If there’s one thing that many Melburnian property owners understand, it’s the importance of a home versus a house. The latter is a place you merely reside, while the former evokes a sense of belonging, warmth and of identity that reflects its occupants. The following considers new house builds and how to make them your own. As minimalism’s clean lines and open plan living continues to dominate many of the family homes currently being constructed, it can be more challenging to put your own personal stamp on a brand new dwelling. Today’s design focus is on the vintage aesthetic and how to use its features to add character and warmth to a living space.
Wall paper is vintage in a big way. A great way to lift a room can to be to add either colour, pattern or texture, or all of the above, to your space. Options include full wall coverings, either the top or bottom half of the wall, the ceiling or a single feature wall. Full wall coverings can be subtle and muted in a variety of pastels or lighter shades, while feature walls you can afford to be more bold and make a statement. For the truly adventurous different designs on the upper and lower half could be even be incorporated. If you’re not quite ready to commit, consider removable wall stickers. These days they are not only available as decals for kid’s bedrooms, but can be a used as a lattice, edging, tessellation or any repetitive design you desire.
If you want to keep the walls neutral, consider some artwork to lift a space. Even small, functional rooms such as toilets or laundries can be invigorated with some 2D decoration. Ornaments or feature pieces can also add a touch of sparkle to a room. Think vintage perfume bottles, hat racks, retro indoor plants, rugs, mirrors or a restored sideboard. In the kitchen you might invest in some new retro style appliances (mmm Smeg) or invest (or restore) an oven with multiple chambers for the ultimate old school kitchen look. If you are in Melbourne, get home design ideas by attending to some open houses in the arty neighbourhoods to get some décor inspiration. Try Brunswick, Fitzroy and their surrounds. Online, Pinterest will keep you busy for hours!
A note of caution, wherever possible aim to source authentic items to decorate your home. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands at antique dealers to make an impact, but be wary of mass produced and inferior quality goods that typically do not have longevity. You might also consider new items that are locally made, ideally with sustainably sourced and high quality materials. Although price can be a good indicator of provenance, you can still source fantastic items from second hand shops and markets, car boot sales or even from the sales of deceased estates. If you’re handy yourself, consider restoring some items back to their former glory or converting them into a new piece for your home.