If you’re looking to revamp your space with more color, pattern, and vintage aesthetics, then retro wallpaper is the way to go. From midcentury modern to the groovy styles of the 1970s, the incredible and eclectic styles that arose during these eras have captivated designers and homeowners for decades. With plenty of unique color palettes and patterns to fall in love with, there’s a wallpaper assortment for nearly any room.
So, if you need some retro wallpaper ideas, we scoured Instagram for some of the most luxe designs that will surely inspire your next home makeover.
If you’re looking for a classic wallpaper style for your home, then you can’t miss out on 1970s color palettes and Bauhaus-inspired geometric patterns. Bauhaus is a German art and design style built from layering geometric shapes for a unique effect. This artistic look became popular in the 1970s when pattern and form became an important aspect of many designs.
@designbymetamorph on Instagram shows just how you can style this modern and eclectic design to create a stunning look in your home. Honing in on darker tones, warm colors, and using a variety of layered shapes can create a Bauhaus-inspired look that is sure to bring all of the retro vibes to your space.
When people think of adding retro wallpaper to their home, they often envision traditional wallpaper or midcentury modern peel and stick wallpaper which can be purchased from a mass-market retailer. While this is a great way to find wallpaper, it’s not the only route to take! Hand-painted wallpaper has been around for centuries and can often give your space a luxurious and opulent look.
Instagram designer @studio_db showcases an elegant velvet-green hand-painted patterned wallpaper that blends beautifully with their midcentury pieces. This rich green shade is well-suited for the midcentury design style, and the repetitious polka dot pattern offers the perfect retro look. When choosing a vintage midcentury modern wallpaper for your space, you might want to consider the customizable look of hand-painted panels.
Nothing says retro more than vibrant patterned graphics. This bold green wallpaper from @70shousemanchester on Instagram is a fantastic choice for homeowners looking to experiment with vivid colors and intricate patterns. Pattern flourished in vintage design styles and opened doors of opportunity for homeowners to showcase their unique personalities in their spaces.
When using a bold wallpaper like the one featured in this post, you could opt for a monochromatic look by painting your crown molding in a similar hue and opting for decor that blends with the color palette of your wallpaper. This creates a cohesive look and prevents your space from feeling kitsch or mismatched. Alternatively, you might consider choosing a tone that’s opposite your base color on the color wheel to create more juxtaposition and depth in your design.
For some homeowners, it can be daunting to add a bold pattern to their walls, so we recommend following in the footsteps of @belartestudio on Instagram and creating a statement wall with a minimal color palette. Use your bold wallpaper on an accent wall to create an eye-catching piece of decor. Additionally, use a pattern that pairs a bold color with a gentler hue. For example, in @belartestudio’s post, they opted for a vivid red and neutral cream asymmetrically designed wallpaper. The geometric pattern with the red accents creates a beautiful statement in the room without going overboard.
In some midcentury modern designs, nature themes gained traction, and repeating patterns reminiscent of the Art Deco era entered the home. People were drawn to the natural and soothing feel of animals and plants oriented into a cohesive and repetitious pattern. @thesmithinterior on Instagram shares a midcentury modern style bathroom with a calming bird patterned wallpaper. Paired with ornate copper accents, plenty of plants, and a retro pink toilet, the designer creates the perfect balance between vintage and modern aesthetics. Consider a repeating nature pattern with minimal color if you’re looking for soothing wallpaper to add to your design.
A more modern take on Bauhaus-inspired wallpaper designs is shown by Instagram designer @casamance_official. Their design features a wallpaper panel with layered geometric shapes with the hint of paintbrush strokes to highlight the artistic nature of the design. This unique piece shows off imperfect lines and plenty of neutral tones, helping it uphold a natural and organic feel. For homeowners who want to have a midcentury modern-inspired design without adhering too strictly to a retro time period, wallpapers like this can be a fantastic choice.
@grahamandbrown on Instagram shared a colorful kitchen wallpaper with an eclectic pattern. This wallpaper features a multicolored look with a distinct repeating pattern. Leaning heavily into a contemporary look, this wallpaper can be a subtle touch to a vintage midcentury modern design and can help bring character and charm to your space. When using a playful pattern such as this one, be sure to use similar hues throughout your design. For example, this designer added teal blue counters and an orange chair to the space to create a cohesive look between the wallpaper and the rest of the room.
Retro wallpaper can be the perfect addition to your space. With vibrant colors and intricate patterns, these panels can help make a statement in your design or provide the base for a luxe vintage color palette. Just be sure to opt for a wallpaper that suits the needs of your space without clashing against other elements within your design.
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