Do you know people who claim to adhere to a vintage design scheme in their homes despite your instincts telling you something isn’t right? If so, just smile and nod. Unfortunately, vintage design illegitimacy is a real problem. Perhaps it’s a problem of ignorance; maybe it’s a problem of mixed definitions. The question is this: what are the key elements that make a vintage design scheme legit?
For that, we turn to a Lehi, Utah company known as Jami Ray Vintage. Owned and operated by Jamie Ray and her husband, the company is all about DIY crafts, interior decoration, and all things vintage. The couple has a special fondness for modern farmhouse and farmhouse vintage decorating schemes.
According to Jamie Ray herself, here are the key elements that make a vintage design scheme legit:
1. A Central Theme
Although age is a key component of vintage design (more on that later) the concept doesn’t pertain to a particular time period. It also doesn’t refer to a specific type of furniture, window treatment, etc. Rather, vintage incorporates a central theme relative to a period in time.
Farmhouse vintage is an excellent example. The farmhouse vintage design style covers a very narrow window of time spanning from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Its theme is the American farmhouse. To decorate your home in the farmhouse vintage scheme is to create a look reminiscent of a turn-of-the-twentieth-century farmhouse.
2. Consistency Throughout
Another key element of vintage design is consistency throughout. Now, there are two ways to approach consistency. First is decorating your home with consistency from top to bottom. In other words, your entire house is going to be decorated in the vintage farmhouse style. Another way to approach it is to limit consistency to each room individually.
You might want the kitchen to be farmhouse vintage. You might want the living room to look more like a Victorian parlor. You may prefer a colonial look in the bedrooms. The point is that you find consistency in each defined space. Consistency includes literally everything: furnishings, decorations, artwork, paint schemes, floor coverings, and window treatments.
3. The Look of Age
This next element is where so many people blow it. A legitimate vintage design scheme has a consistent look of age. Again, let us go back to the farmhouse vintage concept. If you are decorating your kitchen, you might commission a local carpenter to build you a genuine oak dining set.
To pull off the scheme correctly, your carpenter’s finished product cannot look new. If it looks shiny and new, then you have blown the vintage concept. Instead, the table has to be distressed. It has to look old. To be truly farmhouse vintage, the chairs probably shouldn’t match either. You might even mix a variety of chairs with a bench. But one way or the other, the pieces must look like they are turn-of-the-twentieth-century pieces.
4. A Mix of Old and New
Finally, a genuine vintage design scheme is going to mix old and new pieces. The new pieces are purposely distressed to make them look old, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were not made way back when. The reason for this is simple: it is nearly impossible to fully outfit a house with everything being genuinely old. That’s okay.
That friend of yours whose claims of a vintage design scheme may only think she’s nailed it. If her design scheme doesn’t include these four key elements, give her an ‘A’ for effort and move along. Her self-proclaimed vintage style is not legit