The Four Most Popular Vintage Styles

“Vintage” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.  Vintage is my job.  I see it every day, it is how I make my living.  But I see so many styles get lumped into the vintage box.  Here are the four main types of vintage.  Some can be interchanged and mixed, and other styles like retro, kitsch, French Country, industrial or Hollywood Regency can all be found in these groups.  Each style is unique but still shares the vintage vibe.  Which one speaks to you?

1 – Boho. 

I chose boho first because, this one is mine.  I think this fits our style at home the best.  Boho/Bohemian is fun because it’s such a mix.  If you’re an old soul, this is probably for you too.  Also, if you’re over 35 you probably call it Bohemian.  You can add a little bit from the other vintage styles and it still can be boho.  Mix a midcentury piece of furniture with a tribal rug and sheepskin and it’s boho. Wicker or bamboo with velvet, leather or fur, Moroccan pillows and an old Fillmore poster.  Boho should have a little 1970’s vibe to feel authentic.  Indoor plants or cactus for sure.  It’s cozy, full of texture and color, and everything feels like it has a soul.  Nothing matches and we like it that way.


Photo courtesy Junk Hippy

2 – Shabby Chic.

Shabby Chic style was created by one of my heroes, Rachel Ashwell, several years ago and is still huge.  This includes the chippy painted furniture with crystal knobs, soft florals, tarnished silver, milk glass….lots of white, cream and pastels like pink, green or blue.  This is where you find the lace curtains, drippy chandeliers, mason jars full of old buttons, over-stuffed and slipcovered furniture, pearls and soft worn-out quilts.  Art might be painted landscapes or Victorian prints.  I see nature mixed in with shabby pretty often, maybe seashells, moss or even a turtle shell.  Primitives, farmhouse and antiques are easy to mix with Shabby Chic.  Shabby is definitely the most feminine of this list.

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Photo courtesy Junk Hippy

3 – And the opposite of shabby…Midcentury Modern.

Midcentury Modern is HOT!  We have several MCM pieces living at our house.  Check most furniture or décor stores (like West Elm) and you’ll see a Midcentury influence.  Midcentury design started in the 1940’s when the clean, geometric Danish style became popular in America, and ran through the 1960’s.  Midcentury pieces are usually known for straight, clean lines, with a very simple style.  Wood pieces are stained a warm color with small, very simple hardware and skinny legs.  Art is bold with color and graphics, and may be product or event advertisement.  Upholstered pieces are also simple, clean and straight.  Paintings are colorful and abstract.  Throw in a sputnik light and Don Draper would approve. 


Photo courtesy Junk Hippy

4 – Rustic/Farmhouse.

I give all the glory of this one to our favorite Fixer Upper’s.  FARMHOUSE.  Holy shiplap, JoJo!  This mixes with several other styles like Primitive and Shabby Chic too.  Usually white, gray or greige walls, white painted or rustic furniture, burlap, cotton stems or wreaths, hand-printed signs, windmills, wire baskets, and barn doors are all signature Farmhouse.  The real deal is always better, but you can find Farmhouse reproduction everywhere.  Even if they are new pieces, Farmhouse style still has a vintage feel and mixes very well with true vintage, primitive or even antique pieces.  You’ll see a lot of industrial pieces used with Farmhouse style, like metal cubbies or cabinets, carts, galvanized buckets or bins. 

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Photo courtesy Junk Hippy