Opening Our Doors to Yesterday: A Guide to Retro Style Interiors

Guide to Retro Style Interiors

Eye-popping colors, faux leather and velvet upholstery, vinyl records on the wall, and a jukebox in the living room. Are we back in the 70s or is this just a fever dream? Nope. We are still in the present. But unlike our parents who may or may not have been conscious of their design choice, these interior lovelies are products of what our retro sensibility looks like. And let us tell you, they are looking good.

If you want to get the Retro style working for your home, we have some tips for you. We'll go through some design elements that will have you dreaming of a Retro vibe in your home.

But what is retro design exactly?

But What Is Retro Design Exactly?

Before diving into specifics, we must set the parameters on what retro design is all about. The term 'retro' simply means imitative or deriving inspiration from the style of earlier eras. In this context, eras refer to 20 to 30 years ago. That said, we are looking at the aesthetics of the 70s and the 80s. 

The next question becomes, how does retro differ from vintage? Vintage refers to the age of a design; the owners of something vintage have the item such as a keepsake, an article of clothing, or an asset on hand as part of a collection, memorabilia, or family estate. 

Retro is more of a movement that takes the style of something from the previous decades and uses it in the present. This may be a fashion statement or a design of one's property alongside the personal effects used to fill it. The retro item only copies the style; it can be a completely new product. 

So when it comes to retro interior design, what we are referring to is the way the space is designed to reflect a certain era from the last 20 to 30 years. The furniture, wallpaper, and upholstery may have been produced in the present time but consciously reflect the styles of older generations.

That 70s House: Looking at 70s Retro Interior Design

That 70s House: Looking at 70s Retro Interior Design

A feature from Vogue in March this year claims that the aesthetics of the 70s is making a comeback. Despite the dominance of white, beige, gray, and greige, colors like deep brown and avocado green (yes, we kid you not) have found their way back into homes. 

Before you say "cheap," these colors have managed to blend beautifully into the spirit of this era's style. However, its colors are not the only element that has found its way back into mainstream consciousness. 

Seventies décor such as the Camaleonda by Mario Bellini, Togo by Michel Ducaroy, the Maralunga by Vico Magistretti, and the Artona by Tobia & Afra Scarpa are yet again gracing contemporary homes. 

However, some of the design elements from the 70s have not been brought back for sound reasons. For example, the principle of eco-friendliness and sustainability has prevented the resurgence of plastic-based home effects. 

If you want to integrate a 70s sensibility into your home's interiors, you might want to look into the following:

Linoleum Floors

Made from all-natural, eco-friendly materials like wood flour, ground limestone, powdered cork, jute, and linseed oil, linoleum floors come in different colours. Unlike this era's penchant for cool and plain flooring, linoleum comes in different colors and patterns that add to the character of a home. 


With a laid-back look that conjures visions of sunny mornings with a drink in hand on a porch near a beach, rattan chairs and sofas truly encapsulate the spirit of the 70s. You can get a rattan chair and turn it into an accent piece in your living room. But if you want your home to emanate a boho vibe, you can fill your living spaces with more rattan pieces. 

Velvet Upholstery

Sofas and chairs with velvet upholstery add texture to any living room. Place some throw pillows of the same material in an equally vibrant hue and see how it revitalizes the space.

Animal Print

We do not mean to offend the environmentally-conscious or animal rights activists out there, but integrating some animal print in your interiors makes for good accents. Put it as a rug, or a form of tapestry and you'll realize how the geometric figures thicken and layer your existing design. Of course, these prints should be synthetic; we believe that no animals should suffer for the sake of your property's aesthetics.

Exposed Brick Walls

Red brick walls look good in any interior regardless of the era. This trend gives the home an industrial touch that perfectly complements the design sensibilities of a modern home.

The New Wave is New Again

The New Wave is New Again: Riding The Waves of 80s Retro Interior Design

Is Retro Coming Back in Interior Design?

Retro style is making a comeback in interior design. The resurgence of mid-century modern design has given us a newfound appreciation for classic furniture and decor pieces. From vintage artwork to funky patterns, retro vibes are taking over living rooms and kitchens alike. 

Louder in colour and curious in its bulky furniture design, the 80s interior sensibilities were a sight to behold. If you gravitate toward the funky and the non-conventional, 80s aesthetics is something you can check out. 

Breathe new life into your home with these 80s design elements:

Deep Sofas

Slouchy, overstuffed, and curvy, deep sofas have yet again popped back into houses and your Pinterest and IG feed. 

It makes complete sense: the style is easily postmodern and, well, fun. Isn't that what this era is all about—freedom and fun? But apart from that, it looks really good against a cool white or cream background common in contemporary living room interiors.

Lucite Accents

Made from durable, scratch-resistant acrylic, this retro minimalist design element comes in the form of tables, lamps, figurines, and other living room effects. 

Because it's transparent, Lucite highlights the rest of your furniture while also drawing attention to itself. Possessing a transitional style, these pieces blend well with any type of space.

Floral Patterns

Chintz and other floral-printed textile and wallpapers are yet again gaining wide attention from designers today. But if we are truly honest, they never really went away, to begin with. 

The Victorian era, the mid-forties, and the White House historical rooms that were refurbished by the 1961 first lady, Jackie Kennedy, saw the aesthetic thrive. And now, the design reaches forth into the present into your own homes.

In With The Old

In With The Old: Design Your House Retro-Style!

Retro interior designs give modern homes life and flair. The subject of conversation among design and style pundits, this appeal to home aesthetics will surely never get old and get out of style. 

So if you have a penchant for the unconventional, loud, vibrant, and exciting, dive into retro! It might just be the element that could complete your home. 

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