideboard



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!

Valentina Vault Floor Mirror Aged Wood Shield Mirror



Vintage & Retro Kitchen Ideas

For some, the kitchen is as much of a social space as the living room—so making it feel comfortable and casual can be a big priority. Luckily, there are tons of ways to inject some bygone style into your kitchen!

Vintage Kitchen Light Fixtures

Finding the right lighting fixtures for your vintage-style kitchen depends on what purpose you want the light to fill. A well-lit kitchen has ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting, so as you search for your favorite new vintage find, make sure your selection matches your needs. Chandeliers are generally great for accent and ambient lighting but aren't ideal for task lighting unless they include downlights in the design. Pendants and swing arm sconces are perfect for illuminating kitchen islands and sinks since this is where the bulk of food prep and cooking tasks occur.

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.

Classic Cottage Loop Arm Chandelier Aged Cottage Chic Chandelier



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.

Antique Glass Urn Bell Pendant Pickled Wood and Clear Glass Pendant



Vintage Kitchen Decor Ideas & Furniture

Choosing the right vintage centerpiece for your kitchen can be a tough decision. You will have to consider the size of the piece, the function, and the aesthetic when deciding on an antique kitchen table or a vintage kitchen island. Luckily, there are numerous ways in which you can bring some vintage flair to your space – so let’s start big!

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!


Reclaimed Rustic Kitchen Table Rosemary Kitchen Island



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.

Oval Bar Cart Vintage Metal Kitchen Scale



Vintage Living Room Ideas

The living room is typically a versatile and flexible room in which you, your family, and your guests will spend the most time. Fortunately, living rooms can be one of the simpler rooms to spruce up—you can make a huge impact on your space with some throw pillows and a new rug, a show-stopping French Country chandelier, or an eye-catching piece of accent furniture. Whether you have a whole room redesign in mind, or you just want to reinvigorate your space with few choice changes, we have plenty of vintage living room ideas to help you create a design you'll love.

Antique & Vintage Living Room Lighting

When it comes vintage living room lights, there’s a lot of freedom to experiment. Below, we’ve outlined a couple of different ways to incorporate some vintage lighting into your living room.

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.

Timeless Grandeur Crystal Orb Chandelier Refined Beaded Drop Basket Chandelier



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.

Vintage Star Flush Mount Ceiling Light Naples Antiqued Crystal Basket Semi-Flush Ceiling Light



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.

Superior Gallery Pharmacy Floor Lamp Arched Bridge Arm Adjustable Floor Lamp



Vintage & Retro Living Room Decor & Furniture

When you've found the perfect vintage living room lights to illuminate your space, you're ready to begin your search for vintage living room furniture and decor. From vintage console tables and buffets, to antique-inspired rugs and throw pillows, the creative choices for vintage living room decor are endless—meaning you'll have no problem creating a bespoke space that's effortlessly You.

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.

Tapered tower Display Cabinet Windsor Buffet Cabinet



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.

Netherfield Settee Rattan Wingback Chair



Vintage Bathroom Ideas

Bathroom decor updates don't have to be complicated or involve a lot of DIY renovation. You can change the entire look and feel of your bathroom, half bath, or powder room by swapping in new light fixtures, new mirrors, and new faucets and hardware. These three elements work to create accents and provide details that tie your vintage bathroom decor together, especially if more involved changes like replacing the vanity or flooring aren't feasible or necessary. Use these vintage bathroom ideas to decide what will work for you.

Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Lighting is one of the main focal points of a bathroom and should synergistically work with the mirror and fixtures. As you search for your perfect vintage bathroom light, consider how the fixture will interact with other features of your room. Lampshades or covers should mimic the shapes (long, round, square, tubular, angled, etc.) of other decorative pieces in your bathroom design. Finishes such as bronze, nickel, and brass are among the most popular to create an old-timey feel. If your new dream fixture has exposed bulbs, up the antique-factor with LED Edison light bulbs; they'll bring a vintage vibe to your room without the energy drain of incandescent bulbs.

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.

Well Appointed Bath Light Silver Lining Sconce



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.

Paris Market Vanity Light Coastal Cottage Vanity Light



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

Depending on room size, lighting fixtures can be the most distinctive decor element in your bathroom. So other ways to bring vintage- and antique-inspired elements into your space may be a little less obvious. The key is to pick out decor pieces—like mirrors, shelving, faucets, cabinet pulls, and towel hooks and bars—that will complement the lighting of your bathroom.

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.

Parker Slate Shelf Single Vanity Aged Evelyn Mirror



More Design & Lighting Tips: How to Mix Modern and Vintage Decor

Use these extra design and lighting tips to get the most use out of your space for a vintage-inspired look without having to completely remodel your home. Our experts have noted ways you can incorporate antique-inspired items with modern style for that totally grammable grandmillennial aesthetic.

Bold, Colorful Pendant Lights

Art glass pendants are all the rage, so lean into this vibe for a note of drama and daring that will liven up your space! Go bold and bright with colorful pendant lights that are sure to capture the attention they deserve in your living room, dining room, or kitchen. Play with texture and mix and match color and patterns to energize the room for a truly maximalist layout.

Stormy Skies Ruffled Pendant Umanoff Collection Glass Cage Pendant



DECORATE SMALL SPACES LIKE FOYERS AND HALLWAYS

Don't forget to decorate smaller rooms like foyers, entryways, and hallways! These petite pathways are often the first places guests see when entering your home. By incorporating rustic and antique elements into these areas, your entire abode will have a cohesive, polished ambiance guests will feel from the moment they step inside. Use vintage lanterns for foyers, and spruce up hallways with distressed, mirrored, or shaded sconces.

Boho Rustic Cube Chandelier Classic Traditions Crystal Sconce



INCORPORATE VIBRANT TEXTILES WITH REPURPOSED PIECES

For the quintessential grandmillennial aesthetic, don't be afraid to scour thrift stores for a decor showstopper, or showcase your favorite hand-me-down or heirloom. After all, there's nothing better for a vintage room than a piece that's truly vintage! These furniture items are packed with character and pairing them with new textiles will keep your room looking fresh, quirky, and vibrant instead of drab and dated.

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.

Cotton Velvet Pillow Rosie Garden Pillow



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!

Imedali Rug Finley Handwoven Rug



Wallpaper Paradise

The lighting is on point, the furniture couldn't be more perfect, and you couldn't add another throw pillow to your space if you tried— but something is still missing. If your space needs one more element to pull your antique paradise together, turn your attention to the walls! Glamorous wallpaper is an absolute must-have for decorators with maximalism on their mind. And with elaborate patterns in peel-and-stick styles, creating an accent wall is easier and more accessible than ever—especially for renters who may not be able to make any permanent changes to their home.

Imedali Rug Upscale Traditional



LOOK TO THE PAST

As you begin your online shopping search for vintage- and antique-inspired decor, get creative with keywords. Contemporary interior design pulls from decor trends that have come before. If you're having trouble finding the perfect piece for your space, try some search terms from trends that have been popular in the past. French county, boho and bohemian, rustic, farmhouse, maximalist, traditional, transitional, and glam decor can all have style elements that blend with a granny chic, grandmillennial, vintage, or antique decor inspiration. The mix-and-match nature of this style is part of what makes it so appealing—you can keep and combine your favorite elements of past styles and toss out anything that doesn't fit your unique design sense!

Top of Page