Old is new. That’s right! Vintage is in, and even though it’s been a fad for the last few years, it seems to be a trend that continues and hasn’t lost its charm. Women, especially young professionals, flock to stores to buy vintage clothing items, and collectors of unique furnishings spend their weekends looking for pieces reminiscent of the Victorian and Edwardian eras or perhaps even the 1920s or 1930s, when times were different and seemingly more carefree.
This love affair with all things vintage is probably why so many vintage shops continue to succeed and why fit out professionals keep coming up with new ways to portray that vintage feeling when they design and decorate stores that peddle items reminiscent of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
If you’re a shop owner going for a vintage fit out – even if you don’t sell vintage items – you have a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to decorating. To achieve that true vintage look, you’ll want to consider each aspect of your shop decor with your shop fitter and choose items that are appropriate.
1. Lighting – While large fluorescent, industrial fixtures certainly provide the most light in a retail setting, it’s not what you’ll want in your charming shop. Vintage lighting isn’t hard to find but can be costly, so if you look for reproductions of old pieces rather than the old pieces themselves, you can save money and still add greatly to the ambience of your store. Various types of chandelier lights are usually the best choice, and you can also add wall sconces for indirect lighting.
2. Display items – It’s lots of fun to search for vintage display items for your shop as there are so many possibilities. Hit the antique shops and the “junk” stores with your designer to find things such as old tables, desks, book shelves, and cabinets that can hold any number of items. Use your imagination and purchase items such as old doors or shutters, small end tables, wooden ladders, and vintage suitcases. Wicker baskets are also ideal, and even new ones can be made to look older with perhaps some paint and a few ribbons.
3. Decorations – Similar to purchasing display items, decorations can be found in secondhand stores and can include inexpensive paintings from the era you wish to portray, old windows you can paint in pastels and hang on the wall, coat trees, brass or wicker headboards, old ceramic pieces, and so much more. Decorating a vintage shop allows you to let your imagination run free, and your shop fitter can continue to help steer you in the right direction so that everything is pulled together cohesively.
4. Flooring – Using reclaimed lumber for your floor gives you that vintage look and also helps the environment. Many flooring companies offer hardwood flooring made from dismantled buildings and such, and often, the price is more affordable than anything new and shiny. Ask your shop fitter to recommend such a vendor for your flooring needs.