Retro style furniture has an abstract feel to it, with each piece almost fighting for the limelight as the focal point of the room. Sofas are broad and elongated with multi-colored throw pillows for an added dash of color. Shiny chrome barstools with bright red seats draw your attention to a wet bar or diner-style kitchen while Mitt chairs and puzzle-piece ottomans provide unique seating for guests.
The word retro signifies looking backward, and when we talk of retro furniture, we are speaking of a furniture style that looks back with nostalgia and pays homage to styles that were popular in the decades of 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and recently we have added the 80s to the list.
Retro style can be whimsical, it can allude to pop-culture, and even be kitschy. But to achieve great retro style you have to understand kitsch and use it deliberately to create an effect.
Every few decades, old designs seems to make a comeback, but with a modern twist. This is referred to as the Retro style, and is an eclectic mix of old styles and new forms, or new forms with old materials and finishes. The post war fifties and psychedelic sixties saw a move towards brighter and bolder colours most likely as a backlash to doom and gloom of the war torn forties. Nowadays Retro interior designs can be described as taking a little bit of these features and bringing them back into the present in order to create a new style of interior design that is both modern and fun.
As there is so much to choose from past styles, what you decide to include will ultimately be your own interpretation of the past, and will therefore be entirely unique and individual. During each of the past few decades there have been different materials, shapes, colours, artefacts, and gadgets that have left a lasting impression on all of us, some of which may be significant in the memories from our childhood and may therefore be more suited for your personal Retro style. Nowadays, anything from the 50’s, 60’s or even the 70’s is fashionable again. However, because there are so many different ways to go about incorporating a Retro interior style into your home, it can be difficult to recognize it when you see it. The key identifying feature can therefore only be described as an old style with a modern twist.
A room can get instantly transformed with a Retro look with carefully chosen bold patterns and colours. This can be done with large patterns on wall papers, paint or even murals. Even furniture can be renovated with bold fabrics and matching upholstery. But colours should be limited to a few in order to avoid a cluttered and confused look.
Furniture from the 1950s shows the influence of modern furniture increasing. Sleek furniture with a slender profile was placed against boldly patterned wallpapers and fabrics. For retro style furniture of the 1950s we are also beholden to furniture from diners with Formica-topped tables, and chrome bar stools.
A retro theme encourages environment friendly and ethical beliefs by including the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle. You might have some great pieces from your grandparents or parents collection that can fit into your theme, with a few modifications like wallpapers prints or pop up vibrant colours like blues, mustards and the shocking pink!