Create Vibrant and Quirky spaces with Yesteryear’s Retro Style

Are you enamoured by the glamour and dazzle of yesteryear’s retro era and want a vintage and rustic touch to your home decor? The revival of bygone retro trends might be that opportunity! Retro interior design is an eclectic fusion of contemporary shapes with vintage materials and finishes or vice versa. Any decade may be accessed here, with the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s being the most prevalent. It incorporates a kaleidoscope of clashing design features, colour palettes, patterns, and textures. This style is especially very popular among millennial since the retro era exudes personality and vibrancy. We’ve compiled a list of 12 creative methods to update your home’s décor with a retro style theme.

Origin of Retro Style

Origin of Retro Style

Retro style, in its broadest sense, refers mainly to the mid-century period when we saw many diverse styles emerge in colours, textures, furnishings, and décor. The original vintage style is based on the colour and design aesthetic of the 1960s and 1970s; it lost popularity in the 1980s through the early 2000s as new, more modern design trends gained popularity. Retro’s unique style is claimed to have been inspired by the post-war period of the late 1950s. After a conflict, designers were willing to be brave and bold to develop and innovate.

12 Design tips to imbibe Retro Style in your Interior Space

Here we share 12 exciting design tips to imbibe Retro style in your interiors

01. Vibrant Colour Palette

Vibrant Colour Palette

The bygone retro era was defined by eye-catching colours. The first approach to introducing retro-style interior design into your present home is to have vibrant walls. The more spacious the area, the more inviting it seems. If you have tiny spaces, paint the walls lighter but in vintage colours and add brightly coloured items such as furnishings or wall décor. You may want to paint each room in the same colour scheme or just focus on one particular area.

02. Rustic Touch with Wood

Rustic Touch with Wood

Rustic interior features, such as local materials and wooden beams, highlight the sharper angles of mid-20th-century furniture and decorations. The varnish of age and rustic use is texture and decoration in and of itself. The neutral surroundings of natural building materials are tempered and given warmth by the use of vibrant colours. In addition to having a semi-organic and adaptive look, twentieth-century furniture also blends in effectively. It is usually made of polished wood and accented by metal detailing.

03. Soft Edges in Retro Interiors

Soft edges in Retro interiors

The retro style creates a generally romantic ambience, with flowing lines and a soft and exquisite hue that evokes a sense of tradition. Mid-century modern furniture is a trademark of retro design, particularly curved or soft-edged furnishings with vivid colours or metals such as chrome. Materials commonly used today, such as plastic, acrylic, steel, rubber, polycarbonate, and styrofoam, are incredibly durable and robust. Thanks to modern technology, they can be easily moulded into virtually any form, readily adopting a retro style. Designers are also softening the edges of structural and functional elements such as beams, columns, and skirting by adding a layer of plaster. Curved edges were the norm for appliances throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

04. Warm Brasses and Mixed Metal Accessories

Warm Brasses and Mixed Metal Accessories

The vintage aesthetic may be easily incorporated into any space by using metal-finish furniture. Metal chairs are widely accessible and have made a significant reappearance as a dominant design trend. Most chic cafés and bars seized on the trend. Another way of incorporating metal into your space is by using brass or gold accents in soft furnishings, mirrors and other artefacts.

05. Vintage Graphics and Wall Art

Vintage graphics and wall art

The retro design fosters both visuals and sentiments linked to a bygone era. Colour is a simple way to make a design stand out. Choosing a period is frequently beneficial. Graphic posters from the 1950s, when pop and atomic themes were as popular as roses and essence, can be adopted in retro design.

Apply vintage posters and artwork to embrace retro-style interior decor. Neon graphics are also associated with the retro aesthetic. To achieve the intended aesthetic, designers have taken the look of neon tubes and produced a visual style that showcases the workmanship of the bending tubes.

06. Bold Patterns on Walls and Floors

Bold Patterns on Walls and Floors

In the 1950s, rhythmic patterns were used in various elements of design. Patterns were developed to highlight the design elements around them, whether on fabrics, backsplashes, or paper. For instance, if a seat was upholstered in a paisley pattern, the carpet, Ottoman, drapes, lamps, and other decorations and furniture in the room most likely mirrored some colours or themes.

07. Retro Lighting Elements

Retro lighting elements

Retro lighting is all about shape. The aesthetic of the light is more significant than its function. This nostalgia may be seen in retro lighting schemes reimagined for today’s homes. Designs that have been tried and tested are given a new twist with a new finish, colour, or interpretation.

A contemporary LED bulb that resembles a traditional light bulb is referred to as a “retro bulb,” also known as an incandescent or carbon filament bulb. The visible filament of conventional light bulbs may now be imitated in an energy-efficient form thanks to advances in LED technology.

We have added various types of lighting for your home interiors:

08. Nostalgic Retro Artefacts/Décor

Nostalgic Retro Artifacts/Décor

Retro décor in interiors evokes feelings of nostalgia. It takes individuals back to a more carefree time in their lives. Retro design is not minimalist; therefore, decorations may be placed anywhere in the house without much constraint. Any décor that represents memories suits the retro theme.

Artwork inspired by the hippie culture of the 1960s brings a sense of freedom to the room. Pop art Beatles and PinkFloyd posters, for example, easily resurrect yesteryear vibes while maintaining a sophisticated and polished aesthetic. 

09. Quirky and Vintage Furniture

Quirky and Vintage furniture

Retro-style furniture is often known for its boldness and extravagance via distinctive geometries and vibrant colours. They are typically complemented by light fixtures and finishes with gilded metallic elements reminiscent of vintage designs. Accessories and furnishings may be helpful when trying to create a vintage vibe. Aesthetics are often more essential than function.

Some designers even make impractical furnishings since the shape gives the furniture a fascinating appeal.  Artists also use a well-balanced combination of ornate furnishings. Retro furniture offers a visual focal point without conflicting with other elements in the same theme.

10. Geometric Cladding using Tiles

Geometric cladding using tiles

Vintage-inspired ceramic and hydraulic tiles are making a comeback in interior design, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens. Ceramic tiles are popular for their flexibility, durability, water resistance, and simplicity of upkeep. The complex patterning of cement-based hydraulic tiles gives them resistance and design versatility. Both tiles rose to fame in the 1950s and 1970s due to their intrinsic geometric character.

The primary distinction between retro and contemporary tiles is that they are now produced to a higher degree of quality using current production processes. For instance, ceramic tile designs have advanced much beyond simple rectangles and squares thanks to mechanical processes and technological advancements like digital printing.

11. Retro Material Palette

Retro Material Palette

The retro style was marked by expressive patterns, which explains the popularity of elaborate material palettes, which were heavily influenced by the pop art movement. The quirky mix of trend colours with durable fabrics such as leather, velvet, suede, and cashmere, as well as elegant fabrics such as silk and linen, creates a vintage vibe. Geometric designs and bright hues like pink, turquoise, yellow, and mint green are making a comeback. Modern designers are experimenting with polka-dotted mosaic floors that suddenly bring out the retro 1960s mood. This design is similar to the popular checkered flooring styles of the time.

12. Retro Intricate Textures

Retro Intricate textures

Terrazzo is unrivalled when it comes to detailed designs with a distinct personality. You’ll need to blend and mix various textures to create a retro mood. For instance, braided carpets, glossy plastics, plush vinyl, and luxurious velvet, for example, may all work together to offer you cosiness and splendour. The material, typically made of polished granite or marble chips and a concrete core was quite popular in buildings from the 1950s and 1960s. Today, epoxy resin is used in the manufacture of terrazzo surfaces.

Are you ready to Dazzle up your Space with a Retro Era Theme?

Trends always seem to come back, no matter how ephemeral they may be. In the world of fashion, we regularly witness this phenomenon when previously out-of-style apparel items resurface and reclaim their former market share. Let us now witness this transition in interior design.


01. What is the Origin of the term “Retro”?

The term “retro” is derived from the Latin word retro, which means “backwards” or “in bygone times,” as shown in the terms retrograde and retrograded. As opposed to the retrospective, which denotes a sentimental view of the past, this suggests a tendency toward the past rather than forward development.

02. What Distinguishes a Retro Design?

Retro designs sometimes have a nostalgic or quirky quality, giving the impression that they have been around for some time.

03. What is the Modern Retro Style?

The term “modern retro style” refers to a style that is quite a flashback but not too far back. This method bases projects on indications of design trends from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

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Author Bio

Saili Sawantt – She is an Architect and Interior Designer by profession. Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals, both national and international. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai, due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog ‘The Reader’s Express’ and is a practicing Architect & Interior Designer.

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