Styles are sometimes fads. Occasionally, there is something classic in a particular style. What is classic, holds value and remains beautiful, while trends pass by within the year. The savvy homeowner, who wants to improve and decorate with a retro flair, should be able to distinguish a classic retro design from trendy fads. Here are some helpful hints to direct you towards the right way to “retro fit” your home.

Today’s contemporary look involves a carefully chosen display of classic pieces from the past. Often homeowners are so excited to go retro that they jump into changes that may be too drastic. Think touches, rather than a complete overhaul. Start with a cohesive, overall vision of how you want your home to look, then slowly build on this plan. You will then be able to see where you can push the edges and where you need to exercise restraint. This approach may also save you money in the long run. Touches are not as expensive as overhaul items: retro gas range, retro appliances, etc.

Retro, is a vague term for anything from a relatively distant past. Specify what era you are getting at- perhaps what decade. From here, think of what palette you are adding these touches onto. You might have a home that is Asian inspired. Imagine and visualize an era that suits this style, like certain aspects of the mid-century modern period. (1945-1965) From here, you can begin to blend the two dominant styles harmoniously. Your retro additions should serve as complimentary accents that won’t run the risk of looking garish or just plain old.

Another approach to your plan is to concentrate on one room. A new, clean paint job, alongside some colorful vintage glass pieces, could be just the right touch. Speaking of paint, wall color is a simple way to retrograde a space. Try painting one stand-out wall in a bold nostalgic color. You can then accent the room with pieces that compliment that color. The great things about paint is that it satisfies the urge to go big, or go home. You can make a strong statement with wall color, but if you end up detesting you color choice, re-painting is not the end of the world.

Personalization is important. Pick retro pieces that inspire you, and that you love. Don’t choose something simply because it belongs in the era you are decorating with.

If you are looking for retro touches, the mid-century modern era is easy to start with. You can hunt for unique pieces that are funky, yet classic in design. What came out of the mid-century modern design movement, was the production of pieces that were all about economy; economy in terms of price, but also in relation to space and design. The dominant style of this era focused on function, simplicity, and natural shapes. Many furniture designers of this era had backgrounds in sculpture. Pieces of the mid-century modern era worked with classic lines based on logic and elegance. It is hard to go wrong with classic lines.

Here are some ideas for retro or retro-inspired mid-century pieces to accent your home. It is great if you can find originals that you love. In this day and age, there are also multitudes of great knock-offs out there.

– Teak furniture, new or used (1950’s)

– Blenko Glass, new or used (1060’s)

– Modern wall clocks (1950-1960’s)

– Sussex Credenza (1950-60’s)

– Eames plywood chair (1950-60’s)

– Noguchi Table (1950-60’s)

Remember, however you go about adding retro flair, a home that is put together with a careful, artistic eye, is a beautiful home. Enjoy the process and the hunt, as you bring together the past and present for a classic home d├ęcor, with a new retro look.

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