What is vintage furniture and what are its features?

  1. Peculiarities
  2. Where is it used?
  3. Furniture types
  4. Materials (edit)
  5. Stylish examples in the interior

Vintage furniture - style, spirit of the times and the opportunity to create not just an interior, but an atmosphere. And it is possible that she will become the mistress of the house. Antique furniture in the house is both the elegance of the lifestyle of previous generations, and family history, and even the pace of life. Psychologists say that many people deliberately choose vintage furniture in order to slow down, to bring slowness back into their lives.


For some people, vintage furniture is only a luxury, antiques, and an expensive purchase. Of course, buying a cabinet or secretaire of the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century, you will have to pay an impressive amount for it. But even the walls of the GDR production are today considered vintage furniture, suitable for reconstruction and reflection in a modern interior.

The most demanded today are pieces of furniture belonging to the 20-30s of the last century. It was a long time ago, but still not too much, so that such furniture could not at all get along in a modern apartment.

If the furniture is less than 50 years old, it is classified as "retro", if the furniture is more than 100 years old, it is antiques.

The main features of vintage furniture:

  • natural materials - and the importance of this moment can hardly be overestimated;
  • the color palette is natural shades, either dark or light, muted colors;
  • decor is more often wood carving, carved copper and brass onlays.

Often, vintage furniture means antique furniture, in a retro style, but this is not the same thing at all. Styling and artificial aging is a replica, not a source. And such a solution can be great to decorate and transform the interior.

Where is it used?

Vintage furniture today is used in interior styles such as Scandinavian, classic, industrial and loft, boho, eclectic, fusion and, of course, shabby chic. It is appropriate both in the Provencal style and in the rustic style. It doesn't have to be just old furniture: it needs to be adapted to the existing interior.

Pure vintage is a rarity. Usually a vintage piece of furniture is included in the big picture. Sometimes he subdues it to himself, becomes an accent in the interior ensemble.

And this is a good decision if family furniture or some really rare, interesting item deserves to be brought to the fore in the house.

Vintage furniture can be found in different rooms.

  • Living room as the central part of the apartment Is the most important area for vintage furniture. Here she will be at the epicenter of attention, and here she can become a style-forming object.
  • Bedroom. Often there is a place for a vintage chest of drawers or, more often, for an antique mirror.
  • Kitchen. And here, instead of a standard kitchen unit, there may be a sideboard, a cupboard.
  • Bathroom. There, skilled restorers, instead of a sink cabinet, will install any structure that looks creative.
  • Hallway. Sometimes this is the best place for a chest of drawers, antique mirror or console.

Sofas and beds, armchairs, tables, wardrobes and chests fit well into the space, which is based on the classical idea of ​​the house, on the correct compositional solutions, consonant with such furniture and decoration.

Furniture types

Many people today create unique interiors piece by piece, with great care and great enthusiasm - they talk about such "with their own face". They do not have ready-made collections, series, where everything was originally made to stand in one space. But the more interesting the room turns out, and in this individuality objects of different years of release can also be combined.

Chests of drawers

Perhaps this is the most popular element of vintage interior design. In fact, it serves only a decorative role, while drawers can be storage places. But the main thing is how it looks, what is upstairs, where this piece of furniture is located in the house. Most often, photo frames, vases, candlesticks, caskets are placed on it - the decor that you want to show the guest.

Usually vintage chests of drawers are not very tall, but massive, often they create a feeling of "chubby" furniture. This piece of furniture stands on short legs. For more convincingness, even an old chest of drawers is trying to age even more. This is a versatile piece of furniture that can become the center of any composition: in the hallway, living room, bedroom.


These are wooden pieces of furniture with long legs. They can be with a soft seat, which most often needs a complete replacement of the upholstery, but can only be made of wood without textile inclusions. Today, fortunately, design requirements are loyal, and it is not at all necessary to have chairs from strictly one headset.

On the contrary, eclecticism at a kitchen or other large table is only welcome: both in color and in shape. But collecting chairs from different collections is still easier.


Previously, things were stored in them, and the chest was a functional piece of furniture in the first place. Today, the chest is more of a luxury. Which does not negate the fact that you can really store anything in it. Needlewomen store there the material and tools they work with. Fashionistas carefully collect special elements of their wardrobe there. It is convenient to store bed linen and towels in the chest.

Chests can be so large and tall that they act as a table. For example, the chest is next to the sofa instead of the coffee table. It is convenient to hoist a laptop on it and work on it while sitting on the same sofa. It is also very interesting to transform the chest - for example, by painting. And then a very bright and original element appears in the interior.

A simple example: we have a white living room, like a standard blank for a scandi-style. And white should be diluted with bright, but appropriate strokes. And if you take on the role of a folklorist artist and paint the chest with ornaments in the style of traditional paintings, you get a very colorful thing. And she will feel confident against a neutral white clean background.


This is the most valuable find for a vintage interior. Documents and papers are stored there, so if there is an office in the house, the secretaire will fit perfectly into its space. The secretaire has a folding part that turns into a worktop.

Usually, such furniture does not need global restoration. Hinges, fittings may change, less often furniture handles.

The feeling of antiquity does not need to be hidden, since in this case it is only for the benefit of the space.

Sideboards, cupboards and cupboards

For the last couple of years, they have not only returned to interiors, but have become one of the most desired acquisitions. Perhaps this is partly because the kitchen and living room are increasingly being combined, a dining area appears in this space. And there the sideboard or cupboard fits perfectly. And standard kitchen sets have already become so common and typical that you want a vintage replacement.

The sideboard is an integral part of the Soviet interior, and today they are actively bought up and transformed. Either they repaint or change the fittings, but the facades are actually left the same. They can replace glass or paste over the inner wall with wallpaper, upholstery with fabric. And in boho, and in scandi, and in eclecticism, such alterations will look organic.


It can be either solid wood or forged. Those same iron beds with a metal mesh from the times of the USSR, from which they did not know how to get rid of, today they are looking for on special sites and are actively buying. They often repaint, strengthen the structure, use modern mattresses.

Baby cots are in great demand.

Antique mirrors

It so happens that it is with them that the vintage transformation of the house begins. These are massive models, with intricate carved patterns, made of wrought iron. Over time, characteristic black spots form on the amalgam, but this does not spoil the vintage item in the least. An interior ensemble can be made up of such a mirror and whatnot (quite possibly - modern, simply made in antique style).

But if the retro version is also being considered, then the Soviet trellis are also interesting in today's consideration. Especially when the polished surface is converted into a painted one.

Sofas and armchairs

Sofas are usually heavy, and armchairs are often large. Because the minimalistic compositions of such a soft corner in the house is a retro style, not vintage. Heavy sofas usually have short plump legs.

The perfect upholstery is crumpled genuine leather, heavy fabric with a floral print, and velvet.

Materials (edit)

More than 50 years ago, furniture was made entirely from natural materials. And if you recreate vintage furniture today, this principle cannot be violated.

Features of materials:

  • wood is the basis of furniture, and it has a natural look with a clear highlight of the natural pattern;
  • the use of paint was possible, but only in one layer;
  • if you are looking for the most luxurious piece of furniture made of wood, these are walnut and mahogany, as well as Karelian birch;
  • natural fabrics were used as textile finishing - linen, morocco, leather, velvet, they could be decorated with hand embroidery;
  • hardware for wood furniture was usually copper or brass;
  • crystal is one of the markers of wealth, elegance, luxury;
  • wrought iron to create ornate headboards is a great solution to bring the main vintage element into the interior asleep (although wrought iron was used not only for beds, but also for whatnots, mirrors, etc.)

Vintage furniture is demanding on accessories - and a decorative typewriter or, for example, an inkwell can stand on an exquisite secretaire along with a modern laptop.

Stylish examples in the interior

Finally, visual examples of how vintage furniture relates to modern interiors and creates interesting, atmospheric living spaces.

  • A very beautiful, weighty and convincing cupboard, and next to it is an old sewing machine transformed into a serving table. An option not only for a house, but for an apartment with a combination of kitchen and living areas.
  • The chest becomes a coffee table and maintains the colonial style of the interior. The product has been restored and completed, but the idea itself is interesting for any model of chests.
  • A sideboard for a spacious kitchen is a great non-standard solution. Many housewives will be surprised at how roomy and practical this thing is.
  • Even one vintage chair changes the image of the room, because there are so many hunters for such furniture.
  • And here is the secretaire - they come in different sizes, therefore they are purchased not only in the office, but also in the bedroom. And they create a small, but cozy and comfortable working corner.
  • A vintage sofa bench can become part of the hallway or kitchen, in the house - part of the veranda.
  • Sometimes only an old, or rather a vintage, bed can be better than a new bed. In this interior, she is so close to space that it is hard to believe that this composition was composed by a modern designer.
  • And this is a vintage crib that not only decorated the room, but also became the leitmotif of all further decoration.
  • A rocking chair can also be vintage - an unfairly forgotten piece of furniture. But once you buy it, it becomes a favorite place for household members.
  • This is how a spacious Scandi-style living room can look like, which is decorated with vintage objects - a table, chairs, a mirror, a cupboard. And stylish, and with the spirit of the beautiful past, and surprisingly modern.
    Happy ideas and beautiful solutions!
    An overview of the showroom with vintage furniture in Italy in the video below.
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