Interior Design

10 Old-School Interior Design Ideas That Are Cool Again

Moving to a new apartment or thinking about redecorating, but all out of ideas? Often, inspiration fails you when you need it most and it’s not easy to overcome.

However, instead of going the usual way and surfing online catalogs and Pinterest boards, consider raiding your grandparents’ home for some fresh ideas. Yes, you read that right — many of the things trending back in the 1960 or ’70s are coming back, and we can’t help but be fans.

As with most things, trends are usually cyclical, so it’s no surprise that what was trendy in our grandparents’ youth is starting to get attention today, as well. From doilies and colorful alarm clocks to shag rugs and everything floral, the vintage aesthetic is back in the spotlight.

So, let that nostalgia flood over you while you take a page out of your granny’s décor book. Now, without further ado, get inspired by some of the most aesthetically pleasing vintage décor ideas (in no particular order):

  1. Floral Wallpaper

What more classic vintage décor is there than floral wallpaper? While most of our grandparents seemed to use all things floral in their homes — from plates and tablecloths to wallpapers and curtains — nowadays, we can take it down a notch and just go with a wallpaper. For example, a statement piece on a single wall will definitely make the room livelier and more colorful.

  1. Quilts

Quilts are back in style and might be here to stay this time. Perfect for a folksy look, they’re cozy, colorful and brighten up any room. Add some floral pillows to complete the look and you’re all set for making your grandmother feel right at home every time she visits.

  1. Cast-Iron Beds

A cast-iron bed elevates the entire room to luxury status. It’s refined, stylish and suitable for anyone who ever dreamed of living in an elegant cottage from a Jane Austen novel.

  1. Pink Bathroom Tiles

Without a doubt, pink bathrooms were all the rage back in the ’50s — which is why you’ve likely stumbled into one at least once. However, there’s no need to tile your entire bathroom pink. Instead, just use a splash of this retro color on part of the walls for a similar effect.

  1. Decorative Plates

Channel your inner grandma and add some decorative plates to your home. No, they won’t be used for dining, but rather for your walls or shelves as art pieces. While you might argue that this isn’t a proper function for plates, many grandmothers would disagree — they’re lovely to look at and admire.

  1. Fake Plants

For those of us who don’t have a green thumb, the fact that fake plants are trendy comes as a huge relief. Plus, what’s great now compared to our grandparents’ time is that fake plants actually look pretty realistic. Of course, you’ll still have some maintenance with them as they do collect dust, but at least you don’t have to worry that they might die on you.

  1. Carpets/Shag Rugs

Apart from being very fashionable, carpets also make any room cozier — regardless of whether they’re simple, fringed carpets or fuzzy, shag rugs. And, because they’ve been around for quite some time now, they’re sure to stay in style for some time to come. Throw some in your bedroom or living room to give the spaces an air of sophistication, while also keeping your feet warm.

  1. Floral Artwork

It’s no secret that grandparents really love their florals on everything. So, after wallpaper, artwork seems like the most obvious choice. Plus, hanging floral paintings or photographs around the house looks great — especially if you’re decorating a simple room and it needs a certain statement piece, in which a piece of floral artwork could do wonders.

  1. Vintage Alarm Clocks

Although most of us have opted for technology when it comes to our waking-up rituals, alarm clocks are making a comeback. Plus, they can also be much cuter — and probably more efficient — than our mobile phones. And, in terms of price, they won’t put a strain on your pocketbook as they usually sell for less than $20.

  1. Doilies

Remember how your grandma used to have tons of doilies spread around the house? They were a must-have back in the old days and, we won’t lie, they are cute. However, as with everything, it’s best not to overdo it. One or two small doilies on some of the furniture will do the trick.

We hope you found some inspiration scrolling through these staples of the ’60s and, remember, your apartment is the place where you spend most of your time, so it really should feel like home.

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About the author

Florentina Sarac

Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 7-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email.

Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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