What was once passe is now the hottest ticket at your favourite antique store. Remember that dull black rotary phone you tossed in the ’80s for that cheesy hamburger one? Well, that was $230 out the window my friend. The egg chair is back and the world of retro is re-emerging with a contemporary edge. Shows like Mad Men and the HGTV channel have opened our collective eyes to a world of colours, shapes, textures, and fun sophistication. The trend of making everything match is over and freedom reigns. Personalizing your living space is as important as the clothes on your back. It’s about finding that one piece that you love whether it’s a couch, lamp, or table, and developing your space around it. Accents are in and any era is open for business.
Today’s hottest home fashion rule is simple: nothing is off limits. The new generation of fashionistas want a melange of styles, an eclectic look that is regardless of origin or era. Retro furniture is appealing because it was designed to save space and reduce clutter. This is ideal for people living in condos, apartments, and town homes because they want a sleek feel but still the comfort of a relaxed environment. Having no boundaries means that it’s okay to match that contemporary beige sofa with grandma’s yellow art deco armchair and an ultra-modern steel chandelier. It’s about balance; not going overboard with too many focal points, too many colours, or too many items from one era.
Although the term “retro” is often equated with the 1950s or 1960s, it is actually a catchall term that spans from the 1930s to the 1980s. What is attractive about retro items from the mid-century is that they are fun, bright, lightweight , and have fascinating spherical shapes and lines . Items were designed to be comfortable, functional, and to stand out as conversation pieces. By 1950 the war was over and it was an optimistic time ; money was flowing and people were buying homes to enjoy with their 2 .5 kids. New synthetics were available and used to create every imaginable shape and to dazzle with glorious candy colours.
Appreciating someone’s home is easy. Designing your own is not. Unlike the weeklong renovation shows, it takes time to find the right items to decorate your home with and that’s where interior decorators can help. Their vast knowledge of fabrics, styles, and space planning can help you create a unique blend of eras that masterfully creates a home that fits your lifestyle and aesthetic. “Clients are thrilled because we make the process simple,” remarked Cindy Gibson, manager of Accent s for Living. “All it takes is an idea, or picture, of something they love for us to help them create their vision.”
There are four simple steps to incorporating your new retro style into your home or office:
STEP # 1 : START WITH ONE THING
Pick the one thing you love, such as a couch or armoire, and build around it to create a great design for your living space.
STEP #2: BALANCE
Don’t force the piece to fit into the room because it’s there to make a statement,
not to match the other furniture . Blend it into the room through
repetition in colour, symmetry, and items from other decades .
STEP #3: CREATE MORE THAN ONE FOCAL POINT
Never feel tied down. Bring together a few standout pieces of different sizes and compliment them with antique knick knacks or a contemporary lamp. Use items from var ious vintages to complete that stylish eclectic look .
STEP #4 : DON’T BE AFRAID TO REFURBISH ANTIQUE FURNITURE
Over the years you have probably collected many pieces of furniture you didn’t know what to do with but which you kept for sentimental reasons. Now is the time to use them! Reupholster antique chairs for a funky modern vibe. Look for items with pops of colour, unexpected shapes, various materials (plastic, chrome, brass) and mirrors to create a distinct space which is all your own.
Retro furniture is just as fabulous now as it was back in its heyday. Reusing old furniture whether it be for style or need, isn’t only fashionable, but economical. Depending on where you shop, you are not only saving on your pocketbook, you are helping the environment. For every piece you dig out of an antique shop, or find in your attic, you’ve found a treasure of retro-ific proportion that can transform a room into your own piece of art.