Give Your Space a Vintage or Retro Vibe With These 15 Throwback Decor Ideas

Vintage furniture, artwork, lighting fixtures, textiles, and more can help give any space a retro or vintage vibe. When decorating a space with a vintage or retro vibe, it is important to consider the elements that best bring the look to life.

This article will explore ideas that will give any space a throwback vibe. From incorporating vintage furniture and artwork to adding old signs and posters, this article will discuss how to make any space look like it has been taken straight out of the past.

Anyone can give their space a unique vintage or retro look with a few tips and tricks.

Incorporating Vintage Furniture

Incorporating vintage furniture can give a space a retro or vintage feel. Adding antique armchairs, side tables, and dressers to a room can create a cosy, lived-in atmosphere.

For a truly unique style, try mixing different eras. For instance, a modern mid-century lounge chair paired with a wooden bench from the Victorian era can create a visually interesting contrast.

When it comes to colours, warm hues such as mustard yellow, brick red, and olive green can give a room a nostalgic flair. Add vintage-inspired artwork, such as black and white photographs or lithographs, to the walls to complete the look.

Careful planning makes giving any space a retro or vintage vibe easy.

Shopping for Retro Artwork

Considering retro artwork can provide a unique, eye-catching aesthetic to any room, it can be a great way to introduce a vintage or retro vibe. Shopping for artwork can be overwhelming, but the following tips can help guide you through the process:

  • Look for pieces that evoke a certain emotion or feeling and that can be used to tie a room together.
  • Visit second-hand stores, flea markets, and yard sales for unique and one-of-a-kind finds.
  • Shop for timeless pieces rather than trendy so they can bring a vintage vibe to your space even years later.
  • Consider frame and matting options that accentuate the artwork and bring a vintage look to any room.

By hunting for the right pieces, you can find art that will add a hint of vintage charm to your living space.

Adding Vintage Lighting

Incorporating vintage lighting fixtures into a living space can provide a classic, throwback aesthetic. To achieve this look, homeowners have a variety of options.

Antique chandeliers, pendants, and sconces bring a sense of sophistication and timelessness to a room. For a more eclectic approach, mix and match different styles of fixtures to create a unique and eye-catching look.

To give a space an industrial vibe, consider incorporating retro-style wall-mounted fixtures. Paired with vintage furnishings and art, these fixtures can add a touch of quirkiness and charm.

For a subtler approach, opt for vintage-style light bulbs to give a nod to the past. Strategically placed around the room, these lighting accents can illuminate a space with a touch of nostalgia.

Incorporating Old Signs and Posters

Including vintage signs and posters in a living space can add a hint of nostalgia and style. From classic movie posters to vintage advertisements, these items can give a room a creative, eccentric feel. Here are some ways to incorporate old signs and posters:

  1. Hang a retro movie poster on the wall;
  2. Place a vintage advertisement in a frame;
  3. Place a vintage sign on a shelf;
  4. Hang an old poster on a closet door.

These pieces can be used to create a unique atmosphere in any room. For instance, a classic movie poster on the wall can become a conversation piece, while a vintage advertisement can give the room a retro feel. Additionally, placing a vintage sign on a shelf or hanging an old poster on a closet door can add a touch of eccentricity to any space.

Ultimately, vintage signs and posters are a great way to give a room a retro vibe.

Adding Rugs with Vintage Patterns

Adding rugs with vintage patterns can create a unique atmosphere in any room.

An explosion of colour and texture, these rugs can transform a space into an inviting retreat. Whether choosing a vintage-style rug with a classic floral pattern, or a bright, splashy abstract design, such rugs can be used to create a sense of nostalgia.

To achieve a more eclectic look, choose two or three rugs in different sizes and patterns, and layer them unexpectedly. The space can take on an inviting charm by using vintage rugs in subtle or unexpected ways.

Displaying Upcycled Items

Display of upcycled items can create an atmosphere of resourcefulness and innovation. Adding upcycled elements to a space can create a unique and creative aesthetic. Upcycling is taking items that have reached the end of their life cycle and turning them into something new and exciting. This process can be applied to furniture, wall hangings, and other decorative items.

For instance, an old window frame can be painted and hung as a unique art piece or a vintage chair can be reupholstered and used as a conversation piece. It is important to consider the space’s colour palette to ensure the upcycled items fit in with the overall design. Display of upcycled items can also add nostalgia and a sense of character to any space.

Adding Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Incorporating mid-century modern furniture into the design can create a timeless and sophisticated atmosphere. Combining sleek lines, organic curves, and various materials, the mid-century modern style has remained a timeless and influential design choice.

From bold armchairs to sleek sofas, mid-century modern furniture can add a distinctive and unique flair to any room. Adding a mid-century modern coffee table, sideboard, or writing desk is an excellent way to introduce vintage charm and style to any space. Alternatively, opt for mid-century modern chairs to instantly add a touch of retro flair.

With various materials, fabrics, and colours available, it is easy to find a piece of furniture that complements the existing decor. With the right pieces, it is possible to create a vintage-inspired, stylish, and timeless space.

Shopping for Antiques

Adding mid-century modern furniture can provide a vintage or retro feel to a space, but shopping for antiques is another way to achieve a time-travelling atmosphere.

Not only will antiques add character and sentiment to a room, but they also come with stories and memories that will make each piece even more special.

Here are four tips for shopping for antiques:

  1. Research the item you are looking for to know the fair market prices.
  2. Visit antique stores, flea markets, and estate sales to find unique pieces.
  3. Ask questions about the item’s history and condition.
  4. Hold off on purchasing until you’ve found the perfect piece.

By shopping for antiques, you can give your space a one-of-a-kind, vintage or retro vibe that will transport your guests through time.

Incorporating Vintage Mirrors

Mirrors are often a great way to evoke a sense of nostalgia and age in an interior, and vintage mirrors are no exception. An excellent choice for adding a touch of retro flair to any room, these aged pieces serve as charmingly decorative elements while also providing the practical purpose of expanding the visual space of a room.

Vintage mirrors often feature intricate detailing that adds a unique charm to any space and can be used to create an atmosphere of sophistication and luxury. With their antique frame designs, vintage mirrors can add a touch of Old-World glamour to modern d├ęcor.

Whether hung on a wall as a statement piece or resting casually on a shelf, vintage mirrors are an excellent way to add a touch of retro flair to any space.

Incorporating Retro Kitchen Appliances

Bringing a nostalgic touch to any kitchen, retro appliances provide a timeless charm that can transform a room. From bright, bold colours to fun, quirky designs, these appliances offer an eclectic vibrancy that will stand out.

Whether a modern or vintage kitchen aesthetic is desired, retro appliances can be the perfect addition. With a wide variety of styles and brands to choose from, homeowners can find the perfect fit for their space.

Refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, and even blenders all come in various retro models that can give a kitchen a unique character. Not only do these appliances look great, but they also provide the functionality sought after in modern kitchens.

Adding Plants with Retro Pots

Adding plants to a kitchen with retro pots can create a charming, nostalgic atmosphere. Vintage-style flowerpots can be used to hold a variety of plants, from succulents to herbs. These pots are often made of ceramic, terracotta, or metal and can come in various colours, shapes, and sizes.

Plants in these pots can be placed on countertops, windowsills, and shelves to give the room a more inviting, rustic feel. For a more eccentric look, consider combining several different shapes and colours of pots or using hanging planters to make a bold statement.

Decorative and practical retro-style pots are an ideal way to add a touch of character to any kitchen.

Mixing and Matching Patterns

Mixing and matching patterns effectively creates a unique look in a kitchen with retro decor. Consider pairing a polka dot pattern with a chevron or gingham pattern to achieve a vintage look. This combination adds an element of quirkiness to the space.

To make the look cohesive, use similar hue or shades of the same colour. For example, pair a light blue polka dot pattern with a navy chevron for a subtle look. Or, for a bolder style, use bright colours like hot pink and orange.

Accentuate the look with matching accessories like wall hangings, table runners, and dishcloths. With the right combination of colours and patterns, you can create a vibrant and eclectic vintage kitchen.

Incorporating Old Knick-Knacks and Toys

Incorporating old knick-knacks and toys into a kitchen with retro decor can create a unique throwback look. Adding nostalgic items can add personality and charm to any living space.

To achieve this, consider the following:

  1. Displaying vintage toys like wind-up robots or tin cars on shelves.
  2. Hanging old posters, such as movie or travel ads, to create a nostalgic feel.
  3. Utilising classic kitchenware, such as mason jars and enamelware, to store spices and dry goods.
  4. Showcasing antique knick-knacks on the wall or countertop, such as porcelain figures or souvenir plates.

Bringing these classic items into a modern home can create a unique and charming atmosphere that transports you to a simpler time.

Using Vintage Wallpaper

Installing vintage wallpaper can be a great way to add a retro feel to a kitchen. Choose from classic, timeless designs like florals, stripes, and gingham.

Try bright, bold colours like mustard yellow, deep navy, or light teal, or classic black and white. Add vintage wallpaper to the ceiling to give your space an old-school vibe! If the look is too overwhelming, install wallpaper only on one wall to create an accent feature.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add vintage wallpaper to the cabinets for a whimsical touch.

With the right pattern, vintage wallpaper can be an elegant addition to any room.

Incorporating Retro-Inspired Textiles

Adding retro-inspired textiles to a room can evoke a feeling of nostalgia while providing a unique look.

Brightly-coloured, floral-patterned fabrics with a vintage feel can be found in many stores or online. These textiles can add a touch of retro flair to any room.

Pillows, curtains, and tablecloths are all pieces that can be decorated with a retro look. For a more dramatic effect, consider upholstering furniture with retro-inspired fabric. The colours and patterns chosen should be balanced to create a cohesive look. The textiles should also be chosen to match the room’s existing style.

With the right combination of colours and patterns, a room can be transformed into a vintage oasis.


The possibilities for decorating with vintage and retro pieces are seemingly endless. Whether it’s furniture, artwork, lighting, old signs and posters, rugs, knick-knacks, toys, wallpaper, or textiles, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

With a bit of patience and creativity, one can create a unique and timeless space that is sure to stand out. Whether it’s a cosy and inviting living area, a functional home office, or a stylish bedroom, vintage and retro pieces can be used to create a timeless and chic look.


Start typing and press Enter to search