Shabby chic, vintage industrial or vintage retro; call it what you like, there are few interiors (if any) which do not lend themselves to this new modernism. Vintage retro shows that you cannot keep a good idea down. Gone are the clean, almost clinical lines of modernism and minimalism and in is the higgledy piggledy, mix and match anything goes interior design trend. Long may it continue to thrive.
Vintage industrial in a nutshell
Vintage industrial style or shabby chic as it is often called is a throwback to a more rough and ready era. Interior designers take their inspiration from a period which (roughly) stretches from the early to mid 19th through to mid 20th Century. It is a style which lends itself well to a ‘mix and match’ philosophy. Rather than having matching/complementing furniture and accessories as in the modern style, vintage industrial relies on standalone pieces salvaged from industrial sources. These standalone pieces from different eras can be worked together to offer a completely unique look.
As a for instance, the vintage furniture London style might offer the following mix and match in a living room setting:
- Worn leather sofas
- Patchwork easy chairs
- Bakers’ shelf units
- Steel mesh chairs
- Large ‘station’ wall clocks
- Mixed occasional tables
Industrial vintage and modern homes
If you live in one of the new apartments based in old industrial buildings which have been modernised in recent years, you have a natural canvas. Vintage industrial style lends itself well to such an interior. However, don’t for one minute think you have to move home to take advantage of shabby chic. The style lends itself equally well to modern suburban homes, town houses and rural retreats.
You could start off with your bedroom and see how that progresses. As an example you could mix and match the following to make a unique, trendy personal space:
- Antique or repro bedside lamps
- Iron frame bed
- Freestanding wooden wardrobe
- Painted chest of drawers
- Bare floor boards with strategically placed mats
Vintage industrial takes us back to a time when furnishing and interior surroundings were in the main very basic. Industrial buildings were sparsely furnished and Spartan in design. So too were traditional residential interiors, especially those of the working classes. Unlike the cleanliness and surgical precision of modernist minimalism, vintage industrial is more about real life and real living space.
Once you get the idea of what the style is and how you can mould and shape it to your own lifestyle choices, the ‘image on the canvas’ starts to take shape. If you’re not sure about what goes with what, just experiment with shapes, materials, colours and textures.
There really isn’t any limit as to what you can do with industrial vintage style. In fact, the only limit to your interior design style is your imagination. So now might be as good a time as any to throw out the old and bring in the ‘new’ old.