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Four essentials of vintage design

October 13, 2012

Vintage design is a broad category, potentially encompassing everything from Googie architecture to '50s retro and the grotesque avocado green of '70s kitchens.

Vintage design is a broad category, potentially encompassing everything from Googie architecture to '50s retro and the grotesque avocado green of '70s kitchens. But when we think of traditional vintage design, it calls to mind a style that's both fresh and old, but mostly original. It's no wonder that so much that's called vintage is actually hand-crafted. Looking for some essential options to give your apartment or home that signature style? Consider these four ideas.

1. Splurge on hardwood flooring
There's plenty of vintage style in linoleum or tile, but nothing gives off quite the classic aesthetic like hardwood flooring. Anderson Floors understands this, which is why so many of their flooring styles are modeled on traditional American and old world aesthetics. The Dellamano collection is one of Anderson Hardwood Floors' most well-regarded styles, with extra wide planks that are both hand-scraped and hand-sanded with squared edges and beveled sides. Available in either maple or hickory, these floors live up to their name - after all, Dellamano means "of the hand" in Italian.

2. Choose paintings over prints
While you won't be able to get your favorite Kandinsky or Pollock on the original canvas, a vintage look often benefits from actual paintings rather than framed prints. Why not commission a piece or two from a talented friend for a nominal price? Or pick through a few tag sales and antique stores. If you're looking for hard to find pieces or have more specific taste, an estate sale or auction might yield just what your home needs. When it comes to movie posters - which also have an awesome vintage appeal - original or foreign prints may offer the best style.

3. Original and clever storage solutions
Bookshelves and bureaus are a given - no home can be complete without them. But when it comes to a vintage aesthetic, not all storage is created equal. Have a bunch of Blu-rays or DVDs? Instead of stacking these in a plastic tower, consider investing in an old steamer trunk. While you can stand this up on its side and use it as a side table, it also might make a great coffee table or ottoman. When you want to watch a movie, simply pop the latch and grab the film you want!

4. Go with artisan crafts
Sometimes, what vintage design needs most isn't something old or thrifty - just hand-crafted. Artisan crafts, from your mantelpiece décor to the mugs you drink your coffee out of, are a great way to add vintage character to your space.