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What is Retro Style Interior Design

If you’re nostalgic for the past or just drawn to the interior styles of the 1950s, 60s or 70s, retro interior design might be for you. From bright orange lamps and pop art to walnut-toned furniture and curved sofas, retro design is full of nostalgic charm. This style combines popular trends and styles from the 1950s through to the 70s.

What is Retro Design?

Retro design takes inspiration from popular interior styles, such as mid-century modern. Embracing the styles, colours, patterns and textures of these eras, retro interior design evokes a sense of nostalgia. Whether you love the simplicity of mid-century modern or the boldness of retro pop and psychedelic, retro design reflects an appreciation for vintage aesthetics.

Retro design combines popular trends from the 1950s through to the 70s, creating a style full of nostalgic charm. From the sleek lines of mid-century modern to the vibrant colours and patterns of the 1970s, retro design elements can add a whole lot of character to your home. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of retro interior design. We’ll explore key trends worth revisiting and how you can achieve this timeless aesthetic in your own home.

Exploring Retro Design Styles 

Retro design doesn’t refer to a specific design style, but rather popular trends and styles that dominated the decades from the 50s through to the 70s.

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern design dominated the mid-20th century. With an emphasis on form and functionality, mid-century modern design embraces a sleek, minimal and timeless look that is distinct to the era. From open spaces, natural light, house plants, warm-toned wooden furniture and innovative design, mid-century modern has a recent revival.

Art Deco

Art Deco is all about glamour, exuberance and strong craftsmanship. Glam and luxurious, art deco features geometric patterns, statement light fixtures, large-scale curved furniture, bold colours and fine details.

Retro Pop & Retro Revival 

Retro pop is all about bright and colourful vibes, oozing character and fun. Originating around the 1960s, designers wanted to create a bright and bold style that signified hope.

How to Get the Retro Look in Your Home

There’s no need to break your budget by searching for genuine vintage furniture and antique pieces. With just a few simple changes, you create a retro-style home.

Retro Trends to Revisit

From playful patterns to statement lighting, retro style is coming back in a big way. Here are some retro trends that are having their moment in the spotlight worth revisiting.

Retro Colour Palette

Retro interior design often features warm and earthy tones, such as brown, mustard yellow, burnt orange and avocado green. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll also find bold colours like electric blue, vibrant red, sunny yellow and hot pink, as well as pastel tones like baby blue, mint green, blush pink and pale yellow.

You can play around with these colour palettes to your personal preference, or stick with one for a balanced look.

Retro Patterns 

If you love the bold look of psychedelia, make sure to incorporate plenty of retro patterns in your home. Whether it’s in the form of wall art, cushions, throws, rugs, mugs or other home decor, this style is so distinct, it’ll bring the retro style straight to your space.

Vintage & Replica Furniture

Furniture popular in the 60s and 70s emphasised craftsmanship, function and innovation. From Eames replica office chairs to mid-century modern buffets & sideboards, vintage furniture has a significant place when it comes to retro interior design.

Statement Lighting

A significant characteristic of retro interior styles is statement lighting. More modern design has swapped large, accent pendant lights and statement lamps for more subtle lighting.

Vintage Decor Touches

From old radios and clocks to amber vases and retro wall art, it’s the little things that make retro interior design pop.

Statement Pieces

Statement pieces, such as a chaise lounge or velvet curved sofa help bring retro style to your home. It’s not all about ‘go big or go home’–an accent chair, like a boucle armchair, accent chair or even a vintage lamp could be statement pieces.

Curved Sofas & Armchairs

Curved sofas and armchairs evoke a sense of vintage styling reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s. Not only will they bring a soft and sophisticated vintage touch to your home, but they are super comfortable and are the perfect middle ground between sofas and sectional couches.

Pastel Vibes

When it comes to the kitchen, pastel colours are the way to go. Infuse retro nostalgia into your kitchen with pastel-toned appliances, as well as chrome accents and curved lines.

Plenty of House Plants

House plants played a pivotal role in mid-century modern interior. Not only do house plants offer plenty of benefits, like improved air quality, but they are a key element when it comes to recreating retro style. Go for iconic retro plants like monsteras, spider plants and peace lilies.

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