How to Incorporate Vintage into a Bedroom Makeover
The magic of vintage and old treasures can transform the feel of an entire room. We speak to Grace from @edwardian_terrace_york all about her bedroom renovation and how she used vintage to create a dream space.
Grace is the proud owner of a circa 1902 end of terrace house in the beautiful city of York. One of her and her partners biggest renovation projects to date was their master bedroom. They could see that it had a lot of potential but it was dark, with peeling lining paper on the walls and a dis-used sink in the corner. Grace had a vision of a chateau-chic vintage inspired master bedroom, using muted tones to create a relaxing atmosphere. We spoke to her all about her top tips for incorporating vintage into a bedroom renovation.
“We wanted to create a chateau-chic master bedroom whilst remaining sympathetic to our Edwardian house. ”
- Grace @edwardian_terrace_york
Decide on Your Era
‘A good starting point when considering creating a vintage style bedroom is to consider which time periods inspire you, whether that be Victorian, Art Deco or Mid Century. This will help you to set the parameters when sourcing your vintage inspired bedroom décor.
We wanted to create a chateau-chic master bedroom whilst remaining sympathetic to our Edwardian house. To get a good idea of the ways in which we could do this, we took inspiration from various sources including; magazines, blogs, online platforms and even our own vintage furniture and possessions which we have collected over the years. One of our many sources of inspiration was an Edwardian chest of drawers, which my mother bought from an antique shop many years ago. We loved the warm tones of the antique pine and the ornate brass handles.’
Reuse, Recycle, Renew and Repurpose
‘Often the best places to find vintage steals are from individuals selling their pre-loved items, house clearances, charity shops, vintage fairs, car boot sales and salvage yards. Much of the furniture in our bedroom, such as our bedside tables and chest of drawers are second hand vintage items. We have spent time lovingly restoring these items to give them a new lease of life. Second hand furniture and/or features such as reclaimed fireplaces can make interesting focal points…and they’re good for the planet!
We decided that we wanted to re-open the original fireplace after discovering the concrete hearth when we lifted the carpet. We sourced an antique cast iron fireplace from an individual who had removed it from their house and then we spent many hours restoring it. The fireplace is now a real focal point in the bedroom and is also sympathetic to the age and style of our house.’
Survey the Vintage Features You May Already Have
‘When creating a vintage inspired room, it is helpful to get an understanding of the character and original features that you may already have in the room. The first thing we did in our master bedroom was to pull up the carpet to see the floor boards below and work out if they were in good enough condition to have on display or if they needed restoring. We also wanted to see if there was an original fireplace hearth so that we could explore the potential of re-opening the chimney breast and adding a vintage fireplace, as once would have been there.
Whilst stripping the lining paper off of the walls we also discovered an original wooden bullnose corner in the plastering, which we decided we would restore and have as a feature. It may be that, similarly to us, there are very few or no original features in your bedroom. In this case it is important to consider the ways in which you can create a vintage feel.’
Jump into DIY
‘Since buying our Edwardian house, we have discovered a love for all things DIY, whether that be having a go at tiling, building shelves or upcycling furniture. It is both a great way to save money and wonderfully fulfilling to sit back and admire your work when it is done. However, it should be noted that it is a lot more time consuming than having someone else do it for you.
If you have an old house, we would recommend doing your research before you start. For example, when decorating our master bedroom we had to consider that the walls were lime plastered and we therefore could not steam the lining paper off of the walls, as the plaster would absorb the moisture. Instead, we did our reading and found a method for making our own wallpaper stripping solution which involved scoring the paper and spraying it with a homemade solution of vinegar, water and fabric conditioner. We also purchased a clay paint for the walls, which allows lime plaster to breathe, unlike modern paints.’
Carefully Source Your Vintage Items
‘Thoughtfully designed vintage bedrooms often creatively combine vintage furnishings, imperfect patinas, and salvaged items in creative ways. With hundreds of years’ worth of options available for décor style, it's important to keep your vision in mind when shopping for vintage furniture, soft furnishings and accessories - so that your final look is cohesive and uncluttered. ,We paired our second hand vintage bedside tables together with modern lamps that had a vintage twist, in order to combine the best of old and new.’
Mix and Match
‘Throughout our home we have combined our love for antique and vintage with a modern twist. We think this works effectively to create interest and it’s good for the purse strings! The wonderful thing about shopping vintage is that no two pieces are the same, allowing you to create a unique space. Items do not have to match perfectly, as long as they consider your colour palette and preferred era a variety of objects, soft furnishing and vintage furniture will add depth to your space.’
Use Vintage Textures and Patterns
‘Pastel colours, floral patterns and textured fabrics can be used to bring an effortless vintage style to any bedroom. Bedding can be used to tie various elements of a bedroom together. Textiles can be used effectively to create a vintage feel by layering different fabrics such as bed linen, blankets and pillows. We decided to use the Escape to the Chateau Potagerie bed linen to add pastel tones and a vintage inspired pattern to our muted colour palette. We have layered the bedding with a cable knit blanket to give the room a cosy feel. We think the bedding perfectly contrasts with our muted walls, bringing a splash of colour and vintage chic to our bedroom.’
Don’t forget, you can also join the Escape to The Chateau Fan Club on Facebook and join a community of like-minded creative people who love to share their craft and DIY projects. So, if you’ve recently completed a project that you’re proud of, be sure to share it on there…we’d all love to see it! To follow more of Grace’s renovation journey you can follow her Instagram account @edwardian_terrace_york