Vintage Design Is All the Rage—Here's How to Get the Look

Designers share why vintage is actually timeless for 2023 decorating

Bold colorful living room with vintage inspired accents.

Dani Dazey

Since the resurgence of mid-century modern, vintage finds have become a staple in a well-styled home. As we ease into 2023 and look toward the rising aesthetics, one thing is clear: a love of vintage isn’t going anywhere in the year ahead. If anything, we're about to see people lean all in on vintage and thrifted maximalism.

We recently connected with a few experts who explained why a vintage space is what everyone wants in 2023. Plus, they share how to achieve the look in your home.

Why Design Likes Leaning Into Nostalgia

It's no surprise that design is blasting back to the past. Designer and vintage connoisseur Dani Dazey notes that this is commonly seen in the design world year after year.

“The design world always comes back around to explore and reinvent vintage trends—we long for that feeling of nostalgia,” Dazey says. “I think there will always be nods to the past in all forms of design."

When it comes to incorporating vintage elements, Dazey says her biggest tip is to think outside the styling box.

“Style with the unexpected—decor doesn’t always have to be the usual suspects like art or pottery,” Dazey explains. “To me, practical, utilitarian things evoke an era even more than decor, as they were the tools built and used during that time. Put a colorful cord phone on top of a stack of books or display a vintage Fender on the wall." 

Vintage elements in a living room

Louis Duncan-He

Pick the Eras You Love, and Have Fun

If you’re eager to incorporate more vintage pieces but aren’t sure where to begin, Dazey recommends picking eras that give you a lot to work with. 

“I will forever love funky, midcentury design and also dramatic Art Deco,” she says. “These styles are pretty different, but both represent a bold and playful time where people pushed the limits.”

Fun vintage inspired living room with yellow accent wall and Sputnik chandelier.

Dani Dazey

Be Bold and Brave With Color

In terms of creating a vintage aesthetic, Dazey tells us that the heart of the look is the mix of color and patterns. 

“There’s going to be a big resurgence of color and pattern in design,” she says. “I may be biased here, but I believe people are over minimalist and farmhouse spaces. It’s time to let personality and passion shine. Vintage printed furniture, bold accent walls in retro colors, wallpaper on ceilings—it’s time to have fun and take it back to a more lighthearted era."

Vintage printed furniture, bold accent walls in retro colors, wallpaper on ceilings—it’s time to have fun and take it back to a more lighthearted era.

Rely on Certain Elements for Cohesion

While you can go bold with your use of color and pattern, Dazey warns that it’s easy to verge on a visual mess if you’re not careful.

“I love using vintage objects as decor, but to make it work with the space you have to be selective,” she says. “Pay attention to the color scheme in your space, and try to tie them in. Pops of color on the wall or on a table are my favorite, especially when they bring back a color used elsewhere in the space.”

Mid-century room by Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis Design

Go for a ‘Vintage Vibe’ on Your Walls

If you’re really looking to make a statement, picking a vintage-inspired wallpaper is a great way to do it—and easier than ever thanks, to this rising trend. 

“Along with maximalism making a huge comeback in 2023, patterned vintage wallpaper has become a popular choice for interior trendsetters,” Paula Taylor of Graham and Brown explains. “It's the perfect choice to quickly add character to your home, enabling you to create an authentic aesthetic throwback with modern-day ease.”

Vintage inspired wallpaper

Fan Gold and Pearl Wallpaper by Graham and Brown

Pick Pieces With a Story

Selecting vintage items based solely on their visual appeal is great, but Dazey says that half the fun of the aesthetic is finding pieces with a story—even if they’re technically a remake. 

“I love adding specific vintage elements that have a back story to share with guests," she says. "In a recent project, I added an iconic Fender guitar in a stunning seafoam green colorway. Special finds like that are true conversation starters and give your space more character.” 

Mix Modern and Antique

Just because you’re craving a vintage vibe doesn’t mean you have to avoid modern pieces entirely. The mix is part of the beauty of this aesthetic. Amy Wilson of 247 Blinds explains that as we move towards sustainable shopping and upcycling furniture rather than buying new, it's great to incorporate the new and the old for some balance.

“Mixing modern and antique accessories is a great way to get this look," Wilson explains. "Add some old-school charm to your home with a vintage rug in a colorful weave or a classic roman blind, contrasted with clean, modern lines and shapes in your artwork.” 

Vintage gallery wall by Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis Design

Embrace Certain Aesthetics in Certain Rooms

While living rooms and dining rooms are popular for playing with different eras of decor, Lucy Ackroyd, the head of design for home decor retailer Christy, says that the bedroom is an often-overlooked canvas for a vintage or thrifted feel. She suggests accessorizing with vintage finds to really make a space pop.

"When it comes to accessorizing, you can repurpose old china as trinkets for jewelry,  find the most unusual vase for a fresh bunch of flowers, or choose some old paintings to adorn your walls," Ackroyd shares.