You’ve made the decision to completely revamp your home and you’ve decided you’d like it to be in Retro style but just how do you go about incorporating that into your home. First of all it might help to have an understanding of what a Retro design style actually is.
The post war fifties and psychedelic sixties saw a move towards more brighter and bolder colours most likely as a backlash to doom and gloom of the war torn forties. Basically, Retro style of interior design can be described as taking a little bit of the past few decades into the present in order to create a new style of interior design that is both modern and fun. As there is so much material to choose from, what you decide to include will ultimately be your own interpretation of the past, so entirely unique.
During each of the past three decades there have been different materials, shapes, colours, artefacts, and gadgets that have left a lasting impression on all of us. These days, anything from the 50’s, 60’s or even the 70’s is fashionable again. However, because there are so many different ways to go about incorporating a Retro style into your home, it can be difficult to know where to start. There isn’t a standard look that can be described as Retro and yet everyone is able to recognise it when they see it.
Where to start
The first step would be to browse through magazines and search on the Internet, visit show rooms and exhibitions for the colour schemes, furniture, layouts etc. that appeal to you. Ask yourself what artefacts have been used, how the furniture is laid out, what it is made of, look at the lighting and any effect it creates, take note of the colour schemes, the ornamental touches and don’t forget the wall and floor coverings. From there you can literally mix and match elements that appeal to your own taste to produce a retro style that reflects your own identity with the past.
Getting the look
After the war new materials were being produced that led to a dramatic change in styles during the fifties and sixties, for example, Formica, plastic, fibreglass and plywood were introduced. The mood of the people was buoyant, and the future looked bright, consequently so were the colour schemes. For example:
* Mint green
* Sunshine yellow
* Cherry red
* Black and White
Highly polished chrome was very popular and used for furniture or for ornamental purposes. The furniture was often abstract in style with weird and wonderful shapes. Think of low lying round or oval or kidney shaped coffee tables, or anything in a curvy boomerang type shape. Teak and Pine were popular materials. Blow up furniture was introduced along with disposable materials like cardboard so no longer did furniture have to last for years; it was possible to change the look of your home as often as you felt the urge.
Who could possibly forget GPlan furniture that was all the rage and that revolutionised home interiors? For the first time, people could develop a coordinated look to their home over a period of time and mix and match pieces to create their own style.
Imagine black and white chequered linoleum offset against chrome furniture and black vinyl coverings. What about the wet look wall paper and bold floral patterns? Or even the bright and bold red and black contrasting colour schemes.
Geometric patterns and shapes were ever popular and as the space age was well and truly upon us during the fifties and sixties wall hangings, shapes, pictures, lamps, ornaments or anything that was reminiscent of space was well and truly in. For example, rockets, the planets, satellites, and space ships were very trendy and atomic wall clocks were a feature in the most fashionable of homes.
Visit antique shops or search on eBay to pick up vintage ornaments and objects in order to complete the vintage Retro look. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about what you should or shouldn’t include and that is what makes the Retro style so excitingly different. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your design ideas, as long as it looks good to you and feels right then you can’t really go wrong.