Creating the vintage look

Creating the vintage look

Architect Gabriella Anzalone explains how to perfect a unique, retro style in your home.

Getting started 
The first thing to do is decide on a theme for your home interior.
It is better to avoid the wild-looking mix ’n’ match effect if you are not an expert. It’s risky, for instance, to randomly mix ’50s chic with ’60s pop and ’70s decadence. Usually, it’s better to choose one era and style which is inspiring to you.  If you really want to try different moods and looks, change the inspiration from room to room.

Focal point
Every room should have retro furniture or something that immediately catches the eye and instantly sets the mood. For example:
For a ’60s sitting room, a floral print armchair or a wooden coffee table with a brightly coloured old telephone on it, or a few classic vinyl records resting by the fireplace.

Lighting design
The main characteristic of vintage lighting is warmth, for nostalgic charm. Instead of one bright light, have several light sources at varying heights to provide ambience. If you have one, don’t forget that a chandelier itself is a highly distinctive piece of furniture.

‘Bright’ names to seek out
You might not be able to invest in an authentic original, but have a look at classic lamps from key periods then hunt out similar designs in your nearest charity shops. Let's start with the 1950s: elegant chrome-plated steel lamps by Alvar Aalto or metallic lamps by Serge Mouille. The 60s: classic arc floor lamps based on the Arco lamp, or the Tolomeo and Falkland styles. The 70s: simple table and floor lamps, adjustable styles like the Ipotenusa and Parentesi, designed by Achille Castiglioni.


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Memories as art
Put together combinations of your ‘memorabilia’ and retro items – this creates an easy and inexpensive design feature and allows you to mix and match a little. Simply fix shelves to the wall that vary in color and thickness, then, just as you would see in an old shop, arrange tin boxes, antique knick knacks, an old teapot etc on the shelves. Be guided by whatever reflects your own style. The important thing is to use this unexpected display to create a feast for the eyes.

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