Complimentary Opposition: The Eclectic Modern/Vintage Living Room

Complimentary Opposition: The Eclectic Modern/Vintage Living Room

A growing trend today is "everything vintage." Decorating with vintage and retro items is no longer seen as outdated and elderly. Now it is eclectic and dramatic.

TLC notes, "sleek and chic or cottage charming, retro is fun to live with and fun to put together because it's whatever decade appeals to you."

Decorating your living room in vintage style can be fun, personal and meaningful to you, but it has to be done right. You can't just throw a flower-pattern couch in a room full of art-deco. You also don't want to over-do your room in antiquities or make it look like your grandma's house. There are some clever ways to implement your love of all things vintage with a modern twist to create an eclectic and sophisticated look.


Creating a vintage look to your windows can be tricky because you don't want it to look old and you don't want to use old window treatments that don't work as well or have been faded. You can get window blinds that are reinvented from vintage style but are as innovative as modern blinds. Pairing these with some retro curtains can be fun and pull a room together. suggests do-it-yourself creative curtain holdbacks. They took antique butter plates and screwed them into the wall.

Couch and Chairs

It can be hard to find a vintage sofa that also matches the modern elements of your home. If you find an old-fashioned couch with the style you love but a hideous pattern, covering it with a versatile color can tie it into the look of your living room. To get eclectic and mix eras, use a neutral, modern couch and accent it with kitsch vintage pillows or throws. If you find a classic, vintage, patterned couch that you just have to have, keep the rest of the room simple or add some industrial decorative accents to create an exciting opposing look.


You can get really creative with your coffee table and end tables. TLC gives an example of incorporating a '50s era art-deco tables and single chairs with a sleek modern couch. It can be difficult to find the right vintage pieces and once you do they can be expensive. A great way to get your retro-inspired table is to "upcycle" something you already have and create your own. An old chest or dresser can be re-purposed as a coffee table. According to the Homedit website, to create a side table, coffee table or even dining room table out of virtually anything, a design student named Yael Zwickel invented metal legs that attach to anything and viola, instant table.


Once you've carefully pieced together your main focal points of your eclectic vintage-modern living room, the fun part is choosing what items to display as decoration. When you go vintage, the possibilities are endless here. You don't want it to look cluttered or thrown-together, so you might want to pick a theme. gives some examples such as using time-worn and natural textures, like a sea-life or scientific theme. Repurposing old drawers, mail boxes or jewelry chests establish a feeling of curiosity and order to the room. You never know what you might find at a second-hand store or receive as a hand-me-down, so get creative with what you display in your modern-retro living room.