Ethnic & Vintage Décor Elements in a Modern Home – Designers’ Perspectives

Chandelier, Ethnic Decor, Home Decor, Interior Design, Turkish Vintage Carpet, Vintage -

Ethnic & Vintage Décor Elements in a Modern Home – Designers’ Perspectives

“A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal,” - Will Bloom (Character in the movie Big Fish)

Every object has a story waiting to be told and experienced. Perhaps for this very reason, ethnic and vintage décor has long intrigued many a home design/décor professional and enthusiast alike. Some of us seek out these pieces for the stories they tell, the people they represent and the culture they reflect. For us here at Snazzy Bazaar, this has continued to fuel our passion for all things ethnic and vintage. We love hearing these stories and sharing them with you.

We often hear from customers and home décor enthusiasts, who love ethnic and vintage products but are challenged by the idea of incorporating them into a modern home. We talked to professional home product designers, interior designers and decorators to understand their inspiration and approach. We are sharing some of their thoughts and ideas in the hope that it will help you - our readers, customers and fans.

Be bold and break the monotone! Mix them, match them and create a bit of magic.

“When decorating, I love to mix and match to give the space an edgy twist. For an eclectic look, I would use a timeless chandelier or retro armchairs, to break the monotone of the modern pieces”, says Noor Hashem, an interior designer and Owner of Qahwat Omi, who works between Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Hashem chooses to work with ethnic and vintage décor, because it is not only appealing, but also adds a unique character to the place and is often useful to achieve a certain look and feel.

Incorporating Ethnic & Vintage Decor in your modern home

In a typical modern home, Hashem adheres to an 80/20 rule. While 80% of the décor is modern, the 20% is filled with vintage table lamps, an art deco rug and sometimes even recycled or repurposed accents.

Hashem’s basic advice is for clients to choose items that please their eyes and not be afraid to show those objects or use them. Reusing a vintage piece or recycling accents is “green”, Hashem contends.

Appeal to your sense of nostalgia, be it your own childhood or a place you visited and loved!

Areej Daoud from Rukn approaches the integration of ethnic and vintage decor from a personal angle.

Rukn is an interior design and décor firm that prides itself in design and products where vintage meets industrial, rustic merges with eclectic, 70’s pop art fuses with 80’s retro vibes, with a touch of the 90’s.

"Rukn’s style is inspired by the need to create a reflection of our memories as children, for products to have an instant strike-a-thought effect, basically taking us on a walk down memory lane, allowing us to relive moments from the past," Daoud explains.

Incorporating Ethnic, Vintage, Retro Decor into your modern home

Architects by profession and visual artists at heart, the team at Rukn is passionate about giving each space its own unique identity and ensuring that the smallest detail contributes to the larger desired uniqueness and identity.

Repurposed vintage items take on a new life and more stories to tell!

A self-proclaimed “romantic weirdo”, who is always looking in someone else’s trash, Nour Nsheiwat has made a name for herself and her company, N Products for the handmade décor items they create, mostly repurposing and recycling old stuff. A team that passionately believes that it is “its” past that make our everyday objects so fascinating.

On integrating ethnic/vintage items aesthetically in the modern home, Nour says, “How the East meets the world, through this little detail of a pattern or material, can be the style driver for an international trend. I usually maintain the functional part as a universal style, and then add a touch of a local ethnic layer. The end results are magical, they really are!”

Integrating & Repurposing Ethnic, Vintage Objects as Decor in your modern home

Designs and styles are on a creative continuum, and a bold approach to integrating different elements into your home is perhaps how your uniqueness will show.  

Go ahead and break the monotony; splash your space with color, stories and the richness of our world.


Browse our Vintage Rugs, Turkish Mosaic Chandeliers, Nicaraguan Vases, Mexican Ceramics and Zulu Baskets.


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