What is the difference between retro, vintage and antique home decor?
Many are confused about the difference between retro, vintage and antique home decor. We hope this post helps clarify the main differences between each.
Vintage Home Decor
Vintage (one of the most widely misused terms) refers to decor that’s at least 20 years old or more. This will make many 80s fans very happy.
Much of the confusion with “vintage” is that it’s also used somewhat interchangeably with “classic” to define anything of the past that has retained its quality over the years.
In our Bubble Bath Night Light to the right, the fabric is a vintage cotton handkerchief (over 20 years old).
Retro Home Decor
Retro home decor is defined as decor that appears outdated or out of fashion for the current time period.
Retro could apply to lamp shade styles that were popular in the late 1990s (not technically vintage yet) or any new design that references styles of the recent past.
Retro is often interchangeable with the phrase “vintage inspired.”
Today, the 1970s are often referred to as “retro” even though they are technically in the “vintage” category (over 40 years old). For example, in our Tangerine Tango lamp shade above, the fringe is a reminder of the fun but outdated styles of the 1970s.
Antique Home Decor
According to Merriam Webster, an antique is “a work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period and according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago.” Being at least 100 years old seems to be the defining factor with antiques (with the exception of antique cars).