Retro Is The New Black

The winds of change are sweeping across the interior design landscape, and they echo the timeless charm of the bygone eras. Considering the past for inspiration evokes images of grandeur, nostalgia, peerless style, and swell design. There is a lot of freedom to enjoy but also some rules to follow. After all, the retro style is an eclectic amalgam of old styles and new forms. Thus, it is time to think beyond the obvious and borrow ideas from the eternal design heaven. [Image source:]


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Retro spirit through ages

To capture the retro feel in your home, you have to harness the visual power of retro designs, furniture and color trends. First off, wood is an absolute must, an element which dominates the retro interior space. So, make sure to expose its bare, flawed beauty. Avoid plastic and paint overlay that only obfuscate the true wooden color.

The allure of the Victorian Era can be felt in many modern homes, and oak furniture is one of the ways to infuse elegance and grandeur. Likewise, grandfather clocks and circular dining tables work well in Victorian-inspired spaces. Of course, it is possible to head even further back to the Renaissance luxury.

Time flies by fast. Now the ’90s are now encompassed by retro style. You may remember the presence of the white sensation in the kitchens, for instance, a trend which is still prominent today. It features an all-white uniform look, however, to make thing interesting, you can break it up with elements such as wooden flooring and dark kitchen countertops.

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A match made in heaven

Furniture is the crown jewel of retro style. Many designers’ darling, the modernist furniture, was all the rage in the 1950s. It combines prime function and advanced design methods and does not tolerate fancy artwork and frivolous ornamentation. Such furniture is a great centerpiece in any room, provided that the area matches its aesthetics with a clean and open layout and straight lines.

Summoning the retro sensation in this fashion does not have to cost an arm and a leg: Invest in a Dejavu chair or a nice dining table. If you know what you are doing, you can also put together a killer combo of retro lines of furniture and modern finishes. For example, witness the splendorous marriage of curvilinear or circular forms and lacquer finishes.

Furthermore, lighting fixtures pose a great way to add more charm to the space. They highlight architectural and design features and serve as an overarching essence of the stellar style. In the ’50, oversized lighting fittings have captured the imagination of numerous homeowners, so do not hesitate to go striking and bold with pendant lights. One can easily find appropriate lighting online and use it as a focal point.

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Born to be wild?

If we proceed to the turbulent but also love-driven era of the ’60, we come across natural motifs like floral wallpapers. The longing to reconnect with nature also meant that people strived to bring the outdoors in, and the history repeats itself today. Aim for a bohemian feel with draping fabrics and pieces that bring warmth and comfort. Think in terms of accessories like cushions, patterned flatweave rugs, throw pillows and house plants.

You can go a bit wild with fabrics, but try to match textiles such as rugs and window treatments. Those who want to go full hippie should try to find eye-catching psychedelic prints or bring bold patterns and colors with wallpapers, murals, and paint. A few accents with colors off the palette create even more drama but refrain from over-saturating your rooms with different tones.

Of course, in case of subtlety is your cup of retro tea, go for repetitive geometric patterns and smaller prints. Muted and pastel colors can also work miracles, especially if you add small splashes of color here and there. Likewise, if you aspire to assemble a minimalist home, splurge on a few retro pieces with simple curves and lines and complement your streamlined backdrop.

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Back to black

Retro style is back. Bring it to life in your home with the visual symphony if furniture, colors, textures, and décor. You can cherry pick from a plethora of elements, from the simplest of forms to the boldest of colors. So, unleash the inner designer and let imagination act as your guiding light. Invite the old-school splendor into your living environment and forget what era you are living in.

Lana Hawkins

Lana Hawkins is a crafty girl and an architecture student from Sydney, Australia. She is the editor-in-chief on Smooth Decorator. Lana enjoys writing about inspiring interiors and creative home improvement projects. Lana is interested in sustainability and green building, and that's where she gets most of her inspiration. In her free time, she loves cooking and spending time outdoors.