Ideas + Advice


11 Retro Furniture Types You'll Totally Dig

Get groovin’ with these eleven retro room ideas – each featuring one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by 60s and 70s interior design.

1. The Tufted Sectional

If retro style is anything, it’s all about going bold – especially through tufting. For the ultimate in retro style, incorporate monochrome hues like avocado green, sleek grey and rustic brown in major staples; a grey sectional like the one in the living room above focalizes the room while bringing a standout mid-century appeal.

2. The Flared Desk

In fashion, architecture and interior design, flared edges defined the late mid-century, encompassing a collective desire to step away from the straight lines of traditional silhouettes. Opt for a desk with tapered legs or a chair with a flared back to effortlessly give any space a hint of the rebellious charm reminiscent of the 60s and 70s.

3. The 70's Couch

Partly out of a need to save space and partly out of a penchant for bold style, mid-century designs saw a deviation from the lavish cushions and graceful roll arms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries – and a rise in retro couches and chairs in minimalistic silhouettes. To incorporate mid-century modern seating into a contemporary or eclectic living room, keep the majority of the furniture (like the coffee table, end table and floor lamps) in a neutral hue – and restrict pops of color to one or two pieces (like the chair or sofa) to maintain a cohesive look.

retro chandeleir

4. The Minimalist Pendant

Mid-century and minimalism go hand-in-hand, and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in mid-century lighting. No-frills, bare-bones lamps, pendants and chandeliers create a sleek aesthetic – and help to balance out any unexpected flares and colors often inherent in surrounding mid-century décor.

5. The Tapered Chair

If you take anything from the mid-century modern rulebook, take the geometry. Ovals, squares and even octagons, whether in an papasan chair or coffee table, are retro-chic at its finest – and can do wonders for plain spaces in need of a defining statement piece.

6. The Platform Bed

There is a reason the mid-century bedroom is making a comeback for both adults and kids: platform beds and sleek nightstands in natural colors create a timeless aesthetic, while rugs and ottomans in groovy patterns add a whimsical touch. 

7. The Wooden TV Stand

Televisions, a critical part of mid-century interior design, were the focal point in most households – and the stands on which they rested quickly became stunning designs within themselves. Today, the minimalistic look of the mid-century TV stand is versatile enough to be used in any room in the home and for any purpose, while still providing an eye-catching appeal.

8. The Triangle Coffee Table

It’s been mentioned before, and it’s worth mentioning again: nothing spells out the charm of mid-century modern quite like geometrical lines and shapes. Consider, for example, the coffee tables in the above living room; triangular tabletops contrast with the tapered legs to bring sharp definition and focalize the entire space.

9. The Arc Lamp

Whether it’s innovative silhouettes crafted from rustic wood (like the above coffee table) or classic fixtures made from progressive chrome, mid-century modern tends to merge two styles into one design. Perhaps most reflective of this ‘merging’ is the steel arc lamp; the subtle curves and the bold glass lampshade make for a design both minimalistic and full of flair. 

10. The Walnut Dining Table

The walnut dining table pictured above is another example of how retro style can seamlessly merge two different aesthetics. The handsome walnut finish reminiscent of older and more traditional interiors combined with the tapered legs so predominant within 50s and 60s furnishings makes for a stunning piece that balances innovative silhouettes with familiar textures – and a completely mid-century modern feel.

11. The Sleek End Table

Part of the charm of retro living rooms is that every piece, no matter how big or small, contributes to the room’s mid-century appeal with its own exciting features. With bright colors and patterns, this can mean a bold array of designs, each competing for attention. However, by restricting the color palette to one or two neutrals, the focus is kept on texture and silhouettes, making it easy for each piece – whether it’s a sleek end table or a cozy shag rug – to shine without clashing with the surrounding décor.


Honorable Mention: Retro Dining Chairs

Like the retro dining table, 70's retro dining chairs are sleek and minimal but still full of style and daring. Most designs are inspired by mid-century diners or restaurant-style seating, where establishments used smaller profiles to be able to fit more occupants within a room.

Honorable Mention: Papasan Chair

The papasan chair has a circular backrest – making it the kind of chair that knows how to party! Inspired by the mid-century love for simplicity + geometric shapes, it also blends seamlessly into modern homes.

Retro Decor Ideas

Want to travel back in time? Skip the space-time continuum equations. Instead, go for retro decor, which will make your home feel like it's "stuck in the 70's" (in a good way)! Hang up classic car and architecture wall art and beatnik-inspired bohemian wall tapestries; paint an accent wall in avocado green or burnt orange. Incorporate a muted color palette and vintage iconography as much as you can, and enjoy the bliss of nostalgia!

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