The immense popularity of the retro themes of the 1960’s has unfortunately meant it has been a little overused. This has lead some style conscious homeowners to look back a little further to the 1950’s and even 1940’s for a historical reference point. Though paired together under the banner of “vintage”, the two decades did actually have quite different looks and nuances. Here we will take a look at both periods and see how simple it is to recreate the increasingly popular vintage look for our own homes.
Very much taking its lead from turn of the century British interior design, the 40’s style was still concerned with heavy use of floral wallpapers and fabrics. For a sincere recreation of this particular feature, look for wallpapers, curtains and cushions that contain daisies and rosebuds. Colours to include are pinks, greens and blues that have a grey tinge to them as colour schemes during the 40’s were generally quite muted. In keeping this muted look, settees should be covered in either cool green or beige velvet. If you cannot find a settee in these classic colours simply buy some cheap fabric in the style you want and have some slip covers made up. As in the case of Victorian style, a dark wood finish was favoured for furniture, however it was now much less decorative and more streamlined. Look for sleek sideboards in a dark wood finish for the sitting room and delicate dressers for the bedroom also in a dark wood to remain faithful to the 40’s look.
If it is a little less formality you desire then advancing a decade to the 1950’s will give you the same vintage feel but with a much lighter tone. Fabrics and wallpapers remain heavily patterned but now they are concerned with geometric designs inspired by new sciences of the period. Recreate this look with polka dot cushions and curtains matched with starburst or atom print wallpapers. All should be in sugary reds, blues and yellows.
Make your house as open plan as possible. The popularization of the television meant homes in the 1950’s were built in a much more open style than anything seen previously so that wives preparing meals could still be reached by advertising! The 1950’s home recognized the emerging importance of the kitchen as the hub of family life so lots of attention was given to their design and the appliances that went in them. Things to include in yours are a chequerboard vinyl floor, melamine fitted kitchen and lots of chrome appliances. The effect is purposefully quite brash as what you are trying to recreate is very similar to the American-style diner. A cheap roller blind will really finish off the look but if you really want to splash out why not add an oversize pastel coloured fridge-freezer- a real icon of the period.
Whichever end of the vintage era you lean towards you are sure to be delighted with the finished result. Vintage style is set to grow massively in popularity over the next few years and its timelessness will ensure your home is still looking top notch by the time vintage means 2008.