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7 retro decorating ideas we love

Old-school fashion, styles, patterns, and music can be the inspiration for retro design. Decorating with this style in mind is all about thinking historically. You can have a lot of fun with the quirky patterns, bright colors, and interesting textures of the past. Whether you want to transform your home with a retro makeover or just add some little retro touches, check out some of these fun decorating ideas to add some retro flare to any room. 

Add retro decorations to any space

One of the great things about retro design is how versatile it is. There is no set way on how to achieve a retro look; you can include your favorite colors, patterns, and textures to put your own spin on it for your home. Some fun ways to decorate in retro style include:

  • Checkered flooring. The classic black-and-white floor tiles are a retro staple. It can be a great way to put a retro spin on your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room floors. Although you can have real black and white tiles installed for hefty prices, a more simple and affordable option includes peel-and-stick tiles, which can be purchased for as little as $0.20 per square foot. To use, simply peel off the backing and press them onto the existing floor.
  • Record player. A record player is not only a fun, retro decoration; it is also a functional piece of art. Vintage record players can be found on a variety of online stores. You can pick out your favorite color and find your favorite records to enjoy.
  • Retro wallpaper. Wallpaper has historically been a very common decorating tool, making it perfect for vintage design. There are a lot of great vintage-inspired wallpaper designs to choose from. Like with flooring, peel-and-stick wallpaper is an option for folks unable to spend hours papering an entire wall. This wallpaper has an adhesive backing, allowing you to simply peel off the paper and press it onto any flat surface. Peel-and-stick wallpaper can easily be removed and readjusted without leaving any residue behind.
  • Old-school furniture. Decorating with furniture can be one of the most impactful ways to execute a specific style. There are a lot of great furniture options with vintage inspiration to choose from. Typically vintage furniture has features like wood panels, green tones, quirky lamps, metal handles, metallic shimmer, offset wooden legs, and pops of vibrant red colors. As with any style, you can always look for inspiration online and on social media.
  • Retro paintings. Retro paintings are all about color, color, and more color. They are vibrant, lively, and quirky pieces of art that can put anyone in a good mood.
  • Retro color palettes. Choosing the right colors for your walls, furniture, fixtures, and more can help you achieve the perfect retro design. Check out classic retro color palettes online for the perfect color scheme.
  • Vintage toys. Adding some fun, small decorations like vintage toys – robots, toy planes and trains, or dolls – to shelves, tables, and more can be an easy way to add some retro touches.

What exactly is retro style?

Retro style is about bringing old design to current times. It mixes and matches styles from decades of American design and fashion to create something truly unique. While there is no set rhyme or reason to achieving a retro design, there are a few staple features of this style that will get you started:

  • Pick a specific decade to be inspired by
  • Utilize classic shapes, logos, and colors
  • Employ weathered and old-looking items in your designs
  • Incorporate retro fonts
  • Pick some of the classic textures and finishes in retro design: golden, metallic, polished, and mirrored

Regardless of how you utilize retro style in your home, it can be a great way to bring some liveliness to any space. Retro decorating is all about celebrating the past and bringing some old-school style to your home. You can choose to redecorate a whole room or just add some small retro pieces for little pops of personality. No matter how you execute vintage and retro decorating, it just may be the perfect way to express your own style in your home.

Can’t tell the difference between retro and vintage furniture? Read on further to learn all about it!

Editors' Recommendations

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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