7 Common Vintage Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

author Sangam Sharma

author March 10, 2024

 7 Common Vintage Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

In the world of home decor, the allure of vintage pieces can add a touch of charm and history to modern spaces. However, the delicate dance between old and new can quickly turn into a decorating disaster if you're not careful.

Let's dive into seven common vintage decorating mistakes that might leave you scratching your head or questioning your choices.

If you are seeking advice on styling your home with vintage decor, explore this latest article on Redfin: "3 Tips for Styling Your Home with Vintage Decor."

1. Ignoring scale and proportion:

19th century French antique oak armoire - Frenchantiquecompany.com

One of the most frequent slip-ups is disregarding the size and scale of your vintage finds. Sure, that antique armoire may be a gem, but plunking it down in a small, contemporary living room can make the space feel cramped and awkward. Before bringing home that statement piece, take a moment to consider the proportions and ensure it complements the room's size.

2. Overcrowding with antiques:

Source: Thefarthing.co.uk

Vintage pieces often carry a unique story, but too many stories in one room can quickly lead to a cluttered and overwhelming atmosphere. Resist the temptation to turn your space into a mini antique store. Select a few key pieces that speak to you and allow them space to shine, creating a balanced and curated look.

3. Monotony in era selection:


While it's tempting to stick to a specific era or style, be cautious of creating a monotone time capsule. Mixing and matching different eras can add depth and interest to your decor. Embrace the eclectic by blending mid-century modern with Victorian elegance or rustic farmhouse charm.

4. Neglecting functionality:

1950s t.h. Robsjohn-Gibbings Arch Coliseum Console Table : Chairish.com

Vintage doesn't always equate to functionality. Beware of falling in love with a stunning piece that doesn't serve a practical purpose in your daily life. A gorgeous but uncomfortable chair or a quirky but impractical coffee table might leave you scratching your head in the long run.

5. Overlooking Maintenance:

Antiques often come with a bit of wear and tear, and that's part of their charm. However, neglecting to consider the maintenance and care required for vintage pieces can lead to disappointment. Be realistic about the time and effort you're willing to invest in preserving and restoring your finds.

6. Clashing Colors and Patterns:

Mismatched colors and patterns can turn your vintage haven into a visual puzzle. Pay attention to the color palette and patterns of your existing decor, ensuring that your vintage additions complement rather than clash. Harmonious blending is the key to achieving a cohesive and inviting space.

7. Ignoring Lighting:

Vintage pieces deserve their moment in the spotlight, quite literally. Ignoring the importance of proper lighting can dim the impact of your carefully curated finds. Experiment with lighting fixtures that enhance the beauty of your vintage items while maintaining a balanced illumination throughout the room.

In the world of vintage decorating, the line between timeless and perplexing can be thin. By sidestepping these common mistakes, you'll be well on your way to creating a space that seamlessly fuses the charm of the past with the functionality of the present. Embrace the quirks, celebrate the stories, and let your home tell a tale that's uniquely yours.