Vintage Makeover Ideas for Your New Apartment

Modern décor styles have made tremendous strides over the years. While the styles add a streak of elegance to new spaces, savvy interior designers are not oblivious of the impact vintage accents have on modern spaces.

A peek at stylish interiors on social media pages, and you will identify several pieces of retro décor in a new apartment. This is because retro items like vintage globes, hanging chairs and teak consoles add character and charm to modern spaces.

As such, modern designers have mastered the art of mixing vintage styles from different eras to create contrast and eliminate the monotony of using new interior styles. If you just moved to a new apartment and are not sure how to incorporate a vintage look to your space, here are some makeover ideas:

Set up a Picture Railing

Picture railings were particularly popular during the Victorian era. It was during this period that the middle class and the newly affluent, demonstrated their buying power and unique taste by covering walls framed art, paintings, plates, and so on using picture rails.

The trend remains appealing to people looking to create a vintage appearance in their modern spaces. It’s easy to achieve the look as retail outlets sell picture rails of different shapes and thicknesses. Be sure to install the picture rail uniformly to the ceiling and attach it to the studs, so it has adequate strength to hold the weight of the wall hangings.

Use High-Quality Organic Materials

Vintage periods like that of the Victorian didn’t have low-quality plastics or synthetic pieces. Artisans used high-quality wood, linens, and metals to make décor items. As such, if looking to create a vintage look in your new apartment, look for items made from such materials.

You don’t have to replace all your furniture and draping at once. Build up your possessions one at a time to avoid stockpiling everything in style. This way, you also get to create a more authentic look. Also, you don’t have to purchase antique items from the store or flea market. Consider repurposing old furniture pieces; with paint, you get that same retro style without spending lots of cash.

Add a Mid-Century Daybed

It is a vastly under-utilized vintage accessory that’s functional and adds style to a retro space. Apart from the apparent decorative use, a daybed is an excellent place to relax and unwind. What’s more, it makes a cozy spare bed for guests.

For an authentic vintage look, buy a traditional daybed that requires a mattress. Look for a comfortable mattress from the vast Leesa or Casper catalog and dress it up with colorful pillows and comforters like in a bedroom.

Hang Real Paintings

Prints had not yet been discovered during the vintage period. As such, homeowners hang real art on their walls to decorate their spaces. Art was more authentic, letting the viewer examine the painter’s style, the texture of the brush strokes, and that of the canvas. It would be helpful if you hang a real painting in your new apartment. Find a piece you love that has this human-made textural quality to give your space that vintage feel.

Look for Worn Rugs

Rugs are an essential accessory for anyone looking to create a vintage look to space. Antique rugs also make an excellent investment if you know how to pick them. Here are some pointers:

  • Ensure the piece is big enough to fit under all the pieces of furniture and shows some actual wear
  • Check the edges for frays. Frayed rugs unravel rapidly and are costly to repair, so you want to avoid them
  • Check for signs that it is handmade. The rear side should be almost identical to the front
  • Examine the rug for painting by using a damp cloth to rub its surface. If the dye transfers to the fabric, it might be fabricate.

Add Vintage Accents to Your Bathroom

Well-chosen vintage accessories can turn a bathroom into a relaxing space with a stylish appeal. As such, you want to get rid of most if not all modern bathroom fixtures and replace them with vintage items. You can install a pedestal sink instead of the regular kind (with storage drawers underneath) to make a statement.

Another way to add some vintage style to your bathroom is to use apothecary jars and bottles to store cotton pads and liquid soap the old-fashioned way. Installing globe sconce above your sink or tub also adds vintage beauty to a bathroom space.

Purchase Antique Pieces of Different Eras

Most homeowners are likely to choose accessories made during the Mid-century as they purchase the pieces from antique stores. While they still create that vintage appeal, it would be helpful if you bought pieces made during different periods. Mixing the pieces gives your apartment a warm, livened feel without coming off as a contrived, vintage store.

Grow or Buy a House Plant

The appeal of an old house is in it’s the feeling it creates, not its appearance. Sadly many people are oblivious of this fact when recreating retro spaces. An effective way of creating this feeling is by using a large house plant. It not only creates a sense of connection between the homeowner and space but also creates the illusion that you have been around for a long time.

Add a Vintage Sideboard to Your Living Space

A vintage sideboard is another excellent piece that transforms your space within minutes. Sideboards are pretty versatile as you can use them in any room to add retro flair. You can use it in the living room to store some liquor while displaying some hearty photos or the entryway. Large flea markets are bound to have a range of vintage sideboards.


There are numerous ways to integrate a vintage vibe to your new apartment. Be sure to plan how you would like the space to look like and take steps to make the plan a reality. Start with small antique pieces and add large pieces like vintage furniture later. Don’t shy away from experimentation until you have found a look that suits your taste.