How do I Make a Retro Living Room?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Creating a retro living room takes color, funky pieces and old school imagery. Retro refers to styles from the past, however, many consider retro decorating to encompass designs and influences from the 1950s to the 1970s. For those who prefer a more modern or classic look, this style is not a good option. While purchasing new items in a retro style is an option, buying actual pieces from that time frame can be advantageous.

Many of the items to create a retro living room are available for purchase at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and online auction sites. In some cases, the purchase of several pieces is possible in one spot, especially if the owners had retro-themed rooms. Considering many people may not be shopping for that particular style, ask for a discount when purchasing several items at once.

One option for the walls in the retro living room is to cover one with a wall mural in geometric patterns and bright colors and leave the other walls a neutral color such as eggshell. Another option is to paint all the walls a retro color such as a bright yellow or light pink. Additionally, consider painting the walls a neutral color, such as eggshell or taupe, and concentrate on the décor in the rest of the room to give it the retro feel.


Wall décor can help bring together the retro living room. Large paintings designed with geometric patterns and a funky mix of colors, such as red and orange, can be excellent choices. Searching through online auction sites can also result in finding magazine ads from that era, which can be framed and placed on the walls as art.

For flooring in the retro living room, think about using shag carpet that matches the furniture and wall colors in the room. Another option is to have a neutral color carpet, such as a beige woven carpet, but pump it up by using a centralized area rug in complementary colors and shapes to the rest of the room. For example, use a brown area rug with blue interlocking squares.

For the furniture in the retro living room, use circular pieces, such as circle end tables or round ottomans. Another option is to incorporate velvet seating, such as couches and recliners. The furniture should complement the rest of the colors in the room.

It may take awhile to find the pieces that will make up the retro living room, but it is possible to have the room you desire. With retro decorating, it can be as flashy or as subtle as you like while still reflecting the time frame. Taking the time to think about the colors wanted in addition to the layout before shopping can be beneficial for choosing the pieces more quickly and efficiently.


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