In our fast moving techno-led world, ever more sophisticated electronic devices are an everyday facet of our lives, within the workplace and particularly within the home. Sometimes intrusive, but essentially invaluable, the technological revolution is here to stay. We’d all be lost without our laptops, mobile phones and iPads but there must be times when most of us would admit to a desire for a little respite; an odd moment that harkens back to simpler days and old fashioned ways of communication and entertainment. One response to this surge of modern-ness is the counter-movement of vintage style with a retro stance that can be created within most homes, even those that are built to contemporary style. And no more is this more relevant than for youngsters bedrooms where a foot in the past provides a safe haven away from technology (albeit undoubtedly briefly!) whilst providing appealing comfort with more than just a little helping of nostalgic style.
A trip through Interior Design magazines, or of course a trawl through the internet(!) will provide inspiration for a full room makeover or just a few appealing accents to create that enticing vintage vibe. It’s an easy and infinitely flexible look that can be created by using existing items within the home or forgotten treasures in the attic. Have fun also by discovering bits and pieces at covered markets or car boot sales or take a little trip through the antique arcades for older antique pieces. Add vintage style wallpaper to the walls or hang on just one accent wall at the head of the bed. Typically vintage wallpaper has busy patterns as opposed to more contemporary styles which are plain and minimalist. Consider papers that have a paisley, floral or 70s geometric retro flavour or a Laura Ashley country house feel.
Indulge a little with a traditional iron bed to form the room focal point. The bed need not be old and fusty….anything but. Reproduction Victorian styled metal beds or transitional styled designs in white, ivory finishes, or darker black and textured finishes can transform the persona of a room instantly. Complete the look with bed covers and dressings that conform to the vintage mould but exhibit colours that are bright and fun. This is particularly important for a youngster’s bedroom to keep the style upbeat and fresh. Cover the bed with quality linens and a cosy duvet with a quilted runner at the foot end for a touch of vintage style.
Shop for old lamps and random decorations at secondhand stores or flea markets and look out for accents aimed at children, such as those with an animal or sports theme. At the end of the day it’s all down to personal choice. Personalise and create a space that is as individual as the occupant. This might include dumping modern dressers and desks and replacing with second hand furniture that has a vintage edge that better suits the character of your “new” vintage room. Alternatively apply an antique finish to modern pieces or distress them down to avoid the cost of replacement. This is particularly easy to achieve with tired old ubiquitous pine pieces which can be given a new lease of life with a little artistic flair, some paint, and a few sheets of sandpaper.
Finish the scheme with a few well-loved teddy bears and toys set on dressers and shelves throughout the room, and intersperse with some favourite classic children’s novels. Old leather bound titles are particularly relevant here, being both decorativeand educational. Stick with accents and accessories that harmonise and avoid too many scattered collectibles that just give the impression of clutter. For a final flourish position an old chest or steamer trunk at the foot of the traditional bed to form the perfect spot for storing blankets, clothes, and bedroom detritus as well as a practical seating option for impromptu get-togethersor a hideaway for…. the laptop…..!