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How to Decorate With Retro Finds
Take a peek at the most liked interiors on Instagram, and you will spot several pieces of retro décor. That is because classic items like teak consoles, vintage globes, and hanging chairs add charm and character to modern spaces. In fact, incorporating a mix of decorative styles from different eras is one of the tricks of the trade for professional designers.
But that does not mean one must spend a stack of cash to infuse a space with retro style. Decorating with reproductions, hand-me-downs, or a few vintage finds from a local flea market will give a room some stylish oomph without bankrupting your budget. To help you get the gist, below are our favorite retro decorating ideas.
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Tips for Creating a Retro Entryway
Several entryway essentials make this tiny foyer by the designers at Studio McGee so appealing. The iron and leather bench is an industrial charmer. Both the analog clock and sports pendant are vintage reproductions with a distinct yesteryear vibe. The wicker basket is a midcentury-inspired accent that doubles as storage.
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Apartment Inspired by Midcentury Modern Design
The classic Chesterfield love seat gives the space an elegant twist. The modernist inspired console under the TV lends a Mad Men vibe. The retro “ice” sticker on the fridge brings a touch of whimsy. The Cord Pendant by Brendan Ravenhill on the ceiling and the Atlas Floor Lamp by Adesso are both excellent examples of industrial-inspired lighting.
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Charming Cottage Kitchen
This adorable cottage kitchen by Sarah Phipps Design packs a lot retro charm. The wood planks used to create the feature wall came from the home. The kitchen cabinets were picked up for cheap at a local thrift store. The pink, vintage-inspired fridge is by SMEG. The task light over the sink is the Starfire Radial Wave Reflector Gooseneck Light by Barn Light Electric.
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Retro Kitchen With Modern Appliances
The 30-inch oven in buttercup yellow is a modern appliance by Big Chill. The new, fireclay farmhouse sink reminds us of simpler times. Concealed behind a shaker cabinet panel on the far right is a spanking new dishwasher. The new tile countertop is a practical feature that is more durable than retro Formica and much cheaper than stone. The finishing touch is a vintage yellow step stool.
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Midcentury-Inspired Fireplace Wall
In this sleek 1960s ranch house remodeled by Jennifer Weiss Architecture midcentury-inspired tile adds old-school interest to a fireplace wall. Classic furniture contributes to the home’s retro appeal. On the left is a Womb chair and ottoman set by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. The coffee table, which has a rosewood top, is also by Saarinen.
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Retro Laundry Room
Make washing your clothes more enjoyable with these stylish decorating ideas by Harvey Jones. Shaker cabinets in vintage pastel shades give this laundry room a cheerful twist. A launderette display sign adds a nostalgic spin. Additional retro touches that are also oh so charming include a vintage-inspired radio and a colorful, tiny tile backsplash.
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Eclectic Bungalow Filled with Chic Decor
The cabriole style sofa features a refined carved wood frame inspired by 18th-century furniture makers. The sleek chrome and glass coffee table dials in the disco era. The wicker and leather armchair is an eclectic piece from the 1960s. The set of Marcel Breuer “Cesca” chairs around the dining table enhances the room’s retro-modern vibe. The brass chandelier is a contemporary fixture by Lindsey Adelman.
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New Furniture That Looks Retro
If vintage décor is not your thing, you can get a retro look using brand-new furniture as shown in this space by Kelly Martin Interiors.
The Sputnik Chandelier by Jonathan Adler is a contemporary fixture inspired by the iconic, atomic designs of the 1950s. The Dylan dining table and Roadhouse leather chairs both by CB2 enhance the room’s old-school vibe.
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Retro Loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
If we created a time capsule for 1960s décor, it would include the iconic bamboo swing chair shown on the left. This retro Brooklyn loft by Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design also features an exemplar from the art deco age: the bamboo Pretzel Sofa by Paul Frankl. Topping off the floor is a flokati rug, which was a staple in fashion-forward homes throughout the 1970s.
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Mod Bedroom With Retro Features
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Retro Hawaiian Style
The interior designers at Havenly call this colorful and mod interior Mrs. Hula Hut. The retro living room has deep, midcentury modern roots from the playful color scheme to the low slung furniture. Whimsical vintage accents including the barware on the salmon console and the pink flamingo bust over the wall planter complete the look.
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Nothing transforms a space like a chic, vintage sideboard. The best part? You can find a decent selection at most large flea markets. We love this piece of classic furniture because you can use it in any room to add retro flair as shown in this home staged by design company Taylor and Taylor.
In the entryway, a vintage sideboard makes a great landing strip with concealed storage. In the living room, it can hide liquor and drinkware while displaying photos and books.
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Retro Living Room That is Anything But Kitschy
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Retro Star Wars Boy’s Room
The force is with this vintage-inspired bedroom by Joni at Lay Baby Lay. Setting the tone for this retro-futuristic space are the prints of Boba Fett and Hans Solo from the 1980 Star Wars Film, The Empire Strikes Back. The faux wrought iron bed frames have that old-timey look without the hefty price tag. The Sputnik style ceiling fixture enhances the room’s sci-fi vibe.
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Blogger’s Retro Living Room
The blogger behind Design Attractor says decorating his retro living room is a never-ending story. Near the back wall is a chic midcentury console. The plants on top give the space a 1970s vibe. The white molded plastic rocker is by Eames. The leather accent chair is a flea market find. The retro coffee pot is vintage enamel. The white bookcase is from IKEA.
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