Vintage Modern: What Does It Mean?
Objects With History Warm Up Clean Lines in Fresh, Eclectic Interiors
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected." I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
The phrase "Vintage Modern" has been floating around for at least five years, but what is it exactly? The fact that catalog companies have started using the phrase willy-nilly is not helping. I may not be able to clearly define it, but I know it when I see it. However, let's take a look at designers who have mastered the look and figure it out together.
For me, Victoria, a.k.a. sfgirlbybay, was the first design blogger to define this style. As she constantly shopped, scouted, rearranged her place and documented it all for our benefit, the style became ingrained in our brains. Here she pairs vintage tulip-style chairs a reader helped her find on Craigslist with some vintage schoolhouse pieces. Her polished wood floors and crisp white walls keep the look modern.
To put it simply, vintage modern mixes old and new. But the devil is in the details. As for old, patina plays a big role. These rusty industrial pendant lights as well as the metal counter stools and wood ladder bring the vintage; the crisp contemporary kitchen amenities bring the modern.
Another factor is color palette. A cheery green wallpaper, crisp white desk and clear glass keep things modern, while the cafe chair and the telephone bring on the vintage.
Scandanavian lands bring us lots of vintage modern style, and they have been since the Mid-Century Modern era. These wishbone chairs, tulip table and patterned drapes arranged in a clean fresh way make them vintage and modern at once.
Freshening up old furniture makes it modern. New fabric and a new coat of paint, combined with gray walls and a groovy ceramic lamp result in the look.
Repurposing industrial pieces is another way to mix elements. These pendant lights combined with a wood farm table and modern chairs in this contemporary space achieve the balance.
Many pieces can be vintage and modern at once. These pieces are icons from the eras of International Style and Mid-Century Modern.
Metal pieces used in a spare way can create the look. The vintage modern piece de resistance in this room is the use of the wire baskets on the wall.
Fresh shiny industrial pendants, a mix of chairs that include Bertioa wire side chairs, a farm table, Arts and Crafts wood trim and loads of natural light creates a vintage modern look.
Here the brick wall itself is vintage modern: It's an old material with a fresh coat of paint. The swing arm lamp and the print reinforce the vintage in this fresh space.
Iconic pieces can help bring the look. Here warm wood Cherner Chairs are arranged with a metal cabinet that looks like it came from a laboratory and modern artwork.
A modern-day Logico Lamp combined with vintage wood and metal counter stools, white walls and lots of natural light is vintage modern at its finest.
What does vintage modern mean to you? Which designers and design bloggers do you think exemplify the look?
Ideabook updated on Jan. 17, 2011.
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