How to get a retro look in your living room

Retro is a pretty broad umbrella, but what most people mean when they bring up the term are the home décor styles popular in Europe and North America anywhere from the mid 1950s to the early to mid 1970s. For those readers who aren't quite old enough to have lived through this era, it might be helpful to think of it through the lens of popular culture – in this case, think 'Mad Men' through 'The Brady Bunch'.

If you'd like to give your living room a retro makeover, you may need to change things up a little – or a lot, depending on how the room is currently furnished and decorated. Keep reading for a quick guide to retro living room décor to get you off to a good start.


Let's start with the colour of the walls. Generally speaking, white or off-white (think eggshell) is the way to go. Window dressings and other decorations are given more emphasis in retro decorating schemes, so you don't need to rely on your walls to add colour as you might in some modern décor. Silver curtains will look stunning and compliment the vast majority of retro colour schemes.

If you don't fancy curtains plain wooden blinds were also commonly used in the 60's and 70's.


You probably don't need to do anything as far as the flooring itself is concerned, but for a retro look in your living room, you should definitely think about adding some large rugs to the room, especially shag rugs. Shag has gotten something of a bad name in recent years, but you can't deny that a shag rug looks great underneath (or alongside of) a boomerang or kidney shaped coffee table and other 60s style living room furniture.

Furniture and Layout

One thing that retro and modern living room décor have in common is an emphasis on leaving open space to create a comfortable environment where you can enjoy relaxing or entertaining guests. With this in mind, a few carefully chosen pieces go a long way. Consider picking up some vintage wooden cabinets to keep small items out of sight and your living room de-cluttered; retro-futuristic designs are ideal here.

If you're thinking about replacing your existing living room furniture, Danish modern styles are definitely a safe choice. It may take a little time to find the right pieces, so plan for your retro redecoration project to take a few months (or longer) as you scour furniture stores, vintage shops for what you need.

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