Ever gaze upon vintage in children's spaces on Apartment Therapy and think, "that's wonderful, but I could never make it work"? Here are some tips for how to successfully incorporate key pieces without an undesirable time warp effect.
Contrast Elements: A dark 1970s blue-green floral gets revived surrounded by bright whites, cool pastels, and coral, its compliment on the color wheel.
Paint it, then keep the rest fresh: Mom was inspired by the bright Jenny Lind beds she found at Land of Nod, but the price point was prohibitive. Craigslist, forty dollars, and a fresh coat of paint later, she has the basis for a completely contemporary, fun, super hero room. The stark black and white and grass green were an excellent choice.
Choose key pieces you LOVE: This gorgeous credenza needed no alteration, and is the standout piece in this sweet nursery. It makes the room. Bonus with choosing fine elements? You can reuse them in the main space of your house later.
Mix pattern in like colors: Here, Federica's baby bassinette gets new life with textiles. Were it to only have the quilt it might look a little fuddy duddy, but the pop of polka dots and the contemporary wall treatment take this room into the future, not the past.
Repurpose! Don't be afraid to completely re-think the original use. We had to include this clever use of a library card catalogue — as baby's dresser. Each drawer is carefully labeled ("onesies 3 months", for example). This child will have a lot of fun cataloging her own treasures later.
Bottom line: It's about juxtaposition. People get mired in the idea that things don't "go" together. But to reinvent a vintage piece, it's all about the unexpected. Go for it.