One of the hottest trends in decorating is vintage. Whether that's the retro vintage look of mid-century style or the opulent Victorian or earthy Craftsman look, taking a trip back in time at home is seeing a resurgence. Vintage style in today's settings offers a fresh appeal that's both current and timeless.

Victorian Elegance

Credit shows like HGTV's "Rehab Addict," whose host, Nicole Curtis, takes abandoned or derelict homes and brings them back to their Victorian glory. The honeycomb tiled floors or thick molding sanded back to its original glory shows how ageless this look truly is.

On a recent show, Curtis took a modern pedestal sink back to the 1890s simply by replacing its single nickel contemporary hardware with a pair of glass knobs. It was a fresh take on a vintage look, and it worked beautifully.

If you want to infuse some Victorian flair into your decor, look for common Victorian touches like glass door knobs, cabinet hardware and glass inserts in cabinet fronts. Consider stripping painted trim work, uncovering the beauty of the wood beneath.

If you need a new buffet or other cabinetry, look to your local salvage yard for options. A little trim is usually all it takes to make a new piece look built in and like it had always been there.

If you'd like a Victorian feel without the sawdust and power tools, pull in opulent fabrics in rich deep colors and you'll be on your way. Pick up needlepoint footstools at a flea market or antiques store to tuck under a chair. Instead of a leather ottoman, go for a round velvet pouf with thick bullion fringe. Top armoires and cabinets with antique toys or weather vanes. Hang thick curtains at room openings and pull back with thick cords with heavy tassels.


If lavish Victorian touches era are too much for you, the warm, earthy appeal of the Craftsman look may be just right. Like the Victorian look, Craftsman design is reflected in the use of unpainted wood molding. Trim around doors was thick, as was wall trim at the floors.

Natural wood floors and other natural elements like brick and stone were evident in Craftsman homes. Colors were more muted and relaxed than the vibrant hues of Victorian decor. Angular designs were also prominent, with less emphasis on swirls and curves.

If you'd like to add a Craftsman look to your home, go for simple furnishings and deep colors, and add accents like stained glass lamps or art glass windows with geometric designs. Look for hardware choices like pewter or hammered iron. Pick richly stained furniture that shows the grain of the wood.

Want to go simpler still? Fill up your kitchen with vintage flea market finds, from old tea towels to soup spoons and cooking utensils like meringue whisks and hand-cranked ice crushers. With an afternoon trip to the antiques mall, you're sure to find the right accent in the right style and decade to take your decor back in time.

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