Retro Chic, What's Old is Also New

"Retro" has always been a comeback king and the new millennium has not changed that. Today, with an already firm hold on the fashion runways, retro is segueing its way into every more territory, even influencing men’s newest hairstyles with vintage barber re-borns, like the undercut. Blame pop culture, or more specifically runaway hits like AMC's ‘Mad Men’ and HBOs ‘Boardwalk Empire.’

Whatever the case, however, when a look garners wide appeal in one area it often trickles over into another. Furniture designers, undoubtedly taking note of the retro trends in other areas are continuing to offer an array of retro-inspired pieces that borrow from the fifties, sixties and seventies.

Reinterpreting classic looks for today means borrowing key components from each decade’s original look. From the fifties to the seventies, a range of signature flavors appeared in American homes.

When the baby-boomers set up housekeeping it was often done with carefully selected furniture sets in bland and unadorned materials. Clean, light and neutral ruled the day.

Tufted backs with rivets, sweet heart ‘ice cream parlor’ style chair backings, classic furniture ‘sets,’ especially if done in unadorned blond wood, are all looks that are available today that got their start in the 50s.

60s and 70s
The space age gained front and center attention in the early 60s, first in people’s living rooms and then beyond. Meanwhile furniture style caught the wave with an advent of synthetically constructed and abstract pieces.

Space age gave way to spacey behavior in the later 60s on into the 70s and the furniture trends rode the wave, with pieces that often seemed like something Andy Warhol might have envisioned in a fevered dream. Colors ran the gamut from autumnal tones such as wheat gold, avocado, and brown, to psychedelic purples and greens.

Bubble chairs, Eames chairs, whimsically shaped chairs that owe nothing to the ergonomic craze, modular shaped sectionals and colors like avocado, burnt orange, as well as other ‘bolds’ that would have spelled garish to many of the Moms of the space-age house outfitters, all of these styles and options remain available today. Yet, they owe their beginnings to the space-minded and spacey 60s and 70s.

Obviously home decorators today owe a great deal their predecessors. Whether your style is buttoned up and proper or tongue in cheek, a new, yet-retro inspired piece, with the signature stamp of your preferred decade, can only up the chic factor of your home. 

David is a blogger and contributing writer for Thrive Furniture, a company that offers a variety of options for home décor including computer desks for home offices and computer desks for in-office use.

5 Tips for Making your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

A dorm room can look austere and uninviting, but with some creativity and a few decorative touches it can be transformed into a cozy home away from home. While most of your college days are spent outside of the room, getting a good night’s rest is imperative for performing well in class. When you master the art of creating a peaceful sleeping and studying environment, you will find that your ability to concentrate will generally improve. Here are 5 tips for transforming your bland dorm room into a place of beauty and restfulness.

1) Bedding
College linens don’t have to be tag sale finds or borrowed from Grandma. New bedding can be very inexpensive if you shop at discount stores or look for sales online. Since dorm room walls are usually a neutral color and students usually are not allowed to paint them, bright, colorful bedding can make a dorm room cheery and homey without a lot of work or expense.

2) Throw rugs
A throw rug looks good on tile floors, wood floors or even layered over the unattractive, industrial style carpeting one may find in a dorm room. Throw rugs can add a punch of color, texture and design to a dorm room that can tie in with the styles and colors used in the bed linens.

3) Window treatments
Bare windows look cold and feel cold if the temperature outside is chilly. Bare windows also have no way to filter bright sunlight. Curtains, drapes or blinds will not only make a room look more like home, they will add another touch of color and style to the space. Long sheer curtains can give a hint of privacy or use a heavier fabric like denim, canvas or even cut up quilts for full coverage.

4) Art work
Whether you choose to decorate a dorm room’s walls with photos, posters or framed art, there are numerous products you can buy that will allow you to hang items without marking the walls or using nails. Art brings color, personality and design into a dorm room and brings home and family with the student while showcasing the student’s personality and interests.

5) Accessories
Throw pillows turn a dorm room bed into a lounging space for friends to sit when they visit. They also add coziness and comfort to the bed which makes a dorm room feel more like home. Baskets and colorful organizers not only keep personal belongings organized and easy to find, they add décor to a room too. A small houseplant adds beauty and life to a dorm room and is fun to watch grow.

By injecting some homey touches into a dorm room, it can go from blah and boring to a cozy space that feels comfortable and familiar.

David is a blogger and contributing writer who focuses on a large variety of home and family topics. He is also a contributing writer for Thrive Furniture, a site that offers a wide variety of options for the home or dorm including designer mid century couch and mid century sofa options.

10 Tips For Decorating Your Living Room

There are a lot of things you should take into consideration when decorating your living room. Budget plays a big part in determining what decisions you make. You also should think about the style of your home and what will suit the rest of your house. As well as the furniture you will need to decide on your flooring, lighting, as well as whether you have curtains or blinds on your windows. Once your living room redecoration is done you might want to look at hiring a commercial cleaning company to give the room a thorough going over.


It can be a good idea to start from the ground and work your way up. Choosing your flooring can sometimes help determine other choices you make when it comes to decorating. The type of carpet your might pick will depend on whether your room is going to be more formal, and perhaps used less, or whether you will need a more hard wearing type of carpet because it will be somewhere that the family will spend a lot of time. You might choose to have floorboards, which you can dress up with a rug.


The colors you choose for your walls can greatly affect the mood of your room. Painting your home a lighter color can also make your room appear larger. A darker color, or more solid shade, will make your room appear smaller. If you want to have a more vibrant color, but feel it will be a bit much in your room, you can paint one wall and make it a feature.


You will need to consider whether you want curtains, blinds or perhaps even shutters on your windows. Curtains can be a more formal look, although they can be dressed up or down. Roller blinds are a cheaper option to curtains and can be easily installed yourself. Don't forget to consider the outside of your windows, where you could have shutters, or even a blind that drops down to block out the sun.


Choosing furniture is where your individual taste will really come to the fore. Your choices will be influenced by whether the room is going to be more formal or a casual space. The size of the room will affect how much furniture you put in the room, and also the style of your home. A more modern home often calls for a more minimalist look, with less furniture being displayed. Period homes work well with the cozy that having more furniture can bring.


Don't forget your walls when you are decorating your living room. If you have a large budget you might want to get some special original pieces for your walls, such as oil paintings, pastels or water colors. You can still buy great art work on a budget, even if it is a reproduction print.


Think about where the main traffic will be through your room and position your furniture so that it is not in the way.


Consider how easy your room is going to be to clean when you start decorating. If you are not an enthusiastic cleaner and can't afford to hire a professional cleaner to do the job for you, perhaps it is not a good idea to have lots of trinkets and other fussy items on display, which will require a lot of fairly constant dusting.


Before you start, think about whether you want a space that is good for entertaining. Do you need to incorporate an open area for large groups of guests to mingle, or should you even put aside an area for a bar? In fact, why not have the space versatile enough to do both? There are many bar options available today that take up very little space but can store most everything you need and even have tops that can expand to offer you a reasonable amount of surface space.


How practical is your lounge room going to be for your lifestyle? If you will use the room a lot or you have children perhaps choose more hard wearing carpet, or choose a paint for your walls that will be easy to wipe mess off.

Casual or formal

The first thing you need to decide is whether your living room is going to be a casual or formal space. The rest of your decisions, such as the type of furniture you choose, the carpets and the curtains, will all depend on the style of room.

Don't forget to plan your decorating, so that you get it right the first time around.