Decorating Your Baby's Nursery, Vintage Style

by Michael Kabel

    If you're ready to decorate or renovate your baby's nursery but you're not sure on a theme, consider the vintage look. Simply put, vintage décor is any aesthetic taken from a previous time period but adapted to the present day using modern lighting methods, furniture, and supplies. Vintage style clothing, toys, and furniture are just beginning to appear inside children's boutiques and in the catalogs of online retailers, with the promise of many more items still to come. Perhaps the most practical advantage of vintage style decorating is that many new parents realize they have old furniture from their own childhood still available, in either in family attics or elsewhere, that helps them provide the necessary furniture to give the vintage décor a head start. 

    When deciding on a vintage style, however, you want to take care to settle on one particular theme or period in history and stick to the elements from that era. This is because, particularly in the second half of the 20th Century, design styles usually changed completely once each decade, so that furniture designs from the 1950s were drastically different from those of the 1970s. If you're browsing antique stores, flea markets, or other vintage furniture resellers, be careful not to mix and match styles, in order to avoid a slapdash final appearance.
In a very similar way, also take care not to mix color schemes across furniture design eras. During the 1950s, there was a tendency to use vivid or pastel colors when furnishing a home. This included the warmer color tones of red, orange, and white, especially. By the 1970s, the color palette had swung the opposite direction, so that many homes of the period luxuriated in deep browns, tans, oranges, and sulkier yellows. If you're planning a nursery from the sleek designs of the 1980s, consider using vivid pinks, blues, and greens, for a New Wave effect. 

Of course, there's more to a nursery than furniture, and vintage clothing and toys will naturally play a big part in giving the room's renovations its sense of life. When decorating, consider buying toys and accessories such as lamps, rocking chairs, and tables with accents that evoke the period without advertising your deliberate intent. These could be anything from an old rolled-steel tube card table given new life as a storage space to an old rocket ship toy forming the base for a do-it-yourself lamp. On that note, consider that self-created projects are a boon to the vintage look, as the homey touch only lends itself to a feeling of rustic comfort. Finally, consider using the Vintage touch as a way to bridge the gap between nursery and full-fledged child's bedroom for children 3-6. You'll save money by using refurbished furniture, and also possibly be able to recycle some of the better items to your child's new, full-sized bedroom.