For some, ‘retro’ brings about memories or images of a bohemian aesthetic. For others, a more vintage style will come to mind. Whatever the case, there’s always interest among many for bringing a slightly older aesthetic to a new home.
Of course, though ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ are often used interchangeably (and are used with only slight differences here), there are actually a lot of differences if you want the definition to be a little stricter. More specifically, a lot of people would draw fine lines between antique, vintage, and retro. Most people who want an older feel to their home seem to desire a subtle cross between vintage and retro - so we’re going to focus on these areas!
It’s all about the wood
How much, or how little, wood is present in your decor will have a tremendous effect on the specific ‘era’ feel your home gives off, so you need to give it quite a lot of thought. Specifically, you need to decide if you’re going to lean more towards vintage - bringing to mind the 50s and 60s - or more towards retro, which tends to emulate the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s. A lot of wood tends to lean towards the vintage feel, though you’ve also got to remember that many post-90s homes use a lot of wood, too.
Those looking for a more explicit 70s-90s retro feel should look less towards plain wood and more towards plastic, glass, and coloured or heavily modified wood. Bold patterns and colours in the decor are also important.
Buying the right kind of furniture for a retro home is easier than ever these days. The key is to look closer to the art world. Independent, artistic, and environmentally-conscious suppliers are probably your best bet here, as they all tend to lean towards the retro aesthetic. The bigger furniture retailers are definitely going to lean towards a more hypermodern feel.
The sort of aesthetic you’re looking for depends quite heavily on the type of item you’re looking at. Sofas from the retro era are usually pretty easy to identify. When it comes to lighting, however, people tend to make a lot of mistakes. They always seem to assume that everyone had lava lamps in the 70s-90s! The truth is that people still had a lot of love for items inspired by the western European art movements, and this certainly applied to popular lighting. Art deco lighting, for example, was (and remains) popular for its vintage yet anti-traditional aesthetic.
The miscellaneous items
Miscellaneous items can help a lot when to emulating the feel of the past. Of course, not everyone is into the collection of odds and ends like this. Even people who like a retro or vintage aesthetic may also want to pursue another type of aesthetic that’s very popular these days: minimalism. With the right furniture, of course, you don’t need to rely on purely decorative objects to get that retro feel in your home. If you do need something additional to provide such a boost, then keep it to simple pieces of art from the era you wish to emulate.