Here, 8 Vintage Living Room Ideas That Have a Beautifully Storied Past

Out with the new and in with the old! Contrary to popular belief, a living room decked out in vintage decor doesn't have to feel stuffy and dated. In fact, when done well, a storied living room can feel modern and fresh. Here are eight superstylish vintage living room ideas that will have you trucking it to the thrift store in search of the perfect antique treasures.

1. Start with a Sideboard

If you're ready to try out a vintage living room idea but aren't sure where to start, a midcentury sideboard is the way to go. Depending on your setup, it can work as a sofa back table, media cabinet, or stylish home bar. Or, put it under a window like vintage furniture dealer Shelley Briggs at Iconic Mid-Mod Decor & Restoration did in her own living room.

2. Pair It with Plants

vintage living room idea with vintage furniture and lots of plants
credit: Ron Got

Give your timeless quarters a modern makeover with a fresh coat of white paint and plenty of plants. It's a vintage living room idea that's easy to pull off no matter when your furniture was made, and Ron Got nails the look in his airy Auckland Airbnb.

3. Invest in Timeless Leather

Leather furniture is like a fine wine — it just gets better with time. But unlike a bottle of vino, a vintage leather sofa or chair will bring you years, if not decades, of joy. And we're totally drooling over these chairs designer Katie Hodges found for one lucky client.

4. Stick to a Cohesive Color Palette

vintage living room idea with eclectic vintage living room with two stools, a glass coffee table, a beige couch, and an armchair covered in mudcloth
credit: Jaclyn Joslin

Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home is a pro (literally) at mixing fabulous finds from any decade, in any space. For this former iteration of her own vintage living room, she combined multiple patterns, textures, and silhouettes by sticking with a cohesive color palette.

5. Or Stick to a Size and Shape

Matchy-matchy furniture sets feel dated, no matter when they were manufactured. But if you're not ready for a full-on eclectic mix, you can still get a cohesive vintage living room look with mismatched pieces, like Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY did in her home. Just try to find pieces that have a similar scale and bulkiness. It's even better if the colors and wood stains complement each other.

6. Rock the Rattan

We've always loved the living room in Golden Girls, but now it's totally on trend to deck out your space in rattan and palm leaves. Test the waters and incorporate this vintage living room idea with a rattan chair or two, like designer/photographer/blogger Jessica Brigham did in her own living room.

7. Play with Patterns

When styling your vintage living room, don't be afraid to play with patterns like Anna of Experimental Vintage does in her own home. Pairing a bold antique rug with plaid throw pillows is a great place to start.

8. Keep Up the Clean Lines

Part of the beauty of antique furniture — at least midcentury pieces — is the clean lines. Case in point: Jessica Comingore's sleek record cabinet. When styled with similarly shaped art and accessories, this vintage living room idea is still super modern.


Emily Farris

Emily Farris

Emily Farris lives in a century-old Arts & Crafts bungalow in Kansas City, MO with her burly husband, toddler son, and two rowdy rescue mutts. She's written for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and The Cut. When not busy cleaning up after somebody, she's posting about drinks and decor on Instagram @theboozybungalow.