A vintage dining room can be cheerful or formal. It's an area where you can have fancy dinner parties but you can also just use it to add a touch of elegance to your everyday life. You can bring in antique pieces or hit garage sales and fix up what you find. You can still add your personality to the room to give it a unique flair that blends in with the rest of your house. A vintage dining room can really add character to a newer house or you can just accentuate the era that your house was built in. Then go with a vintage room or a shabby chic design.

Today’s living rooms are less formal than they are in a vintage setting. This means that you might want a dining room that you can actually use every day. So, look for retro furniture that will give a 40's air. You might even want to go as far as to use furniture that used to be in a vintage kitchen instead of a dining room. This will have a less grand profile and will work well for a smaller space. You can then just drive home the theme with one really vintage piece like a graphic tablecloth that will get your theme across without spending a lot of money.

A vintage dining room doesn't have to be stuffy and mixes and matches materials like antique light fixtures or faux silk curtains and a damask fabric. . You can find mismatched stools, benches and wooden chairs and paint them all a pastel color like pink or green. Accentuate with fun, colorful candy in jars and glass cake stands on the table just waiting for a tea party. For a more contemporary touch paper the walls in silver, add silver foil to a tray ceiling to show off the architecture. You can paint the walls a slate blue or taupe for vintage style with a bit of a masculine edge to it.

You can mix and match your vintage furniture to really create your own personal style that won't be too formal to actually use. Start by antiquing any brass or gold in the room, even if it's on the chairs, chandeliers or picture frames. Paint the buffet ivory with gold accents. Use plush upholstered chairs around a painted dining room table. Pick a completely different fabric and style for the captains chairs that sit at the head and foot of the table. You can also spruce up wood floors by painting or staining a decorative border around the edge. This can be as intricate as a Greek key, or just a few thin stripes around the edge of the room. This touch will hardly be noticeable but it will help spotlight and showcase the best features in the room.

If a vintage dining room feels too formal for you then keep the overall feeling of elegance but bring in your own personality the way you would with a vintage bathroom design or any other room in the house. You can use a zebra stripe rug instead of an oriental rug. If your room doesn't have elaborate moldings, paint them on. If you don't want sculptures, then use graphic wall stickers to emulate sculptures but add interest to your walls. If your dining room set needs new life then just paint it with a black enamel look. Then you can bring in your favorite modern color like lime green or hot pink. This definitely won't be your grandma's dining room, even if it does have a crystal chandelier.

Vintage dining room furniture isn't complete without a buffet. You can paint an older piece bright white to give it a modern look. Accent with barware on top, mixing in crystals and silver plated pieces. Then add in glass lamps, if they have bubbles on them it will still look contemporary and keep the room looking light and bright. For Hollywood glamour look for a glass and mirrored hutch for an elegant room; just be sure to keep the fingerprints off it. For a more whimsical dining room have fun by applying wallpaper to the front of the buffet. Every drawer can be a different pattern; just keep it in the same style and color family. Wallpaper is popular in vintage design but if it feels too formal, don't use it on the walls, get creative with it instead.

Vintage garden decor can help you in your dining room. Look for an iron bistro set if you just have a small kitchen nook to serve as a dining room. You may also be able to create a whimsical look if you find one that looks like a lotus that will have that antique glamour.

Look for a Queen Anne style dining table that will lend an air of formality to the space. Paint everything including the walls a bright white. Bring in a crystal chandelier to add sparkle and add in silver accents. You can warm up the space by using taupe or an ivory color. This is a contemporary look that still focuses on the curves and carvings of vintage design. This is a transitional room that allows you to marry the old with the new. For a true vintage dining room you'd want to use rich woods and metals. You can also paint the walls cranberry or eggplant for that touch of drama. Pink was also a common color in this style of decorating. Use a rose tone paired with ivory furniture or black accessories so it doesn't turn into Barbie's dream dining room.

A vintage dining room should have an air of opulence. If you don't have a lot of architectural features in the room then add them in yourself. Bring in an oversized chandelier that looks like a candelabra. Accent with an intricately carved buffet and an oversized mirror. This will make your room have an art deco flair. Look for upholstered chairs in a floral print or a velvet. Make the room modern by sticking with neutral colors like taupe and terra cotta. Dark wood adds a sense of richness in the room. Silk curtains give the room an air of opulence.

You can create the vintage dining room of your dreams, whether you're inspired by vintage garden decor, or you just can't afford a new table and you've got a vintage dining room set hanging around. It's an opulent look but you can get it on a budget with a little elbow grease and ingenuity.