Retro style, generally refers to fashion, furniture, décor, trend, or lifestyle that is popular during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. For several years, it is being revived by talented designers and decorators who flaunt their shabby chic creations by incorporating decades of interior designs that showcase retro styles and pay homage to the past.

Today’s trend of creating retro interiors is about mixing new forms or modern furnishings with post-war designs and iconic retro pieces. In the retro interior design, it is essential to determine the period you want to revive, do some research, and pick pieces of furniture or décor that reflect that period. The core of this style is to create a fabulous, playful, and warm ambiance that brings flair to your everyday life.

Let’s take a look at some of the well-loved features that exude the dynamic essence of the term retro:

Retro interior doors

Make your living space more interesting by opting for retro internal doors with unique characters and shapes. For a clean and elegant look, choose a white and vogue style that blends well with the interior design. Many homeowners like the look of ‘sunshine door,’ which is typically a white, glazed internal door because it gives a retro feel to the room. It was a popular door style during the 50s and 60s and now is revived to highlight the retro interiors of contemporary homes. If you want a more colorful option, you are free to choose your favorite Pantone or shade.

Another way to recreate the old-fashioned style is to have retro door hardware in all your internal doors. Repurpose your wood doors by using brass or crystal doorknobs.

Retro armchair

Retro armchairs return to its former glory, especially the retro wooden armchairs because they bring an impression of subdued sophistication. Retro style armchair has an old-fashioned look that enhances the look and vibe of the living space.

Retro furniture

The 1950s is considered the start of the period of retro furniture. One of the iconic examples of vintage retro furniture is the famous Eames Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames. The inspiration for this 1956 piece of furniture is the receptive and warm look of the baseman mitt.

During the 60s, furniture styles become more trendy and mainstream. Examples are the blow-up chairs and single-piece molded seats. The 70s retro furniture, on the other hand, has a chunkier and bulkier construction. Even the color palette changed, making the earth tones, avocado greens, oranges, and harvest golds widely popular. In a nutshell, the retro style furniture is diverse and has an abstract feel that catches the eyes. No wonder, interior designers and homeowners want authentic or replica furniture like retro coffee tables, chairs, dining tables, and sideboards.

Retro style room ideas

Essentially, the retro interior design conveys originality, cheerful mood, wild designs, and brightness. The characteristic features include bold and bright colors, unusual shapes, abstract forms, synthetic materials, and a lot of vintage home décor elements like a vintage-style phone, vinyl records, and old-fashioned lamps. However, vintage and retro styles are two separate styles, but usually, cross over or bridge each other to complement the modern furnishings. In general, both styles reflect flair and fun with unique-looking, retro home décor as a focal point.

1. Choose retro colors.

The most popular options are avocado green, mustard yellow, hot pink, purple, and combinations of red, black, white, and brown. Find retro style furniture and furnishings that are painted with bright colors. You can go for the muted tones of primary colors to create a homey, natural ambiance of your living spaces. For 50s-inspired look, get some polka-dots, floral-themed prints, or rich, saturated red accents.

2. Find antique pieces.

Regardless of the decade that you want to emulate, antique furniture and decors cement the retro feel of the room. Each piece has a unique history that brings the occupants and guests back in time when they talk about it. Look for vintage pieces in excellent condition to get the most of your investment.

Incorporating authentic retro home décor that serves as conversation starters are always a great addition. However, it is important to avoid overfilling the room with antique pieces to maintain a clutter-free space. Stick to iconic items that showcase the distinct style of the decade you choose to revive which may include car models, crystal decanters and vases, plates, figurines, and table sets.

3. Opt for retro-modern interior design and decor.

The retro-modern style does not follow rules when it comes to texture and color. You are allowed to make an eclectic room style by adding modern and vintage home décor that provides ultimate comfort and functionality. You can also change the look of the room by using a retro wallpaper that depicts the 50s pattern and color.

Adding modern furniture with retro style is another good option to modify the look of any space. Instead of searching for genuine antiques that cost a lot, you can buy a premium reproduction of classic pieces like retro modern sideboard, bed, table, bathtub, and other furnishings. Find modern pieces that look exactly like the original works or items that combine contemporary and vintage designs.

4. Add home accessories with retro appeal.

If you are still unsure if you want a totally retro-inspired space, start by adding colorful and pretty decors that are reminiscent of the past. You can find great pieces at yard sales, vintage shops, and online stores that sell modern vintage style home accessories. Look for vintage items that will complement your interior theme and existing home furnishings like retro-modern clocks, lamps, and mirrors.

To balance the space, go for stuff with traditional designs and weathered finish but are done with contemporary elements and trendy color. Avoid having too much that will make the room like a relic area. Create a cohesive detailing throughout the room by carrying similar detailing.

5. Use retro lighting fixtures.

Lighting is a vital component of retro interiors. For the 60s style, look for aluminum pendant lights and wall lamps. Metal arc floor lamps with huge lampshades are very popular during the 70s. You can add chandeliers with drawstring, fringed or tasseled lampshades, and torch-style lights. If you have an unused birdcage, turn it as a vintage lantern and add scented candles inside for a retro effect. Mobelaris has a wide array of retro style lamps and light fixtures that you can use for general, task, or accent lighting purposes, so feel free to browse our online shop.

6. Make them the center of interest.

If you have heirloom or antique piece that fits the definition of retro home décor, making it the room’s focal point that will draw the eyes of everyone entering your abode. A lovely, authentic vintage style furniture is a perfect candidate for this purpose. Consider placing a retro-modern side table, retro dining table, or accent chair that will be the envy of everyone. Buy items with geometric shapes, soft curves, asymmetric motifs, or straight lines that add a nostalgic feel to your modern living areas.

7. Gain inspiration from the pop culture to retro style your rooms.

The major objective of creating a retro interior design is to have a cozy, chic, joyful, and harmonious atmosphere. Nowadays, getting inspiration from various sites that provide retro style room ideas is easy. People who embraced the pop culture post their vintage finds and retro styling that can help you create your definitive home look. The reemergence of the style has been going on and can be seen in the design industry, fashion, music, movies, television shows, and automobile trends.

Here are top-notch ways to spruce up your interiors and relieve the influence of the midcentury years:

Vintage living room ideas

The living room is an excellent area to showcase your priceless collection of antiques, vintage pieces, and retro style furniture. These pieces can easily be mixed with existing decors and furnishings, without being intrusive.

  • Transform a wall into a retro feature that contains your vintage collections such as books, décor items, and other knick-knacks. You can install floating shelves or place a retro-modern sideboard to display them. Add vintage framed mirrors, wall decors, timepieces, and other collectibles that bring a sense of nostalgia.
  • Add a gossip bench in the entryway of your living area. This piece of furniture has a chair and an attached side table with a built-in magazine rack or drawer, giving an instant retro glamor to your space. It also serves as a display area for a vintage style phone, lampshade, record player, or vase.
  • Put mid-century furniture pieces like a re-upholstered daybed or 70s-style leather armchair. Enhance their old-fashioned appeal by adding a camping blanket that doubles up as a warmer during cold nights. Retro coffee tables are also great additions to your living room, offering a retro appeal while providing you a place to enjoy a midday snack, write, or read while sipping a cup of warm coffee. Plastic tables, chairs, lighting fixtures, and home accents are also welcomed in retro style decorating along with broad and elongated sofas.
  • Hang retro rugs on your wall. Hanging a vibrant colored rug is very popular during the past eras. To recreate the look, find a vintage or a contemporary rug and hang it on your wall. It gives an artsy character, instantly giving your interior design a retro vibe.
  • Create a vantage point in the corner of your living room. One favorite theme is tropical, allowing you to put a cane chair, floral motif curtain, 70s-style wallpaper, and other retro furniture where you can relax and daydream. Another great idea is to set up a retro library corner with a retro wooden armchair, patchwork rug or carpet, coffee table, and of course your book and magazine collection.

Retro bedroom ideas

When it comes to your personal sanctuary, it is important that it reflects your style and provides an ultimate experience like a good sleep and a relaxing ambiance. If you are an old soul who wants a sense of Victorian-era or a retro-modern interior design, check out this list of decorating ideas:

Embrace colors and textures. A retro bedroom features bright colors, unusual patterns, and unique accents. Whether you want a minimalist or maximalist bedroom, giving it a pop of bold colors is a welcoming idea. You can add a geometric cover to your bed, wall lighting, and vintage accents. Another cool idea is to use multicolored curtains, rugs or textured wallpaper to give the room a retro effect.

  • Give your bed a four-poster canopy look with linen drapes. This is one of the best retro bedroom ideas you can do to instantly transform the interior of the room. White linens are mostly used to generate a fresh and cool atmosphere, inducing a heightened sense of body-mind-spirit relaxation.
  • For a more rustic mood, opt for a brass bed frame with a weathered-style finish. Another excellent tip is to find a headboard with curved ornate design or moldings. Dramatic headboard which is made of reclaimed wooden doors is also a fun way to style your retro bedroom.
  • Stack old books or crates to make a unique nightstand or retro side table. You can also turn a piece of antique luggage or suitcase into a vanity table where you can put your jewelry box, decorative perfume bottles, and trinkets. Put a mirror on the lid and find a sturdy base to support it.
  • Create a vintage art collage in one corner of your bedroom. Put a retro style armchair and retro-modern sideboard in your favorite reading corner. Add framed art, photos, and mirrors to create a wall collage. To highlight the area, hang a vintage style chandelier that provides gentle illumination or tasseled lampshades.
  • Add retro bedside tables. They serve as stands for lamps, alarm clock, books, and other essential personal belongings that you like near you when you are sleeping.
  • If you have an old frame, transform it into a vintage lace-trimmed jewelry organizer. For a vintage look, use a chalk-paint or white paint. This do-it-yourself project helps you organize your everyday jewelry and accessories. Simply attach a lace across the frame to make this decorative wall organizer.

Vintage kitchen ideas

For your kitchen, you can recreate an adorable cottage-like feel or combine modern and modern furnishings using the following decorating ideas:

  • Use black and white checkered or encaustic floor tiles to give your kitchen a retro flavor that is reminiscent of the 70s diners.
  • Display vintage patterned plates, serving pieces, mixing bowls, and crockery collection on open shelves to accentuate the vintage kitchen décor. Add decorative bottles, jars, jugs, and baskets that pay tribute to past eras. You can also showcase your teacup and saucer collections.
  • Recycle and repurpose your old furniture, door, table or cabinet. After making sure that it is still durable and stable, add a salvaged marble on top to make them a retro dining table or a kitchen island. Another interesting idea is to use old crates as shelves or wine bottle holders.
  • Another functional addition is an old-fashioned cart with sturdy wheels. For a vintage appearance, employ tarnished and weathered white finish. This is a perfect idea if you want a shabby chic kitchen with the 50s or 60s vintage kitchen décor.
  • Buy industrial accent or task lights. Chrome and glass pendant lights that are inspired by factory lightings provide illumination in the island counter, dining table, or kitchen sink.
  • Hang stenciled signage with antique-looking frames. You can find a lot of this vintage kitchen wall décor at garage sales, antique shops, and online sites that sell old stuff.
  • Add a feminine flair and warmth to your kitchen with fabrics. Make floral-print ruffled slipcovers and tablecloth for your dining set. Add brightly colored curtains, shutters, or blinds to diffuse the light from the outside.
  • Another way to create a retro interior kitchen design is to use floral wallpaper. Pick one which matches the general color scheme of the room or with neutral tones that set off the other kitchen furnishings.

Pulling it together

It is quite easy to understand why a lot of people love retro interiors. There is something that is charming and appealing about the aesthetics of midcentury styles, furniture, and accessories. Just bear in mind that when styling your living space, do not be afraid to go all out with small details, do not go overboard that can tilt the balance and harmony, and finally, enjoy your time-warp interior design.