How to Apply a Retro Design Aesthetic to Your Living Room

retro design

New trends in home decor and interior design may come and go, but there’s something to be said about the simple beauty of retro design.

Whether you adore mid-century modern motifs or just love the era of days gone by, it’s easy to replicate this classic style in your own home.

Read on to learn how you can apply a retro design aesthetic to your living room to make it stand out.

Try Space-Age Lighting That Inspires

The lighting in any room has a huge impact on the way that space looks and feels. If you’re going for retro design, consider installing fixtures that give a nod to the space-age era.

A sputnik chandelier is a popular choice for retro homes, and it’s reminiscent of the 1950s when the idea of space exploration was taking hold of the country. These unique lights feature a center sphere and several protruding “spikes” with lightbulbs on the end.

Any lighting with a bright chrome finish is evocative of the space age. Look for floor lamps that boast slender silhouettes with a shiny chrome lampshade attached.

You can add even more spacey fun to your living room with a starburst mirror finished in any color. These vibrant mirrors will reflect the light, and their starburst-shaped frames are iconic when it comes to mid-century modern design.

Use Furniture That Screams Retro Design

The Eames era was extremely influential when it comes to retro furniture designs. This furniture featured things like chairs with smooth, carved solid wood frames topped with colorful upholstered cushions.

You can find the Eames-inspired furnishings today made by a variety of designers. Place a few modern accent chairs in your living room that will stand out thanks to their unique materials and silhouettes. You can also use a mid-century modern couch to anchor your living space.

One hallmark of retro furniture is its sleek, understated shapes. Try couches and chairs with tapered legs made of wood or metal, or something that sits on hairpin legs for dramatic visual interest. Upholstery colors can range from creamy white to vibrant blue and beyond.

Get Inspired by Color

You don’t have to shy away from vibrant colors if you want to create a retro design for your living room. Mix and match shades by incorporating fun artwork, rugs, and accessories all featured in a rainbow of colors.

Paint one wall in a funky color for a fantastic focal point in the living space. Enhance the theme by choosing several furniture pieces boasting different colors to achieve that eclectic, retro look.

Play around with different colors and enjoy the vibe of mixing things up. Blend colors like blue, green, and orange together and then add a few pops of yellow into the mix. You can easily recreate a retro vibe by having fun with color and being bold in your design.

If you’d rather keep things simple, paint your living room in a neutral hue, and then dress it up with colorful accents. Even tossing a retro-inspired throw pillow on your sofa can transform the space and make it stand out.

Go True Vintage with Reclaimed Pieces

While many furniture designers are creating pieces that have a distinctive retro look, you can also find the real deal at many vintage stores. Shop your local thrift or antique stores and look for authentic furniture from another era.

You might have to do a bit of work to make old pieces look new again, but it’s almost impossible to replicate these styles today without having the real thing in your home. Whether it’s a mid-century desk or a classic 1960s sofa, shop around until you find the furniture that speaks to you.

Furniture isn’t the only thing you can find when you’re out on your treasure hunt. Keep an eye out for classic vintage pieces like artwork, sculptures, and table lamps. The more vintage pieces you can incorporate, the more retro your living room will be.

Combine the Old and New

One fantastic way to enjoy retro design is to blend new pieces with old ones. You can easily combine a brand-new sofa or loveseat with a vintage accent chair.

Try some vintage table lamps that sit on your new end tables. Hang framed artwork you found online next to a macrame wall hanging from decades past. When you blend the old and new together, it creates a funky aesthetic you’ll love.

If you choose an older piece of furniture that needs some TLC, simply refinish the legs or give it some new upholstery. You can also paint vintage furniture in a trendy new color so you’re getting the best of both worlds.

Whether it’s authentic or inspired, there’s no reason why you can’t combine items from eras past alongside modern pieces. This juxtaposition will actually give your living room a unique look that stands out from the crowd.

Experience the Beauty of Retro Styles

Enhance your living room with retro design that gives your home a mixture of modern and classic appeal. You can easily blend old designs with new ones for a fun, eclectic look that shows off your unique personality and style.

Accent chairs and sofas in retro silhouettes can become the focal point for your retro-inspired living space. Dress things up with funky area rugs and artwork to make your retro space complete.

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