It wasn’t long that having outdated or retro furniture or décor in your home was considered a faux pas. But now, retro décor is making a big comeback due to its timeless style and stark contrast with modern designs. Many interior decorators use vintage pieces sparingly, while others design entire rooms and even entire homes around the design philosophy.
Whether you’re interested in restoring some of your old furniture or hunting for vintage pieces on your own, here are a few trends that you can incorporate in your home to give it a retro vibe that will bring new life to every room.
Non stainless steel appliances.
For years, beige, cream-colored, and even mustard yellow appliances were the norm in homes across the country. Then it went to white, black, and finally stainless steel, which still dominates most home décor to this day. But the old days of white and off-white appliances is making a comeback. Some of the top brands, including LG, Samsung, GE, and Maytag now offer appliances that come in beige and “ice-white” colors. If you’re really invested in the retro look, look for actual vintage appliances that have been refitted with modern components, which will give you modern convenience and reliability with true vintage design.
Like the Wooly Mammoth, wall-to-wall shag carpeting is extinct and likely never coming back. What is in style, however, are shag rugs. A small or area-sized shag rug can add a new dimension of texture and color to an otherwise drab or uninteresting room. And best of all, it still adds the softness that made people in the 1960s and 1970s fall in love with shag carpeting in the first place—it’s incredibly soft and comfortable.
Like wall-to-wall shag carpeting, covering every wall in your home with messy, sticky wallpaper that you’ll be sick of in a year’s time isn’t coming back anytime soon. Instead, use small amounts of wallpaper on accent walls to add a burst of color or décor flair that paint just can’t replicate. Best of all, if you get tired of it, you only have to remove a small section. No more daylong wallpaper removing sessions that leave you with aching hands and shriveled fingers.
Whether it’s used to make a door knob, faucet, decorative bowls, or any other accent piece in your home, brass is making a big comeback in home décor. Unlike the brass designs of the past, the new era of brass is all about subtletly—a few well-placed brass accents throughout your home that with antique or weathered look instead of the shiny metal that people couldn’t wait to remove from their homes in years past.
Colorful front doors
For years, front doors came in approximately two colors—brown or occasionally red. But now, it’s becoming more and more common for homeowners to paint their front doors bold and bright colors: think turquoise, yellow, purple, and even pink. The age of subdued colors on the inside and outside of homes is giving way to a retro design philosophy that liberally used color to make a statement about the home and the person or family that lives there.
While chandeliers have worked well in large rooms with high-ceilings for many years, most homes simply don’t have the room or the need for these huge hanging light fixtures. Although traditional chandeliers have fallen out of favor in recent years for most traditional homes, a new type of chandelier is emerging as a retro-inspired design choice. Modern chandeliers are often minimalist in their appearance and emphasize functionality over beauty, while others feature bold shapes and designs that are meant to draw the eye upwards in any room of your home.
Booths instead of tables
Many homeowners are taking cues from the diners of the 1950s by installing retro-inspired dining booths right in their kitchens or breakfast nook areas. If you have the room for it, a booth is a great way to entertain guests and create a conversation piece in your kitchen. Plus, there’s nothing quite like eating breakfast and reading the newspaper at your favorite booth—especially when you don’t have to leave your home to do it!
Avocado and wasabi green
Whether it’s the color of your furniture, your walls, your appliances, or even your home, wasabi and avocado green are two of the hottest colors in home décor. These colors haven’t been in style for nearly 40 years, but the cyclical nature of home design means they’re coming back and are guaranteed to make your home stand out. While you certainly don’t have to go all out with such a retro color, a well-placed piece of green furniture or brightly-painted accent wall can dramatically change the appearance and mood of any room in your home.
Like wallpaper and carpeting, for many people wood paneling is still a tell-tale sign that a home is out of date and in desperate need of remodeling and renovations. But modern wood paneling is different from the wood paneling of the past in two important ways: it’s much brighter and it’s often installed horizontally instead of vertically. Those two differences alone combine to make the appearance of modern wood paneling an interesting design that brings a decorative flair to rooms instead of being the dark and drab disaster that many homeowners are used to seeing.
Filling your home with indoor plants was and still is a decidedly 1970s philosophy of decorating. In response to the changing of the times, many people removed every living plant from their homes. While it’s still not a good design choice to make your home double as a greenhouse, having a well-placed plant, such as a potted tree, in your living room or dining room can literally be a breath of fresh air. The tree doesn’t necessarily have to be real, either, as even artificial plants are making a comeback. Just be sure to choose one that looks real and doesn’t smell like…well…plastic.