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Retro Decor | The Rattan Company Guide

Retro décor is on trend, a style full of whimsy, built around retro furniture calling back to the late 1950s-1970s. When you’ve been inspired by our retro collection, why not take a look at our Scandi trend collection?

What is the retro décor trend?

Retro décor is a style focusing on elements of design which may be dated, but which have an aesthetic, humorous or design value which makes them attractive to the designer. When we talk dates, retro styles cover the 1950s onwards, through to the 1970s. There is also the ‘modern retro’ style, with designs from the 1970s to 1990s predominating.

In much the same way as the vintage trend harnesses the look and feel of the earlier decades of the 20th century, retro decor involves the use of retro furniture and accessories, either in complete tableaus or as highlights among more contemporary looks.

The history of retro

As with all historic styles, what the eye perceives as retro is constantly shifting. Hence, in recent years, the advent of modern retro, where the designs of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s have acquired their own nostalgic chic.

So for retro, the futuristic look of 1950s America, or the corresponding European mid-century modern, shifts to the striking prints, colours and textures of the 1960s, and the heavier look of the 1970s. After that it’s the go big or go home 1980s, followed by Cool Britannia in the 1990s.

Characteristics of a retro style

With a wealth of decades to choose from, and the validity of mixing times and styles, to a certain extent anything goes. It’s a style where you make your own rules, and as such, there’s a lot of scope for creativity and flexibility.

Retro design

Varied textures are a hallmark of retro design, and retro furniture is no exception. This might mean plywood or vinyl, but for a natural look, consider rattan furniture. In the lounge, a rattan armchair might combine with hardwood or tiled floors for a Boho style, and in retro bedroom furniture, a wicker headboard could be painted, or combine in natural colours with the eccentric patterns of the 1970s.

Retro colour palette

Hallmark retro colours like avocado, mustard and shades of brown can be combined with vivid statement colours. Consider the red of an American diner, or teal and turquoise, which work well with the natural and painted versions of rattan furniture. 


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