Create vintage style at home

Stylist Naomi Thompson on why to avoid bunting and Cath Kidston

Avid collector Naomi Thompson has made a profession out of vintage styling wardrobes and interiors. The founder of the website shares clever tricks to bring a vintage look into your home.

1. Reflect your personality - Don’t envisage the vintage look as one thing. Design it around your own likes. Those who have great vintage-looking homes, create it around a hobby, a designer or an era. It doesn’t need to be all about teacups. My father collects old fishing paraphernalia.

2. Avoid interior clichés - Most people think of vintage style as being very twee. It needn’t be. I advise clients to avoid the bunting and union jack look as it has been done to death.

3. Have one main vintage feature – It is fairly easy to find original drinks cabinets that are partly glass or mirrored. Fill them up with interesting cocktail glasses, vintage shakers and soda stream. It makes a focal point.

4. Keep walls and floors plain - Otherwise, you run the risk of feeling cluttered. I really like hanging old sheet music with beautiful drawings or old-fashioned magazines, especially from 1950s onwards where they have half drawings, half pictures.

5. Don’t be afraid to go down the eccentric route – There is a great shop called Pelicans and Parrots in Dalston selling vintage bits and pieces like framed beetles and globes. There is a trend for taxidermy at the moment.

6. Put imagination into your styling - Don’t create an identikit home filled with reproduction items. It’s your home at the end of the home. I’ve got nothing against Cath Kidston, but it’s too identikat for me.

7. For chintz, add glass - If you do want to go for that chintzy, girly look, incorporate lots of glass and mirrors to avoid the feeling of an antique shop. Get art deco dressing table sets in charity shops and use tiered cake stands for hanging jewellery.

8. Less is more - I veer more towards a small number of curiosities. I once owned 400 teacups but as a long-term collector, I’ve realized it’s better to have less items but retaining the quality. Keep it as uncluttered as possible; you’ll only have to dust it.

9. Bathroom ideas – use 1930s beveled mirrors, old nautical references and fill old decanters with bath salts. I like to burn an old fashioned candelabra in a bathroom. It feels very decadent.

10. Bedroom ideas – I would get a low, wooden deco dressing table with a round or oval mirror. Go to town on an old patchwork quilt and vintage curtains. But do buy new bed linen that can be washed properly.

11. Kitchen ideas – I like scouring for old enamel bread-bins, oversized clocks and Cornishware with the famous blue and white stripes. If you’ve got space, display vintage crockery on shelving or a Welsh dresser instead of using high cupboards.

12. Living room – I like old cameras and typewriters out on display. It creates a warm, active feel to the home. Old drinks cabinet. You can still fairly easily find 50s Formica tables.

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk