How to Decorate a Vintage Nursery

Vintage Girl's Nursery
Photo via Project Nursery.

Whether you have a passion for a particular décor period or just love the idea of a sweet, old-fashioned nursery, going vintage is always a fun and interesting choice. Not sure how to pull it off? These 6 tips for decorating a vintage nursery space will get you moving in the right direction!

Do Your Homework:

“Vintage” means more than just old. A well-crafted, vintage space should capture a specific time, place and style, like the Regency glam of Hollywood in the 1930s or the vibrancy of Mid-Century, Modern Americana.

Before you start hitting up thrift stores and antique sales, do a little research. Find a period and style that appeals to you, and get a good feel for the aesthetic. What was trendy? What colors and patterns were popular? You’ll need to answer these basic questions before moving forward with your design. Need help pinning down your look? Consider making a mood board to help you organize your ideas.

Blend Old with New:

Authentic details bring a vintage space to life, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy everything from the dusty labyrinth of your local flea market. Textiles, like bedding and curtains are best purchased new, and while the idea of laying your little one down to sleep in an heirloom crib may be charming, used cribs often fail to meet modern safety standards and should be avoided.  

When shopping for antiques, look for statement pieces, like end tables, artwork and accessories.

Solid wood furniture is generally a safe bet. Just be sure the piece is sturdy. Working with a tight budget? Delve through vintage paper collections. Vintage maps, posters and other child-friendly finds, like classic storybook pages or illustrated flashcards, make for beautiful, vintage wall décor, adding an authentic touch without breaking the bank.

Mix & Match Furniture:

Furniture doesn’t need to match, especially when you’re designing a vintage space. Odd pieces add interest and give a room a rich, eclectic look. That said, there’s more to mixing and matching furniture than you might think. Need help pulling those individual, one-of-a-kind pieces into one cohesive whole? Check out these 3 rules for coordinating mismatched furniture.

Reuse and Repurpose:

Using old things in new ways is a hallmark of vintage style. Give a farmhouse ladder a new life as a blanket rack, or create an end table out of a set of vintage suitcases. Just look for period-appropriate pieces, and let your imagination play!

Update a Classic:

Try putting a modern twist on an outdated décor staple. Love lace? Use lace doilies to create a beautiful pendant lamp. Not great with a needle and thread? Fill old-fashioned embroidery hoops with colorful fabric scraps. You’ll set the right mood while creating a look that’s fun and fresh.

Avoid Clutter:

Be careful not to go overboard on the dustables.

If you want those fabulous antique finds to shine, you have to give them some room! Instead of trying to cover every inch of available space, try emphasizing two or three main focal points, using small groups of accessories to draw focus. Concentrate your décor in these areas and build out from there, being careful to leave lots of empty space between groupings.

Looking for more ways to get the most out of your accessories? Follow these simple tips