Retro style never really loses its popularity and once again it is amongst the most trending interior design styles today. Retro style brings together an eclectic mixture of furniture styles from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and gives them a fun modern twist with the addition of trendy wall art, cushions and throws.
The retro-style features such wonderful furniture such as side tables, cabinets and beautiful chandeliers and is the perfect way to incorporate a family heirloom into the modern home or to bring a new lease of life to pieces of furniture that would otherwise be considered as dated – Retro is the perfect way to recycle and upcycle quality made pieces that are both stylish and functional and incorporate them in a fresh new look for any space.
Go Retro With Colour
One of the key points to consider when creating this style is to play with bold and strong colours that were popular in the past. The most popular shades were avocado green, orange and mustard yellow and these can be cleverly combined and contrasted with brown, black, white, aqua blue and reds.
Since retro colours are bold and strong, spaces can have a neutral background to be used like a blank canvas, as this will accentuate the styles of the furniture and the colour will be provided by the soft furnishings. For example, an all-white restaurant with boldly coloured furniture certainly makes a statement, as too will a single statement wall. The colours can be emphasised perfectly using modern touches such as coloured picture frames, throws and table runners.
And Stylish Materials
Beautiful wood was the most popular material in these eras. Woods with a red-tint including cherry, walnut, oak and beech -the most fashionable being attractively grained teakwood. These woods can be found in classic pieces of furniture, as flooring options and in a variety of accessories such as fruit bowls and lamp bases. For fun, look out for retro styles that combine grained wood with chrome metal and leather. To complete the retro look add a large colourful shaggy rug. An alternative flooring that sets the tone perfectly, is large black and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern
Lighting is a clever way to enhance the old fashioned mood of these eras. It is worth hunting for such typical retro styles as wall sconces. Industrial styled glass shades and stainless steel pendant lamps look great suspend above the dining table. Beautiful chandeliers are so stylish and will cast colourful spangles of light around the room. Why not check out charity shops for spare light fittings? You just don’t know what they have lurking in a forgotten corner! If you are given any lights, getting them PAP tested by an electrician to ensure they are safe, is essential.
Retro furniture is easily recognised by its free form, simple curves, abstract shapes which all have no fancy details. The furniture has its origin in the classic Bauhaus style. The focus for the designs of these eras was on functionality, minimalism and lightness rather than more elaborate designs. Chairs usually had lower backrests, at shoulder height, with no padded armrests. So these could well need the modern additions of cushions and a throw for comfort! Sofas were sizeable; broad, long and easily seating three people. The sofas were often decorated with multi-coloured cushions in orange, gold and avocado and in tactile fabrics such as velvet, silk and even leather.
Retro furniture design often combined several different materials. Wood and metal and wooden topped tables with metal legs were popular. When bar stools first appeared, they were a sell-out and inspired the first designs of much-loved breakfast bar. Wooden sideboards with pencil-thin legs were popular as were Ottomans covered in a jigsaw made from offcuts of soft velvet.
Prints, Patterns and accessories
When it comes to achieving the perfect retro feel, the correct use of patterns and prints is essential. Patterns were mostly geometric and used for tiling, flooring, wallpapers and upholstery. Curtains were often patterned with geometric or ornamental designs and psychedelic wallpaper prints were popular – although in modern retro-styled homes, maybe one feature wall would be preferable to all four!
Add some Retro houseplants.
The 1950s/60s/70s were a time when everyone loved houseplants! You will need to look out for the ultimate in your local charity shop – a macramé hanging basket – to fill with a huge trailing ivy! Other popular plants were large Swiss Cheese plants, Rubber plants and hard to kill Spider plants. Many polished teak sideboards were decorated with pink and purple flowered African violets displayed in textured ceramic pots or wicker baskets. Whereas in the past, many would share coffee and ponder why their Swiss Cheese plant leaves were not growing with the current splits, now you can buy gorgeous faux plants that will make your life more carefree!
Creating a retro interior design is great fun and a clever way to pull together different older styles of furniture. Using quality pieces of older furniture makes sense as they are beautifully made and built to last. Cleverly combining them with modern touches in retro colours will create a warm, welcoming room – but beware, Granny might just claim her furniture back!