How to Decorate with Vintage Signs July 16 2021

vintage signs

In this how-to guide for decorating with vintage signs, we’ll be chatting about:

  • How to use vintage signs in home decor
  • Inspiring ideas for enhancing any room with a vintage sign
  • Where to find the best vintage signs for sale

It’s no secret that, when it comes to adding character to your space, you can’t go wrong with vintage decor. Whether you’re hoping to enhance a spacious living area, an oddly-shaped kitchen, or even a bare-bones bathroom, shopping for vintage home decor is a no-brainer. 

Vintage signs have become one of the favorite design elements of designers and everyday style enthusiasts alike, making a fun addition to just about any room. The patina, rust, fading, and general wear and tear that you tend to see on these old signs are exactly what makes them so distinctive - and why they make for such charming decor. For many vintage lovers, the thought that even a simple sign could have a fascinating story to tell is just the icing on the cake. 

Whether you want an oversized conversation piece or something small to add a finishing touch, a vintage sign might be the decor you’ve been searching for.

How to Add Vintage Signs into Your Home Decor

Small or large, in shades of neutral or vibrant hues, vintage signs put a quirky spin on traditional wall art. In all their rusty, chippy, and dented glory, these signs can liven up virtually any space. 

Here are some of our favorite ways to decorate with vintage signs - don’t be surprised if you suddenly start feeling inspired to shop for a sign for every room in your house!

Make a Serious Style Statement

The beauty of a great vintage sign is that it can stand on its own, especially if it’s oversized or particularly unique. Hang an extra-large sign to create a focal point, perhaps above a couch, in an entryway, or even at the end of a long hallway. If you tend to lean towards a simpler style, this is a great way to make a big impression without feeling like you’re overdoing it. 

Add a Pop of Color or a Quirky Graphic Accent

Since many vintage signs were originally used for advertising products, they’re often rendered in bright, eye-catching colors and incorporate bold graphic elements. Back then, the purpose of their designs was to capture the attention of passersby; now, they can do the same thing in your home.

If you’re working with a space that’s predominantly decorated in neutral colors, an old sign can help you weave in a more vibrant shade. Or, if you’re all about using as much color as possible, it can be a fun challenge to collect signs in a certain color family.

Another useful design element that helped with advertising was the use of graphic elements, such as geometric shapes, borders, arrows, and even some easily recognizable objects. Think of the iconic glass bottle on a vintage Coca-Cola sign - it doesn’t get much more prominent than that!

Bring In a Playful Element of Fun

Vintage items can make a space shine by adding a certain sense of humor to a space. Oftentimes, the eclectic nature of the pieces makes it impossible not to feel just a little bit happier when you see them. 

A vintage sign can help you embrace whimsy in your home, giving both your and your guests something to smile about. It can be fun to use signs to spotlight objects, such as positioning a sign with an arrow so that it points at a specific door. Signs that are a nod to the purpose or personality of a room, like a “SCHOOL XING” sign in a children’s playroom, can also add charm.

Introduce Visual Interest to a Gallery Wall

Odds are, you’ve found yourself saving artful gallery wall inspiration at least a time or two. And while there’s nothing wrong with basic framed pictures, you can easily elevate the gallery wall idea with an old sign or two. 

You can choose to hang signs that add contrast to the gallery wall or select small signs to fill awkwardly-sized empty spaces to round out a collection. How many signs you hang and their colors, styles, shapes, and sizes are really entirely up to you.

Set One on a Shelf

Once you see a vintage sign as a decorative object that can be used in several places, it becomes much easier to make it “flow” with other design elements. Try not to limit yourself to only hanging signs on the wall; there are plenty of signs that can be a wonderful addition to a variety of spots throughout your home.

For example, a vintage advertising sign for a food or drink product can be placed on a kitchen shelf for a fun decorating touch. Or, you can position a small sign on top of some stacked books on your home office bookshelf.

Fill a Tricky Empty Wall Space

Do you have any wall spaces that have left you feeling completely puzzled in terms of decor? Sometimes, the location or size of a particular space can make it tough to find the right decorative item.

But that’s where vintage signs come in. Their odd sizes and unusual spaces often make them the perfect addition to unexpected places that need that little extra “something” to stand out.

Where to Find Vintage Signs

Depending on where you live and shop, finding authentic, good-condition vintage signs for sale may be tricky. 

The resurgence of vintage decor style has been a welcome trend for lovers of all things “old.” In addition to decorating with your favorite vintage treasures, you can finish off the look with new items that mimic that perfectly worn look. Unfortunately, the vintage style trend has also made it considerably more difficult to find the real deal. It can be tough to tell if what you’re looking at is actually vintage or just an excellent recreation - and depending on your preferences, you might not mind it being either.

However, if you’re on the hunt for an authentic vintage sign, your best bet is to shop from a reputable antique dealer or vintage market. Vintage warehouses and antique stores can also give you the benefit of knowing the history behind an item, which is a surefire way to love a piece that much more.

Shop for Vintage Signs for Sale in Long Beach, CA

Urban Americana is a one-of-a-kind vintage shoppers’ paradise in Long Beach, giving new life to furniture and decor from the past. We offer a massive selection of vintage furniture for indoors and outdoors, as well as art, lighting, rugs, and other decor. Our collection of vintage signs is always changing, so you never know what you might discover.

Find signs that will be the highlight of your home’s decor when you visit Urban Americana, the best vintage store in Long Beach, today.

Image credit: Shuttershock/Julia Karo