How to Get the Retro Style
The popularity of retro interior design and 70’s style furniture is skyrocketing, with Pinterest reporting this new found love for all things retro as the fastest-growing UK trend of last year. And it keeps getting stronger as we speak!
Colourful and bold, retro interiors are flooding our social media feeds, rejecting minimalism of the previous seasons and offering a bright and funky perspective instead.
But what is retro style and how to make the most of it in your home?
Image source: Apartment Therapy
History of Retro Style
There are many misunderstandings about the definition of retro as people often confuse it with an overlapping term, vintage. Many have failed to make a clear distinction between the two, but to simplify the explanation as much as possible – what is considered retro are old-fashioned interior decorating styles from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Symbolising a free society, retro interiors are warm, playful and fabulous while bringing an overall flair into everyday life.
Image source: Urban Outfitters
Booming fifties were all about intense colours and contrast, with turquoise, pink, orange, red, yellow, mint and green bursting everywhere around and making it impossible to compete for the focal point of the room.
Image source: Dwell
Sixties’ wind of change brought technological advancements in furniture production but also a social transformation with the hippie counterculture gaining momentum. Core values of the movement heavily influenced 60s style furniture and decor. Floral motifs become the patterns of the decade flourishing everywhere from upholstery to drapes.
Image source: Brit
Wonderwall Film/ Movie Poster £375.00
Over-the-top everything of the 70s interior design trends is why they are often referenced as the decade of bad taste. Heavily influenced by progressive music and pop art, the seventies were all about being bold and confident.
The craziest thing of it all was probably – freedom to furniture! With sparkling surfaces and polished finishes, the most unusual shapes and sizes of retro living room furniture come from this decade of kitsch. But not only furniture, colour palettes showed courage too!
Just take a look at the image below and tell us if it doesn’t pop right in your face!
Image source: Houzz
How to Spot the Style
The easiest way to spot the retro style interior design is by its lively feel, vivid colours, low positioned furniture and rejection of everything boring or mundane.
Image source: Apartment Therapy
Regardless of its remarkable shapes, retro furniture is fully functional, comfortable, sturdy and highly durable. From furniture to decor, everything has a purpose and often comes with hidden storage to accommodate a small space living (the most popular pieces being coffee tables, ottomans, sideboards with shelving and cupboards).
In retro interior designs, wood is the king and comes in its natural, uncoloured state to highlight the raw beauty of its grains.
Velvet was indeed a go-to material for upholstery, but retro homes also embraced synthetic materials such as plastics, PVC and synthetic fibres and treated them as equals.
Image source: Plastolux
You would be surprised by the unusual combinations of colours, textures and shapes that can be seen in retro interiors. Avocado green, mustard yellow (one of the trending colours at the moment), orange and most exciting mixtures of brown, red, black and white, became the trademark of this unique era. On the other hand, for those seeking a less loud approach in decorating, the ideal choice was pastels – mint green, pink and cream.
Like everything else, patterns were super fun too, featuring seamless geometric and abstract shapes, checkered prints, but also paisley and florals that often came in acid colours.
Boho Paisley Cushion Cover £15.00
You could almost certainly spot the statement teak console somewhere in the room, with lavish greenery placed on top and a poster featuring abstract art or some movie hero hanging on the wall. Or, if you are lucky, a charming vintage school map.
Image source: Design Attractor
Midcentury, Retro, Vintage, Mcm, Mid Century Younger Sideboard £325.00
To round the cosy nest vibe the floors are covered with fuzzy rugs (flokati rug, anyone?), swag multi-coloured pendant lighting provides the mood, while lava lamps, vinyls and gramophones bring in the groove.
Funky Retro Mathmos Astro Baby Orange Lava Lamp With Red Replacement Bottle £65.00
Shop the Style
If the optimism of retro style captivates your spirit and you would like to bring in a dash of its magic into your space you are in luck! We are about to share with you some professional decorating advice and resources where you can purchase the very items you need!
Image source: We are Scout
With retro style interior design there is only one rule – make it happy and make it yours!
No limitations whatsoever.
Play with colour and don’t be afraid to go all the way! That doesn’t mean you need to invite all the hues of the spectrum and throw a party, but if that is what stimulates your interior taste buds – by all means do it!
But if you’d rather go for a more subtle look, consider creating a more neutral basis with lots of dark wood and then choose a retro-inspired colour scheme for your statement furniture. This way you will give a gentle nod towards the era while keeping things more down to earth. You can later bring in more vibrance through modern retro decor or some fun kitsch lighting.
Don’t forget – comfort comes first! Quality sofa and armchairs are a must, especially if they come in glamorous shapes like the ones below.
Danish Banana Sofa 1940/50’s £1,550.00
Go wild with the decor! Loud, busy pieces are definitely the easiest and most effective way to pull off the retro style. And won’t blow a hole in your wallet once you choose to replace them.
Heidler & Heeps B Side Vinyl Collection, Rock ‘N’ Roll 2016 £400.00