Designing a Retro Living Room

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Many people are enjoying the looks of the 1950’s through the 1970’s in their homes, from kitchens and baths to living rooms.  If you’re thinking about incorporating a retro or vintage look in your living room, the ideas below will help get you started.  Since there were several styles during this time period, you will achieve the most desirable look by sticking with one decade for your decorating theme such as the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

Don’t go overboard

No matter which retro style you choose, don’t overdo it.  You want the look to be balanced, not loud and overwhelming.  By using too many accents, wall hangings, etc., you will find that the look quickly gets on your nerves.

Stick to three colors when deciding on your color theme so that the look is balanced and not confusing or overdone.

Furnishing a retro style living room

If you lived during this era, no doubt plenty of things will come to mind.  Bean bag chairs are funky, and make the perfect seating for an empty corner.  Vinyl, crushed velvet and shiny patent leather were also in vogue during these decades.

When it comes to the sofa, choose something with clean contemporary lines.  A black or white vinyl or leather sofa with simple lines looks great when topped with brightly colored velvet covered throw pillows.

Tables should enhance the look of your retro living room even further.  Look for shiny chrome legs and any surface that is shiny, such as black lacquer or even glass.

Light up the room with retro style lamps

Today there are so many ways to light up your living room, but back in the day table lamps were a huge item and necessary for completing the look.  Oversized, brightly colored lamps will add to the mix; also consider shades decorated with geometric prints and tassels.  To create a focal point for the room, place two matching lamps at each end of the sofa.

Rugs, walls and the rest

Anyone who lived during this time knows that shag carpet was all the rage.  If you have shag carpet, little has to be done to the floor.  If you have tile or stone floors, it’s easy to add a retro look to the floor.  Place a retro rug in the center of the room; this can be a monochrome or two-color rug patterned with geometric ovals or squares or large circles.

When it comes to the walls nearly anything goes.  Remember the old music posters featuring those rockers you drooled over?   They’re perfect for the living room walls.   Sunburst wall mirror decorations, an old guitar hung on the wall over the sofa, even those old tin signs featuring Betty Boop add a playful, fun feel to the room.

A vintage or retro styled living room is relaxed, comfortable and full of fun.  Take your home back in time with a retro look!  Watch some of those old shows from the time period, and you’ll come up with a few creative ideas of your own.

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