7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

Adding the right touch of vintage décor to your home is a matter of balance. It brings that decades-old, well-traveled quality that gives the spaces in your home a special character. A common concern with vintage décor is that it will make a home feel outdated. Fortunately, certain design elements and trends have stood the test of time.

We tend to think of vintage décor in terms of well-known objects, like shag carpets and Eames chairs, but it is so much more than that. Some of the most iconic design concepts of eras past continue to influence how we design our homes today. From features to furniture, here are just a few that have maintained their popularity with homeowners and interior designers alike.

 

7 Vintage Design Elements That Are Still Popular Today

1. Built-Ins

The history of built-ins dates back to the Arts & Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. In contrast to the Victorian period that preceded them, the Arts & Crafts designers looked to simplify home design by working features into the structure of the home itself. The clean aesthetic look of built ins, as well as their functionality and the storage they provide, have kept them relevant for decades.

2. Exposed Brick

Exposed brick has maintained its popularity through the years, sometimes used to compliment certain modern design trends, such as Industrial, a common design choice for open-concept, non-traditional living spaces such as lofts. Whether it’s stripping away a wall to reveal a chimney or using it as a backsplash for open shelving, exposed brick creates a vintage lived-in quality. Its natural pattern and textured surface work well as either a focal point or an accent piece in large and small spaces alike.

3. Crown Molding

With roots dating back to ancient Greece, crown molding is both decorative and functional. It provides a visual transition for the surfaces in a room by embellishing the space between the ceiling and wall. It can also be a decorative piece for architectural elements such as bookshelves, doorways, etc. Although crown molding is a small detail, it plays a significant role in tying a room together.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

4. Marble Countertops

From ancient Rome to the European Renaissance, marble has been widely used throughout history in countless homes throughout the world. Heat resistant and easy to clean, marble countertops have become a staple of kitchens and bathrooms. Due to their large surface area and durability, they are often the centerpiece of kitchen renovation projects. Because marble is porous, it’s best to seal them at the time of installation to prevent damage.

5. Wicker Style Furniture

With origins tracing back thousands of years, wicker-woven furniture is still ubiquitous today. Made from the sturdy and flexible material rattan, wicker furniture is lightweight and weather resistant. It makes for the ideal outdoor patio chair or lounge seat, or the perfect rocker by the fireplace in the living room. A combination of functionality and beauty, wicker furniture’s popularity has showed no signs of slowing down.

 

A wicker chair holding a book, a hat, and a blanket.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

6. Checkerboard Tile

Checkerboard tile is a classic element of vintage design, often used on kitchen floors and in bathroom tile work. Designers have always found a way to incorporate this eye-catching black and white pattern into the latest trends. In the home, it can be applied on a large or small scale. If a whole kitchen floor is a bit much for your taste, incorporate it in smaller areas, such as a bathroom backsplash or a backdrop for your shelves.

7. Mid-Century Modern Furniture

The evidence of the Mid-Century Modern (MCM) movement’s relevance is all around us, but in the home, it lives on in its signature furniture pieces. MCM designers took the concepts of modern design—clean lines, minimalism, multi-functionality—and created sleek, interesting furniture pieces that blend into a room and make a statement simultaneously. Common items such as teak desks, Eames chairs, Tulip chairs, credenzas, and raised-legged dressers skyrocketed in popularity during the fifties and sixties. MCM has proven to be timeless, and to this day, its influence can be seen in homes everywhere.

 

A living room decorated with mid-century modern furniture.

Image Source: Getty Images

 

For more information on home design styles, check out our Interior Design page on our website.

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Upgrading Your Work From Home Space

We don’t need to tell you that COVID-19 drastically changed the way we live and work. An estimated 58% of Americans are now working remotely, and it has had an impact on how we use the space in our homes. Home offices, once a luxury, are now in high demand as working from home became the new normal over the past year. That being said, is your home office operating at its highest potential? Let’s look at some ways to upgrade your home office and turn it into the workspace of your dreams.

The New Normal

It’s been almost a year since millions of employees started working remotely, so we are all familiar with the concept of a home office and working from home. While some have space to spare, not everyone has a dedicated room in their home or apartment to turn into an office. Whether you have a setup that would make Google HQ jealous or you’re currently borrowing your teenager’s closet to conduct Zoom meetings, it is important to prioritize the functionality of your space. Take advantage of every inch you have to give yourself a comfortable working environment.

With functionality top of mind, here are some crucial things to consider when revamping or creating your home office.

Create a Dedicated Space

It can be difficult living and working within the same couple hundred square feet. For the sake of maintaining some semblance of work-life balance, create a space dedicated to work and only work. Set all of your work equipment in a singular area and keep it there. Use dividers, doors, or your desk to mark off the area you’ve made.

Those who have been working from home for years have said that creating a designated workspace is one of the best things you can do for your mental health and overall wellbeing. A separation of work and home communicates to your brain that one area of your home is a place to work, and the other is a place to live – which can reduce work-related anxiety.

Make Your Windows Count

Setting up your desk under or near a window can do wonders for your creativity and productivity. If you can avoid it, don’t position your desk toward a wall. If you don’t have windows available, be sure to turn your desk outward, toward your room. This position will give your eyes the ability to bounce around the room instead of staring at a blank wall, which can be just as draining as it is boring.

Even if your desk is set up near a window, remember to head outside every so often. It’s all too easy to sit at your computer for hours at a time without standing up and enjoying some sunshine. Give yourself set breaks to soak in some vitamin D, whether you take your lunch outside or simply sneak some fresh air between meetings.

Some WFH Must-Haves

Enough of the basics. Here are some must-haves that will brighten your office space and make you excited to “go to work”.

  • A therapy light can have a positive impact on your mood and energy by simulating natural light. Set one up on your desk to increase alertness and improve your sleep.
  • Save your back with an ergonomic chair made for longer periods of sitting. This will help reduce back pain and improve your posture.
  • Standing desks are another back-saver that will save you from sitting for eight hours a day. Seen to increase activity and overall health, standing desks can change how you work for the better.
  • A full-size keyboard provides all the keys necessary to get the job done, including a number pad and function keys. Tenkeyless keyboards (keyboards without a number pad) are gaining popularity, but full-size keyboards remain on top due to their ease of use and practicality.
  • Mini humidifiers are an effective way to combat dry air, giving you happy lungs, sinuses, and skin. Put one on your desk to increase the humidity in your space.
  • Working on screens all day exposes you to blue light, which can negatively impact your sleep and overall mood. Get a pair of blue light glasses to combat these rays.

 

With  many of us still working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever that your workspace serves your unique needs. Make your area work for you to improve your productivity and personal wellbeing. At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we work best when we’re feeling our best.

 

Disclaimer: This is a guest post written by the real estate experts at The CE Shop. The CE Shop is the leading provider of online real estate education with convenient courses available in all 50 states and D.C. To find out more about The CE Shop and the resources they provide, visit www.TheCEShop.com.

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Timeless Home Design

When decorating and designing, homeowners often strive for a home that may incorporate vintage and modern elements but remains timeless at its core. Fortunately, certain design principles and elements have stood the test the time and can help you curate the home you desire. Here is your guide to understanding how you can design a home that looks and feels timeless.

 

Principles of Timeless Home Design

Balance

When designing a space in your home, balance is a key concept to delivering a timeless ambiance. Achieved through a proportionate arrangement of objects and colors, balance will help create a logical pattern in your home that pleases the eye. Experiment with symmetry in your home to build balance. This doesn’t mean that there needs to be two of every object, rather in every space you should utilize the objects and color schemes present to create symmetry.

 

Focal Point

Imagine a living room without a couch or mantle, or a dining room without a dining table. These images are confusing because we simply don’t know where to focus our attention. A core principle of timeless design is that space should have a focal point to give order to the room. Focal points don’t always have to be derived from a built-in feature of the home, you can create one with furniture, artwork, or some other form of eye-catching décor.

 

Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion are two fundamental concepts of interior design and are key to creating a timeless décor. Simply put, proportion refers to the relationship of items and colors, while scale refers to their relationship with the room. For example, if a room in your home has high ceilings, this allows for taller furniture and artwork, while the most spacious rooms in your house are the best home for large décor pieces and furnishings. Proper usage of scale and proportion also means leaving some space between items to let the room breathe, so to speak.

 

Colors and Patterns

For a timeless look and feel, choose more classic color and pattern schemes. Basketweave is a traditional pattern that helps to create symmetry. Stripes are always in style and can help to reinforce clean lines. Stick to neutral paint colors on your walls as they give you the flexibility to add décor without overwhelming the room. Combinations of off-whites, beiges, grays, and earthy tones will deliver that timeless feel you’re looking for.

 

Natural Elements

There’s nothing more timeless than nature. Materials like wood, stone, and marble have been a cornerstone of design since antiquity. Whether you utilize these materials in your home as furniture, accent pieces, or focal points, they will help create a trend-free, organic environment in any room.

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What Is a Craftsman Home?

The Craftsman home has a distinct look and definitive features, whose origins date back to nineteenth-century Britain. Their popularity can be attributed to the simple ideas behind their design and their focus on functional living.

 

Types of Craftsman Homes

Craftsman Bungalow

For many people, the type of Craftsman home that immediately comes to mind is the Craftsman Bungalow. Bungalows are of modest size, with a covered porch and tapered columns supporting a low-pitched roof. Often, you’ll see these homes with double gable roofs, where the front porch will extend beyond the house. Bungalows are typically one or one-and-a-half stories.

Four Square Craftsman

The Four Square Craftsman is a larger, two-story version of the Bungalow, meant for bigger families. Accordingly, their construction saw a significant increase as soldiers returned from World War I. Their name comes from their design of four rooms on the first and second floors, one in each corner.

Prairie Craftsman

The Prairie Craftsman style can be traced back to renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Known for their low profile and powerful horizontal lines, Prairie Craftsman homes typically have an open floor plan and harmonize with their surrounding landscape.

Mission Revival

Borrowing greatly from the style of the Prairie Craftsman, the Spanish influences of the Mission Revival make it a unique Craftsman home. Typical features include a stucco exterior, arches, and open interior spaces with terracotta detailing. If someone points out a house as a “Spanish Bungalow,” you’re looking at a Mission Revival Craftsman.

 

Characteristics of Craftsman homes

Exterior

Highly identifiable, Craftsman homes share many commonalities, but seemingly, no two are identical. A covered porch with tapered columns is the first indicator you’re looking at a Craftsman. The roofs are low-pitched with overhanging eaves, giving way to exposed rafters underneath. It’s common for the windows to be double-paned, while the front doors will typically contain their panes in the upper section.

Interior

Known for their open floor plans, ample seating, and plenty of built-in shelving, the inside of a Craftsman home is a comfortable place to be. Reflecting the hard-working nature of their style, you’ll find plenty of handcrafted woodwork, stonemasonry, and brickwork throughout the interior. Fireplaces are often the central feature of Craftsman living rooms.

 

Now that you know a bit more about the Craftsman home and how to identify it, look for examples of these characteristics in your neighborhood. Due to the widespread popularity of the Craftsman style, chances are you won’t have to look too far.

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Simple Bathroom Upgrades

The thought of upgrading a bathroom often brings to mind large-scale renovations, demolition, and hefty price tags. Even projects like replacing a backsplash or repairing tile can be more involved than you might think. However, it’s possible to give your bathroom a makeover without breaking the bank (or your back). Whether you’re looking to just freshen it up or make it feel like your own personal spa, these simple projects can help take your bathroom to the next level.

 

Upgrade your Décor

If you want to make a big splash without spending big money, consider upgrading your bathroom with new décor. A fresh coat of paint on the walls or a bold, patterned wallpaper can completely change the character of the space, while accent pieces like a new shower curtain and towel racks can reinforce your color choices. Installing shelving is a simple, functional tactic that gives dimension to your walls. Whether it’s in the shower, above your toilet, or beside your vanity, a shelf can save surface space while helping to tie the room together.

 

Upgrade your Tub

Upgrading your tub doesn’t have to mean buying a replacement. Simply refinishing your tub will have it looking brand new and helps you save money. Over time, tubs accumulate cracks, dings, and discoloration due to mold, but refinishing can cure these imperfections right away. Start by removing all hardware from the tub. Sand the whole surface, fill in any cracks or holes with putty or epoxy, then sand them smooth. Apply multiple layers of primer and topcoat, give it a buff, and enjoy your brand-new bathtub.

If refinishing your tub is too much to handle, consider simply touching it up. Fill in any cracks and apply a fresh line of caulking around the surface. After this is done, shop around for new tub hardware to polish off your cost-effective bathtub makeover.

 

Upgrade Your Vanity

With just a few tweaks, you can turn your vanity area from a mirror with counter space to an impactful centerpiece. Instead of going all out with a new cabinet install, simply replacing your cabinet hardware and drawer pulls can make a big difference. Think of ways your new hardware can reinforce the style of your bathroom. Match them with your shower rod, faucet, and showerhead to make your bathroom more eye-catching.

Your vanity also offers a great opportunity to add some color to your bathroom. Giving it a fresh coat of paint will help to liven up the space at a low cost. For wooden vanities, a re-stain is a great way to give them new life. Start by removing the doors and drawers. Apply wood stripping to all surfaces, then let them sit for the recommended time. Now you can begin to scrape away the old finish. Sand down all surfaces and apply the primer before staining the wood. Once your stain settles in, apply a second coat and your vanity will be good as new.

 

Finishing Touches

Well-organized surfaces and compartments will help to create serenity in your bathroom. Whether it’s in the shower, the medicine cabinet, or below the vanity, look for multipurpose organizers that help cut down on bathroom clutter and save space. Add in natural elements like bamboo and river rocks to make your bathroom feel like a soothing sanctuary.

 

For more ideas on affordable home makeovers, check out our tips for upgrading your bedroom, home office, and kitchen.

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Why Should You Stage Your Home When it’s For Sale?

In order to sell your home, it must be successfully marketed to potential home buyers. Developing a winning strategy to attract as many buyers as possible to your home is something your real estate agent will work on, and part of that process may include staging.

Staging doesn’t just involve decorating your home; it’s using furniture and décor to reveal the possibilities in the space in order to make it appealing to a wide variety of buyers. It is an important step to helping buyers imagine the space for their own use, and it often leads to a higher dollar value and quicker sale time.

 

Staging for Buyers

A well-staged home creates stunning photographs that will attract buyers as they search online. In 2020, 97% of home buyers used the internet to search for prospective homes, and about half of them used mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Because photos on a mobile device can be quite small and easily swipeable, staging has the potential to grab a buyer’s eye and pull them into the listing. Once they visit in person, staging serves to elevate your space while allowing buyers to visualize themselves living in your home.

 

Investment and ROI

For a relatively low investment, the return on investment (ROI) for a staged listing is worth it for just about any home seller. No matter the size of your home, the average investment on staging is 1% of the sale price of the home. And that 1% investment can lead to amazing gains. According to a 2020 survey by the Real Estate Staging Association, of those who spent 1% on staging, 75% saw a return of 5-15% over the asking price. As this shows, investing in staging can turn into one of the best ways to add value to your home.

In addition to increasing the dollar value of your home, staging is also likely to lead to a quicker sale. In 2020, staged listings sold after an average of 23 days on market. That’s two days faster than the national average of 25 days on market in the same year.

Your real estate agent can connect you with a professional stager who they will work side-by-side with to create a cost-effective strategy for staging your home and getting it sold in the most efficient and effective manner.

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Incorporate Pantone’s Color of 2021 Into Your Home

For the second time ever, Pantone’s Color of the Year is actually two colors: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of natural elements that stand the test of time, while Illuminating Yellow is a cheerful sunshine yellow, symbolizing energy and clarity.

 

Here are some ways you can harness this color harmony in your home.

 

Brighten Your Bedroom

With a foundation of Ultimate Gray, Illuminating yellow will brighten your bedroom, livening up the space and radiating positivity. Mix and match different furniture and accent wall combinations to get the right balance of sunny yellow and solid gray.

 

Refresh Your Home Office

 

Home offices have become more important than ever. As working from home continues in 2021, your remote workspace is the perfect location to add in Pantone’s Color of the Year. We all could use some added stimulation to keep our workdays going smoothly and productively. Use Illuminating to add some colorful accents or to paint your wall, balance it out with some Ultimate Gray, and let the positivity fill your home office. A modern home office with a yellow wall.

 

 

Accents In Your Living Room

Pantone’s Illuminating is a perfect accent color for your home. Incorporate this energetic sunshine yellow in your living room in the form of decorative throw pillows, blankets, and accent décor pieces like vases and curtains. Ultimate Gray is a perfect color for large furniture items and will help to balance out the tone of your living room. It provides a neutral backdrop, which gives you the freedom to decorate brightly.

 

Make A Statement With Your Front Door

Your front entrance plays a significant role in the first impressions of your home. What better way to use Pantone’s striking yellow than a front door makeover? Illuminating yellow presents an opportunity to bring a little sunshine to your family and guests every time they approach. Ultimate Gray as both a wall color and an accent color will help to solidify your new, strikingly optimistic front door. Accent pieces like house numbers, your mailbox, and plant pots will help create harmony between the two colors. A yellow front door against a gray wall.

 

Read more about this year’s color trends and how you can incorporate them into your home here: 2021 Paint Color Trends

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