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Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) – Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

Retro style in the interior

Whether you want to be astalgic, or are seriously interested in the retro theme – find out about this exuberant era that shaped the interior for the way of life. Let’s create a retro interior according to all the rules, despite the fact that the style is quite complex and multi-layered..

Contents of this article:

What is retro style?

I don’t know about you, but when I mention the retro style, I immediately remember the films of Kusturica, with these shiny jackets, beaded curtains and a crazy way of life, reaching the ridiculous. Retro style in interior design is brightness, cheerful mood and originality. The most prominent design ideas of the mid-XXs are reflected precisely in the interiors decorated in retro style..

In many industries, including music, fashion and design, the word “retro” is used to describe the imitation of old trends and styles. In the interior design world, “retro” usually refers to furniture typical of the decades between the 1950s and 1980s..

Parts of it can be vintage and originally released during this era, or simply draw inspiration from the shapes and colors that characterized the style of the time.. The ultimate hallmark of retro is an eclectic blend of old and new: design classics alternate with new pieces combined to create a cohesive, cohesive look.

Retro is brightness, cheerful mood and originality

Retro is brightness, cheerful mood and originality

In today’s design standards, “retro” is a style that confidently combines an authentic look with the best of modern technology while remaining worthy of nostalgia..

It will be interesting for you: OVERVIEW: Simple and versatile Country style in the interior of a country house. 200+ Design photos of naturalness and simplicity

The history of the emergence of retro style

Retro style has become widespread in Germany, England, North America since 1950. But the concept has been quite popular for many years.. Nowadays, it is also popular and is getting reimagined by many designers.. Used this style as inspiration, in particular, companies such as Walter Knoll, Rolf Benz.

However, it is difficult to determine where the lines between Vintage, Mid-Century Modern and Retro echo. All three styles are completely separate in their methods, but they have one thing in common: a love of the design ideas of the past.. Claiming that your design is “retro” will be too vague, but it works by combining any number of suitable design styles..

Widespread in Germany, England, North America since 1950

Widespread in Germany, England, North America since 1950

Typical features of the retro style in the interior design of apartments and other premises:
  • Orientation to fashion trends of the 50-70s of the XX century.
  • Use of synthetic materials (plastics, synthetic fabrics, PVC, etc.).
  • Bright colours.
  • Vintage decorative elements (decorative vinyl records, old-fashioned textiles, lamps, vases of the last century);
  • Furniture unusual shape;
  • The trend towards stylization, abstract forms.

Retro style in interior design is fancy shapes, combinations of colors, textures. It is determined by brightness, originality: plastic figurines with vinyl records, paintings with photographs of cities, lava lamps with a sofa lips, a combination of glass, plastic, metal with synthetics (primarily artificial leather, velvet), embroidered with beads curtains and asymmetric designs.

Fancy shapes, color combinations, textures

Fancy shapes, color combinations, textures

Distinctive features

Retro is the style of the fun 50s, bright 60s and 70s. It is a mixture of hipster fashion with their beautiful clothes and charm, colorful hippie dresses with a floral theme and rainbow prints, with a bright explosive disco with acid colors and “variety of shapes”.

Retro style in the interior implies an emphasis on the past, a mention of traditions, fashion trends of the last century: floral graphics, chrome chevrons, synthetic rugs, shiny patent leather, movie posters with heroes of those years, original furniture, rejection of everything boring and mundane.

50s introduced chrome handles on cabinets, table and chair legs. Chairs upholstered in shiny faux leather, color combinations:

Style - focus on the past

Style – focus on the past

In the 60s, the hippie movement (flowers, symbols of peace, rainbow) was relevant. Slightly more restrained colors and geometric patterns (along with floral motifs) were at their peak at the time..

70s – the era of disco: the old shades were expanded to gold, blue, bright-green. Glitter, brightness, fun – this is how you can describe the mood of that period. The big ones were in vogue sofas, bar chairs, cabinets, sideboards, magazine tables, ottomans.

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Where retro style fits?

This style is popular in big cities, it is widely used for decoration apartments, cafes, hotels, cinemas. Retro style restaurant interior design or cafe interior design implies brightness, original functions, stylish bar stools, tables, smooth shiny surface of cabinets, bar counters.

This style is popular in big cities.

This style is popular in big cities.

The interior design of an apartment in a retro style is comfort, ostentatious charm, and a cheerful mood. Unusually shaped furniture, beaded curtains, old-fashioned figurines, posters with heroes of the past, bright colors – all this creates a special mood of retro style: bright and warm.

Modern interior design in this style is seen by designers as follows:
  • Rich colors, bold color combinations.
  • Skillful combination of materials (PVC, synthetics, plastic) creates an atmosphere of lightness and fun.
  • Expressed individuality of the interior from the use of unusual furniture and decor.

Rich colors, bold color combinations

Rich colors, bold color combinations

Bold, unexpected designs: colorful chandeliers, colorful curtains, bright furniture, surprisingly convenient mixing of glossy lacquer surfaces and leather upholstery. Variety of colors, customized photos in retro style.

Interior Style: Overview and Examples

Retro style creates a special mood: unrestrained, cheerful, bright, unique. It is a memorable chic, joyful atmosphere, an unusual combination of antiques and man-made materials..

The most common prints:
  • flower theme;
  • “Oriental Cucumber”;
  • geometry;
  • abstraction;

Actual shades:

  • bright green;
  • pink;
  • White;
  • Red;
  • black;
  • yellow;
  • gold;
  • turquoise;
  • Orange;
  • dark-blue.

More restrained colors – olive, cream, mustard.

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

  • vintage mirror frames;
  • table sets;
  • crystal vases, decanters;
  • plates;
  • drawings or photographs in wooden frames;
  • car models that were popular in those years;
  • plastic figurines.

For lighting used:

  • floor lamps;
  • chandeliers with a cord;
  • lamps with lampshades;
  • fringed.

Retro style is popular due to the vibrant mood that pervades every interior in this style.. The rejection of standard solutions and boring design options makes this style popular among those who value individuality, brightness, dynamics.. It is also a choice for those who are young at heart, those who seek to create an atmosphere of chic with elements of modern trends – at home or in the workplace..

The style is popular due to its bright mood

The style is popular due to its bright mood

Retro style in the interior – a bright appeal, a contemporary, fresh and original look at familiar things.

It will be interesting for you: OVERVIEW: Loft-style interior Loft-style apartment interior: 215+ Design photos of unlimited space for Self-expression

Retro furniture features

The retro furniture style has its origins in the traditional Bauhaus style. It arose out of the market need for high quality, comfortable, but inexpensive furniture..

With the new milling technique in the 60s and 70s, furniture with perforated holes or even holes appeared as a decorative design element on metal facades. More and more the chair was reduced to its immediate function. The backs became shorter – in most cases they did not exceed the length of the shoulders. The padded armrests have been removed, so that furniture with filigree legs, despite the comfortable upholstery, has a very light overall look..

Bright, invigorating tones

Bright, invigorating tones

The main characteristics of furniture

Retro furniture from the 50s and 70s was originally in the form of relatively clear, simple designs from a basic foundation. Depending on the piece of furniture, either it was made with new coating methods (for example, with longitudinal or transverse seams on the back), or the materials were mixed so that the cabinet could contain metal legs with a wooden frame, often with drawers or fronts of different colors.

Material mix also focused on coffee tables and nightstands – a massive wood or metal structure with a gold metal frame overlaid with a heavy marble slab – the mix of materials was a trendsetter in retro furniture design.

The wardrobes were muted, for example, dirty yellow, sea green, beige, brown, but also a muted orange appeared in the 50s and 60s. Popular types of wood were red-tinted shades such as cherry, walnut, oak, beech.

Option for the kitchen

Option for the kitchen

On the floors had a clear geometric structure. The black and white checkerboard pattern was the trend, and linoleum was used as a new uncomplicated finish in many shades and patterns. Wallpaper was pretty low-key in the fifties. Often these were heavy fabric wall coverings with small floral patterns, sometimes with a subtle silk sheen. Also typical of the 50s were motley, almost simple wallpaper, as well as furniture in muted colors..

Also new were metal handles (spherical, cuboid, tapered) in contrasting colors for the rest (often gold brass with black). They corresponded mainly to taller furniture legs made of wood or a combination of wood metal.

Decor ideas

Retro interiors can be integrated as individual pieces or as a complete retro makeover for a particular room, such as living room or kitchen. You may decide to redesign the entire House, to reflect the nostalgia of this period – it all depends on the degree of your commitment.

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

It is not for the faint of heart or people who prefer a more discreet, classic decor. A clean retro look will look like you haven’t updated your decor in decades. True vintage decorations are in high demand, so if you have multiple lampshades in your basement or attic, it’s time to clean them up and integrate them into your new project..

Decorating idea by period

Not all retro designs are created equal, each period has a different attitude. Learn to distinguish between different periods in retro interiors, which range from purely modern to psychedelic.

Bold dining room finishes

Bold dining room finishes

Mid-century modern: 1920s – 1960s

The movement originated in the 1920s as a reaction to the Art Deco style and continued for decades. The transition from “vintage” to “mid-century” may have been a little slower than later design changes, but it was a clear transition from pure, ultra austere décor to something slightly more welcoming. After the end of World War II, the design industry moved from where it left off in the 40s, with the result that the 50s became an expression of its own design style that took interior design to a whole new level..

Key points:
  • Sleek and minimalist: it has sleek shapes with minimal detail.
  • Designers known to this day: famous designers were Eames (Charles and Ray), Mies van der Rohe and Iero Saarinen, who were also architects.
  • Retro chairs: classic pieces like the Barcelona chair or the Womb chair are essential for serious retro collections.

Interesting furniture in this style

Interesting furniture in this style

Geometric shapes, ornaments with straight lines, soft curves, asymmetrical motifs look beautiful with metal accents, glass, concrete, wood in rooms designed in a mid-century style. Old-fashioned switches and doorknobs, lamps and retro-styled wall clocks help add nostalgia to modern homes.

Here are some ideas:

onePatterns. Pop culture influences, hippie movements, passion for floral designs bring symbols of peace and floral prints to interior design. Beaded curtains in doorways or used as partitions are another great idea for mid-century interior decorating. 2Interior color. Brown wood furniture with red, black, pink, yellow, turquoise, nautical is a good choice for decoration. The muted tones of all primary colors are excellent for decorating. They create a user-friendly design, giving a natural feel to living spaces. 3Modern interior design ideas. A fascinating feature of the mid-century style is that the design does not have significant restrictions on the combination of colors or textures. Interiors can look eclectic, mixing and matching old and new furnishings, ideas. Elegant simplicity, functionality, comfort are design elements. Unusual armchairs - a highlight of the interior

Unusual armchairs – a highlight of the interior

50s style brings the past to the present, while designers bring modern or futuristic flair to homes. This enhances the effect of creating unique, functional, modern interiors. Get inspired by this wonderful mid-century style photo compilation, take your favorite ideas into your home.

1950s kitchen design

Color schemes: Popular color schemes include black and white checkered flooring from tiles, with a bold accent such as cherry red, turquoise, hot pink.

Feature materials: The predominant materials for furniture and other finishes were light wood, chrome, vinyl, countertops Formica, plexiglass (organic glass).

Diner style (diner): Since this period reproduces well in kitchen design, consider adding banquet chairs to your kitchen or a couple of 50s diner style bar stools to your table for breakfast.

50s style

50s style

Rebellious 1960s

Advances in technology led to home improvements that radically changed the course of interior design, taking a new turn in the late 60s. New range of colorful fixtures helped create a solid foundation for home design.

Contrasting colors also played a big role, giving each room a distinct personality. The combination of mossy green with black and white or lilac and purple with yellow chartreuse was at the peak of popularity..

This new palette offered an exciting change of pace for the home. Not only did color schemes evolve, there were also patterns. Flowers, dynamic prints are widespread. These exciting projects were a sign of a time when the world was moving at a fast pace..

60s style

60s style

Popular colors: decor with green avocado, copper, orange or mustard yellow with beige.

Wallpaper: Wallpaper became very popular during this period, especially flock wallpaper. There are many 1960s reproductions today such as Paisley or Floral.

Characteristic furniture: Look out for molded plastic, rectangular chairs, and streamlined wooden Danish furniture, including tables, coffee tables, cabinets.

Other accessories: Complete the look with Andy Warhol-inspired pop art and long pile carpet. If you really want to recreate 60s retro, you’ll need a lava lamp with an oversized beanbag chair.

Rhythmic 1970s

The décor of the 1970s has a lot in common with the 60s, as the period of the formation of something new. Just a few decades ago, the design was the same for everyone, but now the “70s” offered an individual style for everyone. Now there were no standard projects. Bright colors, wild patterns grew to immense popularity, filling the house with new vitality..

Bright colors, wild patterns

Bright colors, wild patterns

The design of the 70s is often referred to as “psychedelic”, rightly so, as the bright colors, wild patterns for it are made like a kaleidoscope. The house was filled with different textures – from long pile on carpets to lucis chairs, from velvet to chrome.

Brighter colors: 1970s wallpaper was made of glitter foil, bamboo patterns, grass.

Catchy carpets: the pile length of the carpets has increased and the patterns on it have become bolder.

Kitchen colors: Autumn shades such as orange, rust, brown, wheat were in great demand. Making sure your kitchen appliances fit turned out to be a must.

Material changesPopular surface finishes included wood wall panels, heavy padded drapery, stained dark wood, rattan furniture, wickerwork, paisley prints for just about anything.

70s style

70s style

As the 70s drew to a close, psychedelic interiors began to shift towards the new funky projects of the 80s. Less insane, these interiors have become more cohesive. Projects have become more organic rather than fussy. It was at this time that various trends began to take hold, the world of interior design was on the way to continuous evolution..

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Colors in style

You can bring a retro pattern to your decorating scheme with retro colors, fabrics, furniture, art, and home appliances.

Retro colors

Whenever we think of mid-20th century homes, special colors come to mind.. Green avocado was particularly popular, so adding it to your decor is one of the quickest ways to create a solid foundation for your retro style..

Green was especially popular

Green was especially popular

Other popular colors include:

  • yellow mustard;
  • Orange;
  • Brown;
  • wheat;
  • sea ​​wave.

Any of these colors can be used to create effective retro designs and tie your designs to them..

Retro technique

In retro technique, shape, material, color are important. During the 50s and 60s, round edges were a must for appliances. For a good example, check out Smeg’s retro refrigerators. Look for those rounded edges on modern technology too.

AdviceYou can use this theme for all your furniture too..

Also, this technique reflects the famous car designs. Kitchen stoves, ovens, refrigerators borrowed many elements from cars popular in the 50-60s..

Retro style red refrigerator

Retro style red refrigerator

Chrome is the best for material and color. Chrome-plated refrigerators, countertops, tables, stoves – there won’t be much of it. If you want to make a little difference, swap out a few chrome appliances with ones that match the color of the period – an avocado-colored stovetop or red dishwasher also looks great..

Additional design elements

Chrome accents, handles and trims give a special, charming look. Home furnishings, sofas, chairs with a functional frame and minimalist cushions, kitchen tables, chairs with chrome metal tubular legs, posters on the walls – it’s all a retro style room..

Other retro design elements to spice up your look include:

  • long-pile carpet;
  • round lampshades;
  • fabrics with geometric patterns, vibrant colors such as pink, turquoise, yellow, lime green;
  • ceramic tile floors (black-and-white, red-white, red-black, turquoise-black);
  • beanbag chair.

Eye-catching wallpaper - stylish design element

Eye-catching wallpaper – stylish design element

Determine the era that you like best. Then develop a design plan – start from the walls and floors, and then select furniture, accessories.


First, always remember that retro is fun and lively. This means you can incorporate many vibrant colors into a design theme without losing the feel..

AdviceDon’t be afraid to try wild designs that give your space a whole new, different look. Be cheerful, lively, brave.

Choose a palette that is a mixture of vibrant colors. The collection will consolidate the desired feeling:

  • pink;
  • red;
  • blue;
  • silvery;
  • purple flowers.

In fact, this is one of those styles where you can use color combinations that lie on completely opposite sides of the spectrum.. To best capture it, focus on fabrics and textures that were used in the 60s and 80s..

Cheerful and lively interior

Cheerful and lively interior

However, you don’t have to post loud colors to make the theme..

You can also opt for the monotonous color scheme, which has been very popular. For example, if you like to use black and white, then this is absolutely organic..

Retro-inspired interiors often featured beautiful symbols, large murals, and posters on the walls. Just remember that you don’t have to dump everything in one place. Plan your ideas step by step, choose decorations that go well. If you want to paint symbols on the wall then just make sure they blend well with the rest of the interior design..

Remember, retro interiors don’t have a lot of wood furniture. You should choose furniture made of plastic, metal, glass or rubber.

Items such as bean bags, round armchairs or cocoon armchairs can create that interesting retro look. Add pillows, large leg chair to add pomp and color to the room. Consider the size of the room when placing these items so they don’t look out of place.

Plan your ideas step by step

Plan your ideas step by step

Retro interior design requires attention to detail. You have to choose textures, colors and shapes of objects that will look unique and of course perfectly match each other. The good thing about retro furniture is that it is very durable and comfortable, can be taken second-hand.

Certain pieces of furniture and accents can be found in old storage areas. They have unusual shapes and colors that will make your space unique. If you want to change your kitchen, bathroom or your entire home in a retro style, remember that this theme is about mixing bold colors and shapes, so don’t be afraid to try your best..

VIDEO: A little retro style for the interior

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

Retro style in the interior (130+ Photos) - Everything that they wanted to know, but were afraid to ask about the design

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