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Woodgrain: Embracing the Groovy Revival of Retro Interior Design

CEO Khai Intela
A Blast From The Past: Retro Revival A Blast From the Past Retro interior design is making a comeback and it’s groovier than ever. It’s a mix of past generations with a modern twist, encouraging...

A Blast From The Past: Retro Revival

A Blast From the Past

Retro interior design is making a comeback and it’s groovier than ever. It’s a mix of past generations with a modern twist, encouraging playful colors, chunky shapes, and funky décor. The Retro style originated in the 1950s when vibrant colors became readily available to the public. People wanted their homes to be an elaborate showcase of self-expression, mirroring their fashion choices.

This design style continued to evolve through the 60s and 70s, adapting to the social movements and political climate of the time. The hippie movement emerged as a response to the crises and wars, with bright primary colors, paisley swirl prints, and iconic bands like the Beatles dominating the scene. The 70s brought even more vibrant colors, groovy shapes, warmer tones, and psychedelic prints. It was an era of self-expression through design, where people embraced a revival of color.

Photo by Patricia Bustos Photo by Patricia Bustos

Photo by Atelier ND Interior Photo by Atelier ND Interior

Markers of Retro Interiors

We all love the Retro style, but most of us aren’t ready to fully commit to a monochromatic 60s look. Fortunately, there is room for everyone in this trend. Instead of fully adopting the Retro style, you can add different staple pieces to compliment your space or play with nostalgic colors and patterns. Retro interior design allows for the merging of metallic, velvet, and all variants of colors into one room. It has found its place in the 21st century with a modern take on the classic style.

Here’s how you can mix and match to add Retro flair to your space:


The Retro interior style combines comfort and style seamlessly. For a standout centerpiece in your living room, consider vintage furniture by renowned designers such as Charles and Ray Eames or Pierre Paulin. Pierre Paulin's shapeless yet sturdy couches and funky tables and storage pieces are iconic. Shop for authentic pieces like the Orange Slice Chair by Pierre Paulin from Kudzu Antiques to add a touch of authenticity. The Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman from Living Edge offers a classy statement piece that exudes both glamour and comfort.

For smaller seating options, think beyond the norm with hanging pod chairs, bean bags, day loungers, and oversized footstools. The Eero Ball Chair from Modern In Designs provides a fresh and futuristic take on the Retro design style.

Photo by Artemest Photo by Artemest

Photo by Modsy Photo by Modsy

It's All in the Details

Colors & Patterns

The Retro design style is characterized by colorful, patterned, and bold textures and prints. It seamlessly combines modern styles with rich materials, creating a sense of fine craftsmanship. Fabrics, shapes, and textiles add character to your space. An easy way to liven up an empty wall is by creating an accent wall in a geometric pattern, paying homage to the Retro style. Get inspired by this tutorial to recreate the look in your own space. When it comes to colors, Retro style embraces a mix of Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, and Post-Modern hues. You can paint with a single color or sprinkle different parts of the rainbow in every corner! From warm honey shades to cool forest greens, Retro has a place for everyone. Here are some colors to get you headed in the right direction:

  • Thai Teal
  • Red Passion
  • Unmellow Yellow
  • Planet Green

Patterns play a significant role in Retro interior design. Funky prints are essential in capturing the essence of this style. Transform your home into a funky wonderland with wall patterns. If you're feeling loud and proud, embrace your flower power with the Groovy Wallpaper from Happy Wall. For a more subtle look, let the Geometric Wallpaper grace your living room walls or add a vibrant Navy backsplash to your kitchen from Burke Décor. These eye-catching colors, shapes, and geometric patterns will help you add flair:

  • Checkered
  • Retro Stripes
  • Terrazzo
  • Kaleidoscope

Art + Décor

Incorporating art into your Retro-themed space requires thinking big! Abstract art is a must-have, as it captures the energetic vibe of the 70s. Oversized paintings, especially abstract ones, make a bold statement. Pop art is another easy way to infuse this trend into your home. Add a splash of color with the Colorblock Set from West Elm. However, abstract pieces don't have to be limited to your walls. Incorporate different-shaped items, like the Wavy Rug from Design Within Reach, for an understated addition.

Unusual shapes and color combinations are the norms for this style. Embrace textures like leather, velvet, plastic, and metal to enhance the nostalgic feeling. Want to transport your room back in time? Add the Bamboo Decorative Curtain from Burke Décor to your open walkway. For unique seating options, consider the metallic Kartell Stool from Bloomingdales. And why limit Retro to just your décor? Incorporate it into your everyday life with the Smeg Drip Coffee Machine from Neiman Marcus. Choose from Cream, Red, or Pastel Green to perfectly capture the Retro feel. Vinyl records have also made a massive comeback, with Millennials and Gen Z flocking to stores to experience the nostalgia of their parents and grandparents. According to Business Insider, vinyl records accounted for 70% of all physical music sales in 2022.

Photo by Atelier ND Interior Photo by Atelier ND Interior

Photo by Sean Litchfield Photo by Sean Litchfield

There are endless ways to incorporate Retro interior design into your space. Whether you opt for something new or something borrowed, it's up to you! For inspiration, check out our Retro Interior Design Board and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @WeAreWoodgrain!