Vintage Furniture

Vintage pastel bar stools.

Collecting vintage furniture is a great way to have fun decorating your home, especially if modern designs aren't your cup of tea. There are a wide variety of styles available; all you need to do is decide which vintage year or design is your favorite. You can also mix styles for an eclectic look.

1970s Vintage Furniture

Furniture from the 1970s reflected a change from bright and funky furnishings that were omnipresent in the 1960s. In the early 1970s, earth tones were in almost every home, but as the decade progressed, homes became more sleek and modern. Popular colors to use when decorating were white, chrome, black and brown. Handmade items, folk art, and natural textures abounded.

1970s chrome and vinyl pedestal chair
1970s Pedestal Chair

Examples of 1970s Style

  • Whiskey barrel coffee table
  • Molded plywood chairs
  • Wicker and macrame hanging chairs
  • Macrame and glass hanging side tables
  • Glass and chrome dining tables and coffee tables
  • Plastic and chrome tulip table and chairs
  • Pedestal chairs
  • Platform beds
  • Lava lamps
  • Ball Chairs
  • Bean bag chairs
  • Clock radios with flip numbers
  • Rain Lamps
  • Ball clock

Where to Buy

Finding items from the 1970s to decorate with is fairly easy. Items can be found on eBay, in your local flea markets, auctions and stores that carry reproduction modern furniture. There are many online stores that carry vintage furniture from the 1970s, some of which are:

1960s

The 1960s brought about many changes in the design of furniture. Plastics enabled many designers to create tables and chairs in free flowing styles. Formica kitchen tables with chrome details were common in kitchens and upholstered furniture was preferred over more highly decorated, less comfortable wooden styles. House Beautiful magazine has an impressive online slideshow of images from their 1960s editions. Examples of home decor that were common are:

molded plastic rocker 1960s
Molded Plastic Rocking Chair

Examples of 1960s Style

  • Andy Warhol pop art
  • Moroccan rugs, shag rugs
  • Verner Panton plastic furniture
  • Giancarlo Piretti furniture
  • Space age looking chairs
  • Metal TV trays
  • Molded plastic chairs
  • Eames furniture
  • Danish Modern styles
  • Dalu lamp
  • Console TV

Where to Buy

If you want to try hippy chic or space age modern, you can find decorator pieces at:

1950s

1950s vintage furniture is very popular with designers and collectors alike. The bright colors used during this era appeals to many people. An example of 1950s furniture that is in great demand is retro diner furniture. Decorate your kitchen in the style of a classic diner or malt shop. Some examples of must-have items that are easily found on the Internet and in specialty design shops include:

vintage tv
1950s Console TV

Examples of 1950s Style

  • Select-O-Matic to play all of your favorite songs
  • Retro stoves in your favorite colors
  • Retro refrigerators with 1950s design but with current technology on the inside
  • Booth seating
  • Thonet Ottomons
  • Chrome and vinyl bar stools with footrests
  • Boomerang shaped cocktail tables
  • Chrome tables

Where to Buy

There are several retailers that specialize in retro furniture online. They are:

1940s

Old phonographs, paper drapes, porcelain enamel kitchen tables…all were familiar sights in a 1940s American home. Many people choose to use this vintage style in their kitchens, bedrooms and patio. Items that people would use to decorate their home in this retro style include:

Bakelite Radio
Bakelite Radio

Examples of 1940s Styles

  • Ericsson wall phone
  • Metal cabinet double basin kitchen sink
  • Metal pantry and cupboards
  • Coca-Cola coolers
  • Metal patio furniture
  • Ella sofas
  • Charles Eames chairs
  • Skirted arm chairs in chintz
  • Skirted vanities
  • Bakelite radio

Where to Buy

While finding certain original items can be difficult, there are many places where you can shop for 1940s vintage furniture and accessories.

1930s

Art Deco and depression era home furnishings were the rage in the 1930s. The French influence is visible on many of the highly polished pieces of wood furniture. Depression glass, satinwood furniture and lacquered wood pieces were prominent during this time. Color themes featured tones of brown and green. Typical items that you would see in a 1930s home include:

club chair
1930s Club Chair

Examples of 1930s Styles

  • Celluloid radios
  • Duncan Phyfe dining room furniture
  • Lacquered cabinets, many with Oriental designs on them
  • Cocktail bars
  • Club chairs

Where to Buy

You can find many items from this era for sale both at auction and from antique dealers on the Internet.

Decorating with Vintage Furniture

Decorating your home with vintage furniture can be a fun as well as educational. There is a lot that can be learned from collecting items from the past, from learning about famous designers to discovering how people lived long ago.

Choose items carefully to bring your designs to life. You may even want to mix and match items from several eras, such as creating an Old Hollywood look from 1930s and 40s furniture. Vintage items from the 1930s through the 1970s can add charm to your home with their unique designs whether you like Art Deco from the thirties or funky and fabulous from the seventies.

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Vintage Furniture