The vintage style is booming – and not just since yesterday. Vintage furniture dealers are springing up like mushrooms in the furniture market, you will find plenty of vintage interior design ideas in interior design magazines and your best friend describes her newly acquired bag as “really vintage”. But what does vintage actually mean? And what is the difference to the related “shabby chic” ? In this article, we give you a brief overview of the trend topic and try to make the fascination with vintage-style furnishings tangible. We also introduce you to well-known vintage designers and give you tips on how you can stylishly furnish your home with vintage furniture – and where it is best to buy it. Also see vintage wall clocks.
What is vintage furniture?
The term “vintage” comes from English and means something like “outstanding”, “venerable”, “old” or “exquisite”. And that’s exactly what vintage furniture is: original, used design furniture from the 1920s to 1970s that show clear signs of wear and was often manufactured in factories. Today, these furniture classics are particularly popular from the Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus , industrial design and so-called “Scandinavian design” directions . With their very special charm, the pieces of furniture inspire original furnishings and vintage living ideas.
Vintage furniture: perfectly imperfect
Vintage furniture is characterized by the imperfect: time has clearly left its mark, the colors have faded and the patina has developed naturally. This furniture tells a story. In addition, they were often only produced in limited series, which is what makes them so attractive to collect. So if you furnish your apartment in a vintage style, you make your home individual.
Vintage furniture has a timeless design that still looks good today and has stood the test of time. Real craftsmanship, high-quality materials and excellent workmanship are often found in vintage furniture.
Does vintage equal shabby?
Anyone who deals with vintage furnishings will inevitably come across the term “shabby”. At first glance, vintage and shabby styles seem similar because both are characterized by a distinctive retro look . But the difference is big: Where vintage furniture is aged, authentically restored classics, the shabby look achieves this effect through the processing of the furniture. Shabby furniture is therefore young pieces of furniture that are trimmed to look old. Therefore, they are often much cheaper to buy, but have a different charm than the real classics.
A lot of furniture (as well as accessories and clothing) is now mislabeled as vintage just to artificially inflate the price. So if you don’t want to fall for a fake, you should do some research beforehand, compare prices and get good advice. This guarantees a successful furnishing in vintage style.
Furnish the apartment in vintage style
If you want to furnish your apartment with old classics in a vintage look, you are right on trend and definitely show style – or you are completely wrong. In general, there is no such thing as right or wrong. As long as you like your living idea, every vintage interior is a success. No matter whether you want to beautify your kitchen, your bedroom or plan the vintage furniture for your living room – there are no limits to your ideas.
Nevertheless, we have a few tips for vintage furnishings: too many old pieces of jewelery from different eras and styles, which are placed randomly next to each other, spoil the living space and quickly turn it into an overloaded museum. Vintage furniture works best in combination with simple, modern furniture. Why not combine a group of Eames chairs, preferably in different colors and with visible signs of wear, with a plain white table ? Or complement your custom-made living area with a vintage side table.
Individual, eye-catching parts also need enough space to unfold their effect. Similar styles, colors or themes are best grouped together to create an exciting look.
Buy vintage furniture from well-known designers
Some of the most desirable vintage designers are:
- Alvar Aalto
- Marcel Breuer
- Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand
- Charles and Ray Eames
- Walter Gropius
- Arne Jacobsen
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
- Verner Panton
- Wilhelm Wagenfeld
If you want to buy vintage furniture from these icons, the best thing to do is to go to flea markets, second-hand shops, antique shops, auction houses, specialist dealers and online shops. As you can see, the selection is huge. With a little patience, you will definitely find what you are looking for and you can look forward to a great atmosphere in your newly furnished home.