With most forms of contemporary design currently taking their lead from 1960’s and 70’s design principles, adding a little retro style to your home will actually keep it bang on trend. The beauty of retro design is that it is so recognizable meaning it only takes a few choice pieces from this period to really shape the theme of a space. The only problem you may have if you decide to incorporate a retro theme into a home scheme, is knowing what to choose. The sixties was a cultural explosion which basically rewrote the design handbook and gave us so many wonderful and exciting new creations, many of which are still being manufactured today.
Firstly you will need to decide on a palette. Oranges, browns and purples were all very popular shades back then. If a psychedelic print wallpaper containing such colours is a little too strong for your tastes (although that would make an excellent feature wall), try a modern white backdrop which will really allow such colours to pop out when used as accents. Cushions and curtains are a brilliant way to incorporate touches of such colours or patterns.
In terms of furniture, it is best to use a mix of old and new designs in order to create an authentic feel that isn’t overly themed. For example, a contemporary settee featuring sixties print orange cushions and lit overhead by an original arca lamp, will really convey the idea of retro without looking like a scene from early days Coronation Street. Teak was a very popular material of the time as was plastic of course so try to incorporate these materials on some level, perhaps giving precedence to teak as plastic can be slightly cold in nature. A teak side board and coffee table will really set off a room, with plastic included in the shape of accessories such as clocks, magazine racks, table lamps or dining chairs.
Really try to adhere to retro spatial ideas around the house if you want to be consistent in your influence. Rather than using walls, designers of the period would indicate the parameters of a spatial zone through the flooring material or by setting areas at slightly different levels. Dropping the level of your sitting area in an open plan design would be the ultimate in authenticity, though a far more practical and affordable solution is to simply lay a rug. A sheep skin, woollen or even cow hide rug would not only add to overall retro theme, it would also tie all the surrounding furniture into a single zone, which basically the same idea.
Giving your home a retro facelift is one of the more fun sides of home DIY. Much of the furniture designs are very playful and at times require a little thought on how to use them as they have attempted to rethink an old theme. Just as in the sixties, you are encouraged to be creative and show a little freedom and flair in your spatial arrangements- choosing retro as a style guide really allows you more interaction with a space, therefore making your home a much more enjoyable and ultimately more rewarding place in which to live.