Need a little inspiration for your next remodeling project? Everything old is new again when you go retro in your home decor. Whether you go for a “Mad Men”-inspired Midcentury Modern look or prefer to add a little ’70s shag carpeting and color to your world, looking back in time can help you breathe new life into your home. It’s also a great way to incorporate quirks of the original architecture of your house into a cohesive whole — instead of feeling like you have to rip everything out and start from scratch.
Some of the biggest decorating trends right now harken back to bygone decades. Check out our favorites:
1. Gold and Brass Fixtures
Brass faucets, door knobs and other fixtures were all the rage in the 1980s, and they look right at home with venetian blinds and the clean lines of the “Miami Vice” era. While ’80s brass was, well, brassy, the contemporary take has a deeper gold tone and a richer luster. Instead of lacquer, look for more matte finishes. Table lamps are an easy way to experiment with the look. If you like it, check out plumbing options, switch plates, outlet covers and more.
2. The Color Orange
This citrusy shade is popping up everywhere these days, and it’s surprisingly easy to incorporate into your home. In the 1970s, deep orange shades were found in wallpaper and rugs, and it was often paired with dark brown wood, avocado green appliances and harvest gold accents. The retro look was very earthy, but you can use orange in a modern way by adding a splash of kicky color to more neutral spaces. Use orange throw pillows as an accent for white, black, gray and beige rooms to inject some energy.
While green thumbs would argue that houseplants have never gone out of style, they’re surging in popularity among Millennial homeowners. These days, going green is important, and the fresh look of a potted plant can improve your home air quality and bring the outdoors in. Try adding a greenhouse window for potted herbs in the kitchen, or bring a Victorian plant stand back to its former glory to display several plants in a sunny spot.
4. Colorful Kitchen Cabinets
The 1950s and ’60s offered all sorts of colorful options for kitchen cabinets: Pink, turquoise, yellow and green were all popular. The trend died out for decades as homeowners switched to wood tones, but colored cabinets are back in a big way. Gray is still the “it” color right now, but cabinets in sophisticated shades of blue and green are also having a moment. The trick to making this retro trend work for you is to choose a shade that’s grayed down instead of ultra-vibrant.
Wallpaper has truly made a comeback, and style mavens everywhere are experimenting with big, bold prints in every room of the house. The best part? You can zero in on patterns popular in your favorite decade to give your home a shot of retro chic from any era. This is an especially great option if you don’t have a lot of wall space to hang artwork but want to add life to your room. If you’re not sure about diving head-first into this trend, start with an accent wall first.
Ready to try some retro home decor? It’s totally up to you whether you want to go all-in on a time machine look by using several old-fashioned trends at once or if you want just the merest hint of historical cool. For most people, a little bit of retro flair goes a long way, but in the end, it’s all up to you!