Retro Decorating Ideas

vintage decorating ideasRetro style covers a few decades of different styles popular in the last century. Any interior decorating theme that incorporates trends, styles and objects is described as retro and many retro decorating ideas are influenced in particular from the 1950’s, 60’s and now 70’s. Any further back and you are treading the path of vintage, although there is often is some crossover between the different decades.

Retro decorating ideas are heavily influenced by the amount of information available from design museums, TV shows, movies and specialist retro furniture and lovely things purveyors. The retro decades can often be remembered from childhood by some would be decorators who put their own spin on the textures, fabrics and furnishings they remember from childhood. Retro style often has wild design and a lively essence with bright colours, a sense of fun and overall flair. Retro decorating ideas are not for the faint hearted to implement. There needs to be an upfront, bold approach to the overall look. Think funky, casual, and laid back, not taking itself too seriously.

The inspiration for your retro decorating ideas is more likely to be reruns of “I love Lucy” rather than “Downton Abbey”. If you love pink Cadillacs with red leather seats, your milkshakes with malt and your coffee frothy, then a retro style will be something to plan and enjoy.

Bringing retro decorating ideas into your home relies on different approaches and elements and this article helps to point you in the right direction (we may also have that essential jukebox or retro kitchen appliance in stock!)

Retro Furniture

diner kitchen, chrome barstoolsThere is an abstract quality to retro style and every piece fights its way for the spotlight stating, “Look at me!” Sofas are usually elongated and broad with vibrant coloured “scatter cushions” giving the wow factor. Diner style kitchens have chrome barstools that vie for attention with red kitchen appliances. Moroccan style pouffes in different shapes and sizes, ottomans and Mitt chairs make conversation piece seating for visitors.

Retro Decorating Colours

Retro decorating ideas can often be introduced by the use of colour. To give a room the essence of your retro decade, popular now is avocado green (who remembers all those avocado bathroom suites?) Mustard yellow, orange, red, black white, pink and purple – retro is not for the shy and retiring. Many retro items are a mix of everything such as tie-dye fabrics, checks, and paisley.

Retro Textures

Texture is way over the top in retro interiors just as the colours are bold. Shag pile carpet, velvets crushed and smooth, plastic, Formica, and vinyl. Do not be afraid to mix up the textures for interest in your scheme.

Retro Accents Décor

When you think of retro objects, some all time favourites are lava lamps; beaded door curtains, shaggy rugs of different kinds, abstract art, and sculptures in keeping with the unusual and bold theme. Nothing is discrete with retro.

Retro Flooring

There really are only three options for retro flooring; tiles in a checkerboard pattern, shag pile carpet or natural wood.

Pulling It All Together

Pulling all your retro decorating ideas together is about the combination of texture, shape, and colour to create a bold, fun look as unique as the era that influenced your project. Retro furniture is durable and still highly functional for every day use. Attention to detail is important and tracking down those special retro accents can bring the room to life. Cast off your inhibitions when decorating retro style and mix plenty of colours and shapes. Toning down a retro look is like asking Jimi Hendrix to use an acoustic guitar for “Purple Haze!” Be prepared to commit to your retro decorating ideas as just one or two retro items will give an old fashioned look rather than the in your face glory of retro! This bright and sometimes irreverent look from the classic retro decades is fun, has a sense of humour yet has a sense of immense style as well, that will be appreciated and be easy to live with when done well.

To help you get the look, call into us for a browse through our retro delights, and have a chat about your project – we would love to see you.


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