Vintage style is key to creating a kids' room that grows with them – interior designers on why they love this eclectic style

From sourcing antique beds to passing down sentimental pieces, these vintage kids' room ideas are sure to inspire

vintage kids bedroom ideas
(Image credit: Paloma Contreras / Vaughan Design & Development / Photography Chris Snook / Plaster & Patina)

Decorating a kid's bedroom is a hard task. With inspiration falling into one of two camps: pink vs blue (or sad and beige), it can be tricky to land on an interior design style for your child's room that will make even the grown-ups jealous.

Until we found vintage kids' room ideas. These eclectic, nostalgic, collected spaces offer a timeless charm that works no matter the gender. If you're truly looking for a decor style to get excited about, we think vintage children's room ideas are right on the mark.

With searches spiking 300% on Pinterest of late, this is clearly a trending aesthetic for 2024. Here, we asked interior designers why they love introducing vintage style into a kid's bedroom – and their favorite ways of doing so.

6 timeless Vintage Kids Room Ideas

vintage twin bed kids bedroom with vintage art

(Image credit: Jennifer Barron Interiors)

The beauty and the beast of kids' room decor is that it doesn't really have to work with the rest of the house's style if you so wish, so you can go wild. But this also opens you up to a minefield of options and can lead you astray from things you really love.

In a child's room, there are only a few set rules: it should be imaginative and joyful while suiting the needs of a growing child.

The great thing about vintage pieces is that they don't date. They're not a passing trend or something you can easily pick up at the local store, so you can be sure to create an aesthetic that is super personalized and individual - especially if you include family hand-me-downs. By blending the old with the new, you can design a room that is not only beautiful and functional but also timeless.

With its blend of character and practical charm, decorating with vintage in a kid's room is a trick beloved by interior designers. Because good design knows no age.

1. Source a vintage bedframe

kids bedroom with tropical mural wallpaper vintage bedframe

(Image credit: Plaster & Patina)

As the focal point of the bedroom, finding the perfect bedframe is the cornerstone of creating a charming and long-lasting kids' room. Vintage beds offer an array of styles, from ornate spindle designs to sleek mid-century modern pieces that add instant character to the space.

'We love incorporating a vintage bedframe into the mix for kids' rooms,' says Alexandra Azat, founder of Plaster & Patina and designer of the space seen above. The unique patina and craftsmanship of vintage furniture often surpass the mass-produced options available today, making them a worthy investment for any parents seeking longevity as well as aesthetics.

Visiting antique shops, estate sales, and online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace can yield a treasure trove of options. Look for bedframes made from solid wood or wrought iron, as these materials stand the test of time. And of course, ensure that the frame is sturdy by checking for any signs of damage or wear that might compromise its safety.

'Depending on the age, you don't want to make the room feel too serious, but I haven't met a wallpaper that these gorgeous vintage bedframes haven't been able to pair with nicely,' Alex suggests.

2. Mix with modern finishes

twin boy and girls bedroom with blue and pink decor and vintage pieces

(Image credit: Eklektik Studio / Photography Anna Stathaki)

'With the ever-growing trend in sentimental styles for children's bedrooms, the demand for vintage-inspired children's interiors is on the rise,' explains Joanna Landais, founder of Eklektik Studio, who is known for her creative children's spaces.

'While achieving a successful vintage look can be tricky, the key lies in blending vintage pieces with modern finishes such as metal, concrete, or satin brass,' she advises. 'Consistency in pattern repetition is essential, ensuring similar-sized patterns are repeated across the room, from soft furnishings to wallpaper.'

Look to include modern pieces with clean lines and neutral tones to balance the ornate details of vintage furniture and accessories. This approach prevents the room from feeling too dated or cluttered. 'A vintage room should feel clean and airy, with a contemporary twist achieved by introducing contrasting patterns like polka dots and stripes.'

3. Include heirloom toys, books and decor

styling french antique vintage shelves with toys and accessories

(Image credit: Jennifer Barron Interiors)

Incorporating sentimental toys, books, and decor into your kids' bedroom will make the space feel truly special. Heirlooms connect children to their family's past, carrying stories and memories, which can make the room feel more personal and meaningful.

'I love to mix a little bit of vintage into every kid's room I do,' says interior designer Bethany Adams. 'This keeps things from feeling too precious, or too matchy-matchy, and also takes the pressure off of your darling offspring when it comes to the inevitable knicks and scratches because the furniture is already well-loved,' she explains.

'If you're lucky like my girls were, you may even have a treasure or two from your own childhood bedroom or your parents to pass on, which is a lovely way to connect the generations,' adds Bethany.

Try including open shelving or an antique unit, like the French vintage bamboo piece seen above in this space designed by Jennifer Barron Interiors, to display your treasures. And of course, be sure to keep anything that is too sentimental out of arms reach.

4. Look for vintage art and posters

wallpapered kids bedroom with vintage wall art and accessories

(Image credit: Gilded Hearth)

'Creating the look of vintage in a kid's room could be fun by adding in art that reflects a time of the past,' suggests Laura Williams of ATX Interior Design. Sourcing vintage wall decor is one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to introduce this trend to your home.

Whether it’s a whimsical illustration from an old children’s book or a classic movie poster, art can be picked up at thrift stores for as little as a few dollars, and you'll be surprised how much charm they add. Search for pieces that not only complement the room’s color scheme but also reflect your child’s personality and hobbies.

Emily Brownell, founder of Gilded Hearth Interiors, took a vintage-inspired approach when designing her son's room seen above. 'I love a vintage-style kids' room with a touch of whimsy,' says Emily. 'The wall pattern was accomplished using a stamped roller instead of a wallpaper to give it a more imperfect old-world feel. It's obviously a must to include vintage, like this rug that ties all the colors together. I also mixed in some elements from my husband and I's childhood like his old toys and a vintage pillow I had as a kid for that personal touch,' she explains.

5. Try out an antique accent furniture piece or two

green painted and wallpapered attic kids bedroom with fitted bed and antique furniture pieces

(Image credit: Vaughan Design & Development / Photography Chris Snook)

'Too often, children’s toys and furniture can feel garish and ultra-modern,' says Holly Vaughan, co-founder of Vaughan Design & Development and creator of the space seen above. 'By adding vintage pieces, whether that be through a side table or soft furnishing, the space will soften and feel a little more classic meaning loud-looking toys will blend into the background.'

Even if you just want to add a touch of vintage style by incorporating one accent piece of furniture or decor, this can significantly elevate the design from a cookie-cutter modern aesthetic to something much more unique.

'Adding antique objects to a children's room can add so much depth and character,' suggests Sarah Latham of Latham Interiors. 'Old wooden rocking horses, art, or even accent furniture can be ways to bring vintage into a new baby's room.'

'An extra bonus is that these pieces will grow with the space meaning you aren’t having to constantly re-invest,' adds Holly.

6. Shed some light with vintage lighting

vintage lighting in a wallpapered baby nursery with a white crib

(Image credit: Paloma Contreras)

Lighting is a such crucial part of creating a room that feels professionally curated, and vintage pieces can add a ton of personality and style to a room. A beautiful vintage lamp or chandelier not only illuminates the space but also serves as a statement piece.

'For our daughter Margot’s nursery [seen above], I wanted to welcome her to the world by surrounding her with nods to the incredible beauty found in nature and my goal was to create a beautiful, peaceful space that would grow with her over the years,' explains interior designer Paloma Contreras who mixed contemporary and vintage in this charming space.

'I knew that I didn't want a pink room or anything too juvenile. We hung a new French-inspired chandelier in the room and added a vintage floor lamp with a bamboo motif that I bought in Paris a few years earlier.' Top tip: be sure that the fixtures are in good working condition or have been professionally rewired to meet modern safety standards.

So, whether you're starting from scratch or looking to update an existing room, will you consider a vintage-inspired kid's room? With thoughtful sourcing and creative styling, you can make a space that is truly unique, full of character, and something you're both going to love for years to come.

Charlotte Olby
Style & Trends Editor

Charlotte is style and trends editor at Homes and Gardens, and has been with the team since Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she has worked at many women's glossy magazines including Grazia, Stylist, and Hello and most recently worked as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with her passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome