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In the wake of a global pandemic, the Vintage Office makes a bold comeback to offer the comforts of nostalgia and familiarity of eras past.

Written by Jessie Chang


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Out with the old, in with the new…or maybe the other way around. Trends are cyclic, making another entrance every few decades or so. Recently, we’ve seen modern industrial design taking over the workplace; going green and biophilia has also taken center stage; and the rise of resimercial design has especially become more popular, especially the last 5 years. Normally, the division between the home and the office are clearly defined, but in light of the 2020 pandemic, offices have been changed at their fundamental core. No longer are offices just cubicles to work in from 9 to 5. There are infinite ways to design the workplace and improve employee health and happiness, and one of the most popular ones are to bring the comforts of home into the workplace. And what’s been trending again in home design lately? Vintage.

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Gold finishes and rich textures make a splash and evokes gilded glamour.


Vintage design refers to objects of another era that hold recognizable value. It usually harkens back to specific style elements that were popular during earlier eras like the late 19th and 20th centuries. The best part about it: vintage design is the most flexible style out there. Since the definition means to incorporate furniture and décor of a past era, it allows a wide variety of possibility as to what era and what styles you want to go for. Retro 60’s and 70’s are the most favored design at the moment, but art deco, shabby chic, French-country, mid-century modern, and even industrial design work too.


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Bright citruses, earthy browns and avocado greens add life to the retro office.

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Of course, even when trends cycle back, there are changes made to reflect current interests. To decorate the office vintage style, it is recommended to combine it with modern elements. You don’t want to look like your workplace came straight out of the 1950s. After all, modern comforts and conveniences, along with technology have made their mark in the world of interior design  and are here to stay.

So what changed? What stayed the same?

Vintage still retains many of its original qualities. Right now, some of the familiar aspects of past vintage trends that have come up are velvet, rattan furniture, curvy shapes, and bold colors. However, as we witness these comebacks mostly within the residential scene, some have undeniably trickled down the commercial realm and into office design.


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Round table tops, curvaceous shapes and sinuous lines go a long way in vintage design.


Velvet is very popular for the modern vintage office and has made a splashy comeback. This sumptuous textile thrives in retro resimercial office design because it gives off a glamorous vibe and has a history of being sought-after by the cremé de la cremé of society for its luxurious feel. It also adds texture to any room it inhabits. Contemporary versions of this are typically done in lighter shades to blend in with the décor rather than being the dominant centerpiece. As we see more of this popular vintage fabric, it comes with its own set of challenges. The office has to account for daily wear and tear on a large scale that residential design typically does not. Even if you used high quality velvet, there’s a greater risk for the occasional spilled drink, dirty rogue shoes, and missing dry-erase pens and markers. That’s not to say that velvet has no place in the modern vintage office. If we can’t commit or upkeep the velvet furniture, accessories like pillows, lampshades, stools, or throw blankets will do. 


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Modern Vintage Office Furniture HON West Hill Lounge
Modern Vintage Office Furniture Allermuir Open Chair
Modern Vintage Office Furniture Rouillard Eva Nest Seating

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Going vintage is anything but traditional.  It’s all about mixing the old with the new.  Blending classic with modern. And creating a style that’s uniquely your own. 

Modern Vintage Office Furniture OFS Hinchada Sofa

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Rattan furniture is another fixture in vintage that’s making its return. Rattan furniture is made from rattan vines and can be natural or synthetic, but for durability’s sake, we prefer PE rattan (synthetic polyethylene rattan) because its more flexible and UV resistant, making it suitable for indoor and out. It’s popular for several reasons: for one, rattan has the enviable ability to fit in multiple environments, from country chic to modern minimalism, and for another, it’s strong, durable, and lightweight. Perfect for the office. Rattan also adds an organic feel to the room as it’s made from natural material.

Modern Vintage Office Furniture OFS Cambria Private Office
Modern Vintage Office Furniture OFS Executive Private Office
Modern Vintage Office Furniture OFS Cambria Private Office

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Modern Vintage Office Furniture Stylex Dau Chairs

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Modern Vintage Office Furniture Rouillard Zetti Table

Mix soft textures, round edges and fun hues to offer familiarity and comfort. 


Strong, geometric shapes and bold patterns make a statement when combined with warm, retro hues.

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Curvy shapes have recently taken the interior design world by storm. One of the most prevalent vintage trends being shown in office design, rounded, curvaceous furniture originated from the ‘60s. They had softer edges with convex and concave lines, relying on psychology to create a more relaxed ambiance – as our brains think of soft, curved objects as safe while sharp, pointy objects as dangerous. The aesthetic even pairs nicely with natural materials like rattan to create tranquil environments in the office. But even on its own, curvy furniture is the future.

Modern Vintage Office Furniture ERG International Encino Banquettes
Modern Vintage Office Furniture OFS Zero Chair
Modern Vintage Office Furniture Snowsound Botanica Acoustic Panel

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Bold colors are getting back in the limelight as they’re reintroduced to the modern workplace as part of vintage office design. In the past few years, neutral colors have been stealing the show, but now is the time to go loud, proud and mix it up. Neutral colors are still an important part of any interior space, but bold, colorful natural hues like avocado green, eggplant purple and burnt orange are definitely making their comeback. When reintroducing bold colors into the office, try to limit it to a single intense color so it doesn’t overwhelm people.

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Once again, vintage has made its way to the forefront of office interior design. This time, however, its initial popularity in the residential realm has extended to the workplace because with the new office, comfort is key. Bring back old elements of past eras with newer features like ergonomic furniture and advanced technology to create something wholly new—the modern vintage office.

Modern Vintage Office Furniture Source International Say O Chair
Modern Vintage Office Furniture ERG International Dakota Table
Modern Vintage Office Furniture Source International Say O Chair

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Modern Vintage Office Furniture Koncept Gravy Desk Light

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Modern Vintage Office Furniture Yurei Lighting Series

Just a touch of vintage flare keeps your office lighting familiar but fresh.


A Special Thanks to our Commercial Office Furniture Partners: Allermuir, AMQ West Elm, DARRAN, ERG International, HON, KFI Studios, Koncept Lighting, OFS Brands, Rouillard, Scandinavian Spaces, Senator Group, SitOnIt Seating, Snowsound, Source International, Stylex and Via Seating

By Jessie Chang | Featured Writer

Jessie Chang has been a writer for 2010 Office Furniture since 2020. After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, she plans on entering the publishing industry as an editor and exploring other interests.