Bedrooms can be decorated and designed in nearly any style—from boho to French farmhouse to minimalist. But sometimes, what's worked before is best. In those cases, add a little vintage style to your bedroom—it's easy to do, and it's easy to make uniquely you.
Vintage style can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people (and that's okay!) So, to help you decide what vintage style will look like in your bedroom, we've rounded up a few of our favorite vintage bedroom ideas. Keep reading to make your bedroom a historic and relaxing retreat.
Have Fun With Built-ins
Built-ins are a classic feature in many historic homes, especially ones built before the mid-century. If you don't already have built-ins in your bedroom, they're a great thing to add. A built-in bookshelf or window seat will often do the trick, but if you want to go all-in, consider built-in bunk beds, like the bedroom above from Becca Interiors.
Add Distressed Furniture
Looking for an easy furniture add-in that can give your bedroom a vintage look? Look for furniture with a distressed look, like the nightstands above in the space from Finding Lovely. Distressed furniture can either be bought new, or you can distress it yourself with the help of some sandpaper and milk paint. It's a great way to give new 'life' to old pieces.
Hang a Chandelier
Sure, you don't really need a chandelier in the bedroom. But don't you want one? A chandelier provides plenty of luxury and elegance to any space, the bedroom included. For a vintage look, try to source an antique chandelier. But to make sure your bedroom doesn't look too gaudy, keep the chandelier the focus of the room and have other elements look more toned-down.
Add Bright Colors
It's important to remember that vintage style doesn't equal boring color. Bright and bold color has a home in many a vintage bedroom, especially mid century-esque ones. But to make an unusual color pairing work best, look for a vintage piece with a bold color and use it as the color palette of your space.
Shiplap has become something of a 21st century classic in many American homes, and this do-it-all wall-covering can give your bedroom a vintage touch too. For the best effect, install it on the ceiling—shiplap on the wall can give a room a farmhouse touch, rather than a vintage one.
Use Wide Wall Paneling
Wall paneling lover? Don't worry, you can still make it work on your wall. For a vintage look that's more 1880s than 1980s, use wide wall panels, not narrow ones. A paneled wall is also an easy choice for a statement wall— but paint it a distinctly vintage hue, like the sage green House Nine Design used in the bedroom above.
Add Brass Lighting Fixtures
Looking for a lighting pick with an easy vintage feel? Install some brass (or brass finish) lighting fixtures. These weathered golden additions give a bedroom some character and are a great subtle accent to add if you don't want your space to feel too vintage.
To ensure that brass lighting looks vintage, rather than modern, look for brass with a patina or weathered finish.
Take Your Cue From Windows
If you're lucky enough to live in a historic home, you may have a few equally historic windows installed too (bonus points for leaded or stained glass). So, when it comes to designing your bedroom, take inspiration from its windows. This can mean making them the centerpiece of your vintage bedroom, or using its colors or patterns elsewhere in your space.
Though vintage style can be bright and bold, it can also be mellow and toned-down too. The bedroom above, from Katie Hodges Design is the perfect example of this—the space incorporates a few retro elements (like the lighting and seating options) with neutral color for a bedroom that feels calming and put-together.
Bring in Velvet
Elegant and rich velvet can make a room feel delightfully dated. Velvet headboards, though a splurge, add a lush history to a bedroom, and the vintage look is amplified even more if the velvet is studded with brass buttons. You can see what we mean in the space above from House Nine Design—the velvet bed frame adds a Regency-era touch without taking over the bedroom entirely.
Add Wicker and Wood
For a more mid-century look in the bedroom, add furniture with wood and wicker (or cane) accents. Pieces like the headboard above, in the space from Dazey Den, give your bedroom an easy, retro feel without making your room feel like it's stuck in decades past.
Don't Forget Thrift Stores
One of the easiest ways to add a vintage feeling to your bedroom is by adding vintage furniture. And one of the easiest (and low-cost) ways to find said vintage furniture is at the humble thrift store. Though it may require some searching, scouring, and cleaning, you may be rewarded with an affordable diamond in the rough.
Adding patterned linens into your bedroom is a low-commitment way to bring vintage style into it. And if you're looking for a vintage-esque pattern, try tartan. This classic Scottish design is a clean and classy way to bring a historic feel into your bedroom.
Hang a Vintage Frame
Not only are thrift stores a great place to find vintage furniture, but they're a great place to find vintage décor too, like picture frames. To find a vintage frame that will tie your bedroom together, head to the wall-hangings section of your thrift store and look for a frame that catches your eye. If you don't like any of the prints or pictures, don't worry—most can be easily taken out and replaced.
Add a Vintage Chest
For a room that, most of the time, needs to fit almost all of your personal belongings, it's no surprise that storage is typically an issue in bedrooms. But rather than forcing even more items into your already-crammed closet, add a vintage storage chest or trunk to your bedroom. Not only will a storage chest provide a new home for off-season clothing and extra linens, but it will also add a stylish vintage touch.
You can find vintage chests in a number of places. Check out your local antique and thrift stores first. If you have no luck there, check eBay or Chairish.
Use One Big Thing
Sometimes vintage furniture (especially vintage bedroom furniture) can get expensive, fast. So, if you want to make a statement without having to spend more than you're comfortable with, splurge on a singular larger piece, like a bed frame, rather than buying lots of smaller items and décor.
Buy a Bust
One of the best ways to make a vintage look in the bedroom feel unique to you and your style is through décor. And when it comes to vintage décor, there are plenty of options. Candle holders, frames, lighting, and antique books...the list can go on and on. But one especially unique décor addition is a vintage bust. They're an eclectic addition to the bedroom, and they can be found for many a historical figure.
Go in Circles
Another fantastic mid-century accent for your vintage bedroom is found in the classic sputnik chandelier. This globed lighting fixture becomes the centerpiece of any space, and it's an especially unique addition to the bedroom.
Find Matching Nightstands
Nightstands have been a bedroom staple for a long time, and there are antique ones available from many a decade that prove it. A set of matching antique nightstands is a fantastic addition to your bedroom, providing character, tying a space together, and bringing in a healthy amount of vintage style.
Use the Attic
If you have the option to pick where you want your vintage bedroom to be, there are few rooms that give off as old-timey element than (finished) attics do. Their unique rooflines and window features create plenty of visual interest, and they pair well with antique bedroom furniture.
Attic bedrooms aren't the only unique space that works well with vintage style. The same can be said for basement bedrooms or dormer window bedrooms too.
Combine Black and Brass
Few color combos look so lusciously vintage as black and brass do. Matte black is a wonderful complement alongside glimmering brass, and it's an easy pairing that works well in the bedroom. To get the look in your own space, try brass light fixtures alongside a black headboard, or use matte black nightstands next to an antique brass headboard.
Molding sometimes gets a bad rap for being too fussy or dated. But molding can be the ideal addition to a vintage bedroom—it provides character and style, and it better frames the bedroom. To best highlight it, paint it a lighter shade of your primary wall paint.
Want to replace builder basic molding with something that looks more historic? Switch out your 2 or 3 inch baseboards for 6 to 9 inch baseboards.
Vintage bedrooms can sometimes have more of a messy-chic feeling than a cut-and-clean one. If this isn't your thing, it's an easy look to remedy. To keep things looking tidy, make sure a few things have matching color, like the nightstand and bed frame in the bedroom above from Studio Peake. You can also match décor too for a similar effect, but make sure to have a few contrasting features as to prevent your bedroom from looking too matchy-matchy.
Show Off Exposed Wood
Some historic homes still feature the beams they were built with. If you're living in a home like that, or one has similar exposed wood elements, don't try to cover it up. Instead, make it an eye-catching feature of your vintage bedroom by using color and furniture in a way that shows it off, rather than detracting from it.
Add Floral Patterns
Vintage floral patterns are a lovely and inviting addition to the bedroom. Look for these more muted patterns in throw pillow covers, linens or wallpaper, and use their colors elsewhere in the bedroom for a put-together Victorian look, like the stunning bedroom above from Becca Interiors.
Add a Canopy
Don't let kids have all the fun with bed canopies. Not only do they add some cozy privacy, but they also bring in some vintage magic too. If you're unsure of what your canopy should look like, consider having it match the window coverings or bedspread in your bedroom.
How your walls look is a big part of how your bedroom looks. Especially if you're trying to create a bedroom that's vintage-inspired. So, take advantage of this valuable "real estate" by hanging wallpaper with a vintage or historic pattern—it will make a big statement that's hard to overlook, like what Anne Sage did in the bedroom above.
Add an Upholstered Headboard
Upholstered headboards are a good way to show off a certain fabric pattern in a way that fits into the bedroom. And if that fabric is vintage-inspired, even better! You can buy an upholstered headboard for your vintage bedroom, or you can DIY one yourself with the help of an old headboard, some batting, fabric, and a staple gun.
Lean Into Drapery
For a sophisticated, grown-up vintage bedroom look, hang sophisticated and grown-up drapes. Look for drapes with an intricate and subtle pattern in a color that complements the rest of your bedroom, like Katie Hodges Design did in the space above.
Use Wrought Iron
The lowly wrought iron bed frame is making a comeback. It provides simple vintage style with just the right amount of detail. You can find these bed frames at many furniture stores, and you can often find them used too.