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.

50s
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 d├ęcor including computer desks for home offices and computer desks for in-office use.