28 Ways to Add Retro Style to Every Room

Retro Bedrooms, Living Rooms, and Kitchens

midcentury console retro style

Taylor and Taylor

Take a peek at the most liked interiors on Instagram, and you will spot several pieces of retro décor. That is because classic items like teak consoles, vintage globes, and hanging chairs add charm and character to modern spaces. In fact, incorporating a mix of decorative styles from different eras is one of the tricks of the trade for professional designers.

But that does not mean one must spend a stack of cash to infuse a space with retro style. Decorating with reproductions, hand-me-downs, or a few vintage finds from a local flea market will give a room some stylish oomph without bankrupting your budget. 

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    Midcentury Modern Daybed

    midcentury inspired LA living room

    A midcentury daybed reupholstered in orange tweed fabric anchors this tiny living room seen on Homepolish. A retro striped camping blanket adds to the sofa's charming appeal. On the right is a burgundy leather armchair from the 1970s.​​

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    Tips for Creating a Retro Entryway

    retro entryway
    Studio McGee

    Several entryway essentials make this tiny foyer by the designers at Studio McGee so appealing. The iron and leather bench is an industrial charmer. Both the analog clock and sports pendant are vintage reproductions with a distinct yesteryear vibe. The wicker basket is a midcentury-inspired accent that doubles as storage.

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    Create a Retro Feature Wall

    collection of vintage school items
    Rikki Snyder

    Interior stylist, Rikki Snyder transformed a boring wall into a retro feature thanks to a quirky collection of vintage globes and old school desks. The hanging chairs add a touch of whimsy to the overall look.

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    Apartment Inspired by Midcentury Modern Design

    Labl Studio

    Midcentury modern design inspired this New York City bachelor pad by Labl Studio. The apartment also features a few industrial elements. 

    The classic Chesterfield love seat gives the space an elegant twist. The modernist inspired console under the TV lends a Mad Men vibe. The retro "ice" sticker on the fridge brings a touch of whimsy. The Cord Pendant by Brendan Ravenhill on the ceiling and the Atlas Floor Lamp by Adesso are both excellent examples of industrial-inspired lighting.

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    Vintage Home Office Furniture

    midcentury home office in living room
    Marion Alberge

    Vintage furniture is ideal for tiny spaces because homes used to be much smaller.​ In this 530 square foot Paris apartment by Marion Alberge, an old wood desk and a vintage bookcase are both retro pieces that make the most of modest floor space.

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    Black and White Floor Tiles

    Holly Mathis Interiors

    A kitchen stuck in the 1970s gets a refresh by Holly Mathis Interiors. The result is a bright, white space brimming with enduring style. The checkered, black and white floor, which is reminiscent of vintage diners, gives the kitchen a pinch of retro flavor.

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    Consider a Gossip Bench

    retro telephone in entryway

    Nothing adds retro glamour to a space like a gossip bench. It was a nice to have when telephones were stationary objects. The one in this entryway by Havenly is a new piece of furniture by Jonathan Adler.

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    Retro Record Player

    vintage record player
    Dream Green DIY

    This minty fresh living room by Dream Green DIY has many retro accents, but two things, in particular, grabbed our attention. Anchoring the space is a teak console. On top is a cute record player by Crosley.

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    Charming Cottage Kitchen

    retro kitchen with pink fridge
    Sarah Phipps Design

    This adorable cottage kitchen by Sarah Phipps Design packs a lot retro charm. The wood planks used to create the feature wall came from the home. The kitchen cabinets were picked up for cheap at a local thrift store. The pink, vintage-inspired fridge is by SMEG. The task light over the sink is the Starfire Radial Wave Reflector Gooseneck Light by Barn Light Electric.

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    Kitschy Wallpaper Adds Retro Style

    retro wallpaper in bedroom
    James Wagman Architect

    A kitschy squirrel pattern wallpaper by Aimee Wilder anchors this retro bedroom by James Wagman Architect. Next to the bed is a midcentury classic: the Sculpture nightstand by Heywood Wakefield. 

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    Decorate With Retro Toys

    Retro Toys Vintage Style
    The New Design Project

    Decorating with vintage-inspired toys is a fun and affordable way to add a little retro style. In this small New York City bedroom by The New Design Project, a reproduction tin robot (it cost less than $25!) becomes whimsical décor.

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    Retro Danish Sofa from the 1960s

    midcentury sofa studio apartment
    Marion Alberge

    This Danish midcentury modern sofa from the 1960s is the perfect fit for this small living room by French interior designer Marion Alberge. Paired with simple furnishings and pops of color, it creates a sense of spaciousness in a small room.

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    Retro Kitchen With Modern Appliances

    yellow retro kitchen
    Jackson Design and Remodeling

    This retro kitchen by Jackson Design and Remodeling takes a step back in time without forfeiting contemporary conveniences.

    While the buttercup yellow oven looks vintage, it is actually a modern appliance from Elmira Stove Works. The new, fireclay farmhouse sink reminds us of simpler times. Concealed behind a shaker cabinet panel on the far right is a spanking new dishwasher. The new tile countertop is a practical feature that is more durable than retro Formica and much cheaper than stone. The finishing touch is a vintage yellow step stool.

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    Midcentury-Inspired Fireplace Wall

    midcentury modern tile fireplace
    Jennifer Weiss Architecture

    In this sleek 1960s ranch house remodeled by Jennifer Weiss Architecture, midcentury-inspired tile adds old-school interest to a fireplace wall. Classic furniture contributes to the home's retro appeal. On the left is a Womb chair and ottoman set by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. The coffee table, which has a rosewood top, is also by Saarinen.

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    Retro Laundry Room

    retro british kitchen
    Harvey Jones

    Make washing your clothes more enjoyable with these stylish decorating ideas by Harvey Jones. Shaker cabinets in vintage pastel shades give this laundry room a cheerful twist. A launderette display sign adds a nostalgic spin. Additional retro touches that are also charming include a vintage-inspired radio and a colorful, tiny tile backsplash. 

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    Shiplap Wall Paneling

    shiplap walls in bathroom
    Spazio Designs Los Angeles

    Modern farmhouse accents can give a space a little retro appeal. In this garage conversion by Spazio Designs Los Angeles, shiplap wall paneling adds old-school character to a newly remodeled bathroom.

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    Eclectic Bungalow Filled with Chic Decor

    Swag chandelier in small dining room
    Scheer and Company

    Mixing furniture and decorative accents from different periods is a great way to personalize a space. Case in point, this chic bungalow by interior design firm Scheer and Company

    The cabriole style sofa features a refined carved wood frame inspired by 18th-century furniture makers. The sleek chrome and glass coffee table dials in the disco era. The wicker and leather armchair is an eclectic piece from the 1960s. The set of Marcel Breuer "Cesca" chairs around the dining table enhances the room's retro-modern vibe. The brass chandelier is a contemporary fixture by Lindsey Adelman. 

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    New Furniture That Looks Retro

    sputnick light fixture
    Kelly Martin Interiors

    If vintage décor is not your thing, you can get a retro look using brand-new furniture as shown in this space by Kelly Martin Interiors.

    The Sputnik Chandelier by Jonathan Adler is a contemporary fixture inspired by the iconic, atomic designs of the 1950s. The Dylan dining table and Roadhouse leather chairs both by CB2 enhance the room's old-school vibe.

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    Retro Loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    retro accents in Brooklyn lofe
    Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

    If we created a time capsule for 1960s décor, it would include the iconic bamboo swing chair shown on the left. This retro Brooklyn loft by Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design also features an exemplar from the art deco age: the bamboo Pretzel Sofa by Paul Frankl. Topping off the floor is a flokati rug, which was a staple in fashion-forward homes throughout the 1970s.

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    Trough Sinks

    Godrich Interiors

    The red trough sink in this bathroom by Godrich Interiors pours on the retro charm. The subway tile backsplash, by contrast, keeps the look a bit more contemporary.

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    Mod Bedroom With Retro Features

    shag rug retro decor accents
    Geoffrey DeSousa Interior Design

    This mod bedroom by Geoffrey DeSousa Interior Design has several eye-catching retro accents. The green shag rug is a shout out to the 1970s. The midcentury-inspired table lamps are ceramic. In the foreground is a vintage chair and ottoman set called Womb by Eero Saarinen.

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    Retro Hawaiian Style

    retro Hawaiian decor

    The interior designers at Havenly call this colorful and mod interior Mrs. Hula Hut. The retro living room has deep, midcentury modern roots from the playful color scheme to the low slung furniture. Whimsical vintage accents including the barware on the salmon console and the pink flamingo bust over the wall planter complete the look.

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    Vintage Sideboards

    midcentury console retro style
    Taylor and Taylor

    Nothing transforms a space like a chic, vintage sideboard. The best part? You can find a decent selection at most large flea markets. You can use this piece of classic furniture in any room to add retro flair as shown in this home staged by design company Taylor and Taylor

    In the entryway, a vintage sideboard makes a great landing strip with concealed storage. In the living room, it can hide liquor and drinkware while displaying photos and books. 

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    Vintage School Maps

    vintage maps as decor
    Lindsay MacRae Interiors

    Filling an empty wall with a large vintage map is a great way to add retro style to any room. In this Brooklyn nursery by Lindsay MacRae Interiors, a set of pull-down school maps make a quirky statement.

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    Retro Star Wars Boy's Room

    vintage star wars bedroom
    Lay Baby Lay

    The force is with this vintage-inspired bedroom by Joni at Lay Baby Lay. Setting the tone for this retro-futuristic space are the prints of Boba Fett and Hans Solo from the 1980 Star Wars Film, The Empire Strikes Back. The faux wrought iron bed frames have that old-timey look without the hefty price tag. The Sputnik style ceiling fixture enhances the room's sci-fi vibe.

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    Blogger's Retro Living Room

    funky retro living room
    Design Attractor

    The blogger behind Design Attractor says decorating his retro living room is a never-ending story. Near the back wall is a chic midcentury console. The plants on top give the space a 1970s vibe. The white molded plastic rocker is by Eames. The leather accent chair is a flea market find. The retro coffee pot is vintage enamel. The white bookcase is from IKEA.

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    Add Vintage Paintings to the Mix

    vintage art add retro style
    Studio McGee

    Old paintings by amateur artists add retro zest to a contemporary space. In this room, by interior design firm Studio McGee, thrift store art elevates a white IKEA shelving unit. 

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    Repurpose Vintage Items

    vintage woodwork and tasking lighting in bedroom
    Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

    Repurposed cabinets and vintage task lighting give this cozy bedroom by Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design old-fashioned appeal. Warm, rustic features keep the industrial style from overpowering a small space.