Vintage charm

The lived-in look is back in a burst of bright florals, smart stripes and soft, worked-in textures. Associate home editor Karen Eull tells you how to get it

What could be more inviting than stacks of overstuffed pillows and cozy quilts? Vintage-inspired patterns bring on nostalgia for heirlooms, history and memories past. Plus, they’re just plain beautiful to look at. Here’s how to add a little old-fashioned appeal to your living room and bedroom.

A cabbage rose-patterned sofa slipcover in machine-washable cotton is both pretty and practical. Playful striped pillows pick up the pink, straw and cream palette, and a knitted throw adds a rustic texture. Sure Fit sofa slipcover in Sarah’s Rose/Red pattern, Linens ‘n Things, $130. Nautica Savannah European sham, the Bay, $147. Nate Berkus chunky knit throw, Linens ‘n Things, $140.

Get inspired by the eclectic charm of antique quilts that mix and match patterns. A nautical navy and white quilt is a stylish twist on a traditional classic. Add pinstripe-patterned accent pillows and a white cushion with grosgrain ribbon detail. Complete the look with crisp white sheets. Nautica Mecox Bay quilt, $240, Nautica Havana decorative pillow, $60, and Nate Berkus cushion, $45, all Linens ‘n Things.

Layering on vintage charm is easy in any room. Here’s a checklist of fabrics, patterns and colours perfect for mixing and matching.

The fabrics:

Textured naturals
Soft, worked-in cottons, twills and muslin
Grosgrain ribbon
Soft knits
Ruffles, ruching and smocking

The patterns:

Oversized cabbage-rose patterns
Small patterned rosettes
Mixed wildflower prints
Classic English garden motifs featuring heather, violets or lavender
Damask stripe
Light plaids or checks

The colours:

Bright whites
Soft creams
Warm neutrals such as straw or fawn
Pinks ranging from pastel rose to vivid candy shades
Spring green
Blues ranging from sky to navy
Yellows from butter to sun-bright