Vintage Furniture Finds Its Way Back Into Modern Day Homes

by Pooja Dara | February 16, 2024 | 8 mins read

Vintage kitchen island furniture for your modern day homes

Want to create a modern home but with a vintage furniture twist? Skim through our favourite design ideas and choose the one that works.

Vintage Indian furniture is one of the most important elements that can add a timeless vibe to your home. It is utilitarian and creates the right ambience if chosen mindfully and set in the right places in your home. Nowadays, people view furniture less as a representation of ‘status’ and more as a reflection of ‘personality’. So, choosing a vintage furniture style is a good option as it blends well with the existing decor of your home in terms of design aesthetics. 

Why Is the Demand for Vintage Furniture Still on the Rise?

Vintage furniture is back in demand in today’s day and age because it has several benefits over regular pieces. Let’s have a look at a few:

  • It has a longer life cycle than new designs, has a less carbon footprint, and can also be upcycled. 
  • It is eco-friendly as the furniture has already finished off-gassing toxic substances present in the glues/finishes.
  • It is less expensive than buying new furniture of the same quality. Hence it is more appealing to homeowners. 
  • It is of extremely high quality as it was made around 20 years ago, was responsibly produced and better made.
  • It lends a unique individuality and character to your home since it displays craftsmanship not found in today’s world of fast design and fashion. 
  • It is customisable as per your needs and personal preferences and can be repaired/restored if damaged.  

How to Make Vintage Furniture Design Pieces Still Functional for Modern-Day Use?

  1. Experiment with multiple wood tones and balance them with complementary materials like coloured glass, metals (brushed/chrome) and acrylics. 
  2. Paint the top of the piece and leave the base in its all-natural wood beauty to give the entire piece a more refreshing look while retaining its workmanship. 
  3. Paint the legs of the vintage furniture piece in a fun colour and/or add castor wheels to make moving easier. You can also go in for long hairpin legs or bun legs to add height. 

Alternatively, here’s how you can make a modern furniture piece look vintage:

  1. Clean your modern furniture and distress it with sandpaper.
  2. Use solid wood pieces or mimic the wear-and-tear scars on solid wood,
  3. Enhance the wood stains and apply the right paint techniques and wood finishes. 

What Materials Are Commonly Used in Vintage Furniture Design?

Vintage furniture designs are typically made up of materials like hardwood, glass, copper, wrought iron, galvanised metal or porcelain. However, hardwood is the most popular furniture material among others to date. Choose from the different types of hardwood according to your home’s requirements and personal preferences:

  • Walnut Wood 
  • Satin Wood
  • Mahogany Wood 
  • Indian Rose Wood
  • Calamander Wood 
  • Maple Wood 
  • Oak Wood
  • Ash Wood
  • Teak Wood

Can Vintage Furniture Design Be Customised or Personalised?

When decorating your home, you can easily personalise it to suit your space since you can choose from many styles. You can customise your home in two ways which are –  

  • Choose all the furniture pieces and combine them with decor from one vintage era to recreate an entirely periodic look.
  • Curate a collection of design pieces from different vintage eras but tie the entire room together (~cohesive look) through a colour scheme. 

There are many vintage furniture styles (~eras) that you can choose from:

  • Vintage Rustic Furniture – This is made with wood and timber. This furniture style brings cosiness and warmth into your home. 
  • Vintage Heritage Furniture – This  is more than 100 years old and suggests more of an artistic flair that embraces a sense of nostalgia for the older time periods. It has a subtle refinement to it. 
  • Vintage Retro Furniture – This refers to design pieces of the recent past. They are a perfect blend of vintage (antique design with a more muted colour scheme and finer materials) and retro style (a modern design that imitates past fashion trends and is sleeker and has bright patterns). 
  • Vintage Mid-Century Modern Style Furniture – This is a blend of modern modular furniture and vintage mid-century style. It marks subtle curves, hand-painted elements, cleaner lines, splayed legs, organic wood finishes, and modern interiors trends

Can Vintage Furniture Design Pieces Be Repaired or Restored If Damaged?

Building your home with vintage furniture can transform it into an entirely new dimension of comfort, luxury and elegance. If maintained well, then this style can last longer and be passed down through generations. However, they can be repaired and restored also in case it is damaged, so you don’t need to worry about that. 

The Rarity of the Vintage Furniture

You need to be aware of and take into consideration the rarity of the pieces before you decide to repair and refinish it. These pieces have a high value when purchased owing to its preserved authenticity, but its original value is certainly affected when it is repaired. 

Hence, carry out a few necessary steps to make the process of vintage furniture repair and restoration easier:

  • Inspect it thoroughly for any maker marks, which will help you research its origin and rarity. Evaluate the structural integrity and stability for long-term usability. 
  • Make a note of the wood’s overall quality and craftsmanship, and then examine the surface and finishes. Identify common issues/damage like scratches, dents or surface imperfections.
  • If you find your vintage furniture piece to be ‘extremely valuable’, then contact an expert who works with high-end pieces for professional restoration services. The restoration process refers to a professional returning a furniture piece to the closest possible state of what it was initially. 
  • If the piece is not extremely valuable, use simple cleaning and refinishing methods like dusting with a soft cloth and applying a mild mixture of vinegar (~to remove dirt) and oil (~initial wood conditioning).
  • The types of repairs that can be done are- hammering any loose nails, reinforcing loose joints, replacing stripped screws, and filling cracks with sandable wood filler/glue. These repairs are best completed before the final staining and conditioning of the furniture piece. 

Here are a few vintage furniture styles that are currently doing the rounds among modern interior designers and homeowners alike. 

Luxury Vintage Wooden Bed Furniture

This luxury vintage wooden queen-size bed set against the abstract art and dual-coloured accent wall looks gorgeous. The sunlight that enters through the sheer-curtained window/door accentuates the intricate details on the headboard and footboard, giving an illusion of a larger space. 

Vintage wooden bed furniture for a classy and luxurious look
Brown and grey is a classic colour combination which spells luxury

Vintage Country-style Kitchen Furniture

This vintage kitchen furniture oozes country-style farmhouse vibes and has a unique character and elegant charm. The wooden centre table (~dining table) with drawers on each side has a rustic feel and has been upcycled and refurbished to bring a sense of freshness. 

Vintage kitchen furniture which oozes country-style farmhouse vibes
Add green plants and colourful flowers to bring the outdoors in

Vintage Heritage Furniture 

This living room immediately tells a visual story with this vintage heritage furniture setting, especially armchairs and coffee tables. It adds a streak of depth and layering to the space along with the antique chandelier, pendant lights and large mirror. The fireplace is also a typical feature of this theme. 

Vintage heritage furniture which uses muted colours like beige and off-white
Use muted colours like beige, light brown, metal grey and off-white
Budget friendly home interior solutions that are functional and stylish!

Vintage Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture

This mid-century modern bedroom furniture is an ideal choice for those who don’t have the budget to create large-scale drama with splashy focal points. To spread the feel, incorporate small furniture pieces into the bedroom, like wooden stools, side tables, floor lamps, and a large area rug. Balance it off with mid-century decor like floral wall frames and a bay seating area. 

Vintage modern bedroom furniture which gives mid-century vibes
Clean lines and minimalism characterise this bedroom

Vintage Retro Furniture for the Living Room

This open-plan living room is an interesting blend of vintage and retro themes. The teal blue armchairs, yellow sofa and huge table lamps on either side bring boldness, while the beige and brown-coloured patterned walls soften the brighter tones in the space. Hang art decor pieces/other elements typical of the retro era to elevate the living room’s ambience.  

Vintage furniture for the living room which gives retro or an old school vibe
The TV box lends an old-school vibe to this family room

Wrapping Up

Opting for vintage furniture is the best choice as its countless benefits enable you to live a more sustainable lifestyle while adding a unique and distinctive charm to your home. Purchase this themed furniture or upgrade your existing pieces to a more dated look- the decision is completely yours, but we can assure you that it is a win-win situation either way.

Let us know what you think about our designs in the comment section below, and also, do share if you have any more ideas in mind. If we’ve inspired you enough for your home makeover project, book a free consultation with DesignCafe for all your further queries. Good Luck!

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Pooja Dara is a content writer at Design Cafe home interiors blog.

Pooja Dara

Pooja Dara is a freelance writer and editor with over seven years of experience and has worked for several reputed companies in multiple niches. Having made a switch from quantitative research (of leading FMCG and durable brands) to secondary research, she is now an independent content specialist who believes in creating value for her clients through her work. She is also passionate about photography, spirituality, dogs, and traveling.

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