Top Retro Design Tips

October 28, 2012

in Home improvement

When one thinks of retro design, images of garish colors and artistic furniture that exist in a world at once contemporary and classic comes to mind. Indeed the compelling retro styles of the past are experiencing a renaissance in today’s world. And it’s just this ability to be trapped in time while remaining modern that makes retro a popular choice among today’s interior designers.

But those interested in adding a retro touch to their living space do not need to spend thousands of dollars on comprehensive redesign. In fact there are many practical, inexpensive ways to give a new yet old look to the home. All it takes is an eye for color and detail as well as a bit of design ingenuity.

Here are some of the most popular tips for home designers to achieve a retro flare.


Retro is all about making bold statements and creating talking points. To this end, there’s no better and more practical way to transform a space from contemporary to retro than with wallpaper. Those interested in the typical retro look should make a beeline for 50s wallpaper with classic designs over bright colors. More fearless designers can make a statement with bright mustard-yellow wallpaper with bold prints.

And there’s no need to limit this design scheme to the living room, as retro wallpaper can adorn any room. In fact, those interested in giving their bathroom a 50s/60s look have the option of modern antibacterial wallpaper imprinted with classic designs. Bold orange, in particular is a popular trend in retro wallpaper colors at the moment.

But no matter the room, the use of clean flooring and simple furniture best compliments retro walls.


As alluded to above, retro is as much about the color as it is the design. Bold, striking colors are crucial to a proper retro design scheme, and the most iconic are bright blues oranges and yellows. Focusing on brightly colored furniture with darker walls is another effective way to achieve this style.


One of the best ways for those on tight design budgets to completely transform their living area is actually through more subtle means. For example, strategically placing retro furniture, such as desks or chairs in various areas of a space will create a focal point and hold the room together. Adding a room divider outfitted with brightly colored fabric panels is another idea.


By opting for a plain bedroom color scheme and brightly colored classic bed linens, the bed itself becomes the focal point of a retro sleeping room. This is an incredibly quick room transformation anyone should be able to pull off, regardless of budget.


The importance of classic furniture as it relates to a proper retro design scheme can’t be understated. The good news is the best and most authentic retro furniture is available second hand. Makeover your kitchen with furniture acquired from eBay, or find that perfect retro sofa at a boot sale; the options are near limitless.


Loud color schemes aren’t for everyone. And those looking to achieve a retro look without the blinding shades of blues and yellows can always opt for a neutral design. Retro furniture combined with a pared-down color scheme will create a classic look. Adding many textures to the design will only enhance the style.

By following these simple guidelines there’s no reason those so inclined shouldn’t be able to completely transform their home from contemporary bland to retro sharp. In fact, those with limited budgets are actually in a prime position to achieve this type of look, as necessity is the mother of invention. And no design scheme lends itself more to artistic invention and creativity than retro does.

Retrojan is Australia’s premier online furniture retailer who loves to take inspiration from legendary styles of the past, and produce their own modern take.They specialise in retro, vintage and industrial furniture.

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