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Having stylish interiors is no longer the preserve of home designers, interior decorators or the wealthy. If you are serious about giving your living room as well as the other rooms a unique feel that is the result of mixing contemporary and retro interior design ideas, you have come to the right place. You do not need to have specialized training or be a professional to create the kind of stylish home décor you want. Becoming interested and getting a little knowledge is all you need to get started.

You are Unique

You are a unique individual, and you can use a little creativity to make your home a place that expresses the essence of your individuality. Are you willing to do the fun and exciting work involved? Thrift shops, antique shops, and flea markets allow you to use your imagination, creativity, and a pocket-friendly budget to decorate your spaces in a way that ultimately transforms the personality of your interiors. Here are a couple of ideas to get you going:

Mix the Old and the New

Having new, contemporary furnishings and decorations in your living room just like all your neighbors does not set you apart, as different and unique. Likewise, using only antiques and retro items might create the impression you are not in tune with the present moment. What to do: start with a contemporary style as a base for the various primary furniture pieces. Then, over time, add different, unique retro and vintage pieces to create a whole new look that appreciates the present while paying homage to the past of interior design.

Elements of Design

Suppose you want to remodel your living room. One of the elements of art and design you can play around with it. I am not asking you to do what I did — you are unique, after all. But,
hopefully, you will begin to understand what chic, yet affordable home décor entails. Straight lines prominently define the design of my sofa sets, so I thought “how can I balance this out?”

Use Curved Lines to Balance Out Straight Ones

Then, I remembered I had spotted these cute, little vintage side tables at a particular place. I immediately called the dealer and asked if the pieces were still available, and he said yes. I bought them and placed them in my living room. Why do you think I chose to purchase these vintage pieces? They were amazing, and the design featured intricate curves that balanced out the sofa’s straight lines. Consider buying modern items that share some elements of style with your flea market finds.

Be Ready to Do Some Work

When you walk into your favorite shop, you might leave without collecting anything if you are looking for items that are in perfect condition. Sometimes all you have got to do to make an object you fancy usable is a little repair and restoration work. That beautiful antique wooden table with flawless legs just needs refinishing or a coat of fresh paint. Do not ignore that sleek retro sofa from the 1960s just because one of the arms needs repair.

Why Do the Work Yourself?

Just buy and do the repair work yourself. Buying and fixing household items from the flea markets can help you save a lot of money and time. Remember you will not need to spend your time looking for expensive restorers or items. Besides, you will start feeling as if every corner of your home is an extension of yourself.

Use Old-fashioned Items as Pieces of Art

Get into the habit of wandering around thrift shops and flea markets. Sometimes you will find an item you cannot resist but discover that there is no use to which you can put it — buy it, anyway. Pluck meaningful pictures from vintage magazines and frame them for use as vintage art on your walls. You can introduce a decades-old appliance such as a blender or an antique coffee pot into your kitchen. Let retro perfume bottles enhance the ambiance of your bathrooms. What other ideas do you have?

Repurpose Outdated Items

Sometimes you will come across items you can put into uses other than those they were intended to serve. If you keep looking, you will always spot quirky finds you can assemble with other items into “new” objects serving different purposes. This is called repurposing.

Here are a couple of repurposing ideas you can consider:

  • Retro suitcases can be arranged neatly together to provide more storage space while serving as pieces of art.
  • You can convert an antique soda cooler into a kitschy sink or plant pot.
  • Use a little imagination and creativity, and you will have a quirky bench made from timber and a vintage soda cooler.
  • Can’t find vintage coolers? Not to worry — Use old, wooden soda crates to build a do-it-yourself vintage crate chest.
  • With a hammer and a couple of steel nails, you should be able to fix vintage shoe forms onto the wall and end up with a quirky coat rack.
  • That decades-old television set you inherited from your grandmother, though no longer working, can still serve a purpose; use it as an end table.

We Becoming Frugal

Some people are finding that more and more possessions do not make them any happier than they were with just a few belongings. Unbridled materialism is on its way out as Americans increasingly ditch it in favor of minimalism. Some people have discovered that you do not need to be earning a lot of money to live abundantly.

Do You Need a New Lifestyle?

Adopting a new lifestyle where you use, reuse, or recycle things could be what you need to cope with the ever-rising cost of living. Antique shops, flea markets, and thrift shops are great places where you can buy chic, stylish items that introduce charm and elegance into your interiors. You will also find fabulous aged, old school, and vintage items to use alongside your contemporary acquisitions.

You are way more imaginative and creative than you probably give yourself credit for. Believe you can create the chic, refreshing interiors you have been dreaming of for some time now. Start collecting what you need now; read up on home décor, too.


Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.