Retro decor can be quirky and give your home a ton of character. However, you definitely don’t want your home to look dated. The best vintage decor tends to be more a marriage of the modern and the retro, giving you the best of both worlds. Of course, some styles lend themselves better to hybridization than others. Here are some creative ideas for incorporating some nostalgia into your contemporary home decor.
Contemporary Art Deco
There’s been a recent revival of Art Deco design. Art Deco was popular in the early to mid-twentieth century and was unique for taking organic, natural motifs — depictions of flowers, shells, and sunrises — and making them symmetrical geometric patterns. Global travel was becoming popular at the time, so elements of Egyptian and African culture, like pyramids and animal print, were frequently incorporated as well. Contrast and drama were quite fashionable; Art Deco is known for glossy blacks, rich reds, warm yellows, shades of green, and of course plenty of metal.
This symmetrical fireplace, made of metal and yet still warm in appearance, shows clear Art Deco influence. The harsh geometric shapes, contrast in colors, and even the implied lines created by the furniture’s arrangement evoke the signature style.
Pictured here is a dining space with a design that shows a successful combination of contemporary with vintage. The pyramidal pattern on the rug, the floral patterned wallpaper on the feature wall, and the cheetah-esque treatment of the buffet are modern interpretations of Art Deco design elements.
Design of the 1950s was greatly influenced by the post-WWII economic boom. Homes became more open and space was encouraged to be used for multiple purposes. This was the age of the consumer with everything from chairs to electronics being heavily stylized and inspired by things like space and the atomic bomb, evoking what was considered to be a forward-thinking and futuristic aesthetic. In true mid-century fashion, form followed function such as with the mass-produced chairs that curved in such as way as to hug your body. Authentic retro pieces and even reproductions remain very popular and in high demand today.
The living room pictured here features very functional, geometric, and symmetrical furniture. Clearly showing inspiration by the designs of the mid-twentieth century, this room pairs a more contemporary color palette with the retro furnishings.
This dining space is a fantastic blend of contemporary with retro. The chandelier reinterprets the popular atom and sunburst chandeliers of the mid-twentieth century. The elongated, low-sitting credenza is also mid-century in its design, but more modern in its styling. The contemporary table and chairs with the modern white walls, which provide a refreshing backdrop, complement the room’s pastiche.
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