Since we’ve had such an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to our recently published piece called Retro Home Décor That’s Totally Cool Today, a sequel seemed like a good idea. Because here at Heywood-Wakefield, we’re all about giving the people what they want.
So, if you missed our first piece, be sure to click on over and read it. Without further ado, here are some more playfully tasteful (or tastefully playful?) ideas for giving your home a little more pizzazz and personality with vintage and retro décor.
It’s fun to say, and it’s fun to decorate a room with. Ads and signs from back in the day—especially zany times like the 1920s, ’50s, and ’70s—simultaneously have strong nostalgic, entertainment, and decorative value. There are plenty of online sources, and you can often score old signage at garage sales. Hang them in the entertainment spaces in your home to add a unique festive element that’s sure to start some conversations.
Mid-Century Modern Area Rugs
Area rugs help divide and define your living spaces, bringing additional color, character, and organization to a room. They’ve been used for millennia; a little trivia for you: the Pazyryk Persian Rug, discovered during an archaeological dig in Siberia in 1949, is more than 2,400 years old! So yeah, it’s a pretty vintage décor item. Distinct, colorful, lively mid-century modern patterns add retro zest to your rooms, and happen to know where you can find a large selection of beautiful hand-tufted mid-century modern area rugs.
Irregularly Shaped Stone Patios
In the mid-1900s, patios were commonly fashioned out of a mix of large and small, irregularly shaped, smooth, slate-colored stones. They were fit together sort of like puzzle pieces, providing a playfulness derived from the balance of order and disorder. These fell by the wayside as they were widely replaced by uniformly shaped stone tiles and wooden decks. Consider installing one in your yard for an outdoor space with a fun retro feel.
Few things give your bathroom a true vintage vibe like a gorgeous clawfoot tub. They were a luxury item in the late 1800s and a hugely popular, commonplace bathroom fixture by the 1920s. Today’s versions have been adapted to hold a little more appeal to contemporary consumers, offering quite a lot of variety in the tub’s size, shape, leg design, and tapware.
Soda Fountain Kitchen Elements
You can, without getting too carried away, recreate a little of the nostalgia and coolness of a mid-century soda fountain or diner in your kitchen. Some elements that help bring this look to life include white walls and cabinets, a booth (especially red) for your kitchen seating, a diner-style table, a mid-century style bar with chrome-plated stools, some whimsical wall hangings like a neon clock or 1950s-era signage (yes, signage again), and even little touches like chrome spring-loaded napkin dispensers.
A Word of Advice About Going Retro
A lot of people worry about incorporating retro or vintage pieces and designs into their home décor. Mostly, they’re concerned about their homes looking dated. The best way to prevent giving your living spaces that “time capsule” vibe is to thoughtfully mix and match different periods and styles.
If you stick mostly to décor from one particular era, then yes, you’re home will look like a time capsule from that era. But if you blend furniture, accessories, colors, patterns, materials, wall hangings and other decorative items, light fixtures, and other elements from different times—including modern—then this won’t be an issue.
Once you get into it, developing your eye for selecting seemingly unrelated things that complement each other surprisingly well (and those that don’t!), designing your home becomes so much fun. Opening your options up to all sorts of retro and vintage styles means practically endless possibilities for making your home uniquely and perfectly your home.