Vintage style is born out of nostalgia. It’s all about finding the beauty in the old and imperfect. It’s about taking risks, trying something different and creating something new by incorporating the old. 

It can be quirky and kitsch, fun and free, and it can be creative.

Unlike the generic home decor that you’ll find at places like Target or IEKA, a touch of vintage decor will add charm and character and a one-of-a-kind element to your home.

Nailing the vintage style is all about knowing how to mix design styles from different eras to create a quirky contrast. It involves finding creative ways to recycle, upcycle, repurpose and reimagine.

What is Vintage Home Decor?

A vintage style generally incorporates elements from the 1940s ,1950s and 1960s and works to create a nostalgic, rustic, comfortable and quirky aesthetic. Think distressed wood, tarnished metal, old weathered mirrors, rustic farmhouse accessories, and retro audio visual equipment.

Bathrooms will often feature cast iron elements, clawfoot bathtubs and retro decorative tiling. Kitchens may include vintage toasters or mixers as decorative features, 50s plastic storage containers or weathered metal.

The beauty of vintage home decor is that it allows you to pick and choose from a variety of styles. Common aesthetics that the vintage enthusiast will focus on are retro chic, art deco, French provincial, hippie chic, Persian or Oriental and more.

No Expertise, No Worries

One of the real joys of playing with vintage home decor is that there are no rules. All you need is a good eye and some quirky creativity. You can always find homewares online, but you’ll find vintage decor treasures in all sorts of places if you’re willing to get out there and explore. Check out places like flea markets, vintage bazaars, garage sales, and even specialist online homewares retails like Feather and Tail Interiors. We have a great selection of homewares online and a unique selection of vintage home decor in Australia.

Still not sure what to look for? Check out these great vintage home decor ideas.

The Vintage Stool

Low vintage stools are a quirky way to create an intimate seating nook, add a vintage splash to a child’s room or to use as stands for pot plants or ornaments. They’re usually lightweight and easy to handle and won’t break the budget.

You can find them in a huge range of styles and materials, like retro formica, weathered metal, old wood, and even frayed or torn materials like denim or corduroy.

Forget about looking for a matching set. A mismatched set of vintage stools can create wonderful contrasts and a casual coffeehouse atmosphere. 

 Vintage metal

Whether scuffed, dented or rusty, old metal containers of all kinds are perfect for vintage decorating. Think old watering cans, metal tubs, signs, cast iron cookware, kitchen canisters or toolboxes. Then it’s up to your imagination how and where you use them.

This vintage farmers market jug, for example, would make a beautiful vase or shelf ornament.


Or how about this vintage milk bottle carrier? Think barbecue cutlery caddy or a storage unit for vintage glassware.

Candles, Lights and Lamps

Nothing does more to create ambience than creative vintage lighting. And the choices are endless! If you’re thinking candle light, look for old brass candelabra or pewter candlesticks. Even vintage wine bottles will make great candle sticks.

Think creatively about how to use tealight candles. Vintage glass jars work really well, as do metal mesh baskets or cannisters.

Old lamps and chandeliers are great fun to play with as well. Retro and art deco lampshades and light fittings can be found in a range of funky design and materials, from coloured glass, to cool retro fabric designs. Have a think about how the light will play through the fittings and the colour and ambience it will give the room.  

Vintage Frames and Pictures

Framing is fun. It’s a great way to get creative, do a little DIY and draw attention to your special memories. Generic photo frames can easily be customised by covering them with vintage fabrics or wallpaper to create a cool retro look.

Keep an eye out for weather metal frames or distressed wood, as these bring a rustic, nostalgic look to the photo. They also work brilliantly with black and white photos.

And remember, it’s not just about the frame. Vintage pictures work really well around the home. Look for old imagery like postcards, graphic design prints (the 50s had the coolest designers) or advertisements. You can use these individually or cut and paste them together to create an eye-catching collage piece.   

A Great Range of Vintage Home Decor in Australia

If you don’t have the time to hit the flea markets and garage sales, browse our selection of online homewares and Australian vintage home decor. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or you want a little design inspiration, give us a call on (03) 5997 2419.