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The era of “Mad Men” has come and gone, but the love of all things retro is here to stay. Not only are vintage pieces a fantastic way to recharge a space, but they can even save you a few pennies.
Here are our favorite ways to add a retro touch without completely dedicating the look of your home to the style.
From mid-century mint to tricycle red, punchy hues give a retro vibe without much effort.
Whether it’s a buttercup-colored KitchenAid mixer or a burnt-orange accent pillow, using more saturated colors associated with eras past will add a distinctly retro character to any room.
Flea market finds
For that one-of-a-kind piece, hit the flea market or your favorite online auction site. Antique steamer trunks are a great modern take on the traditional coffee table (with bonus storage), and old ladders are versatile for hanging linens or stacking potted plants.
If you want the retro look on a smaller scale, invest in quality vintage barware pieces, like a cocktail shaker or champagne coupes for a pop of nostalgia.
Beadboard and paneling
Dip into the Victorian era with the addition of beadboard or wood paneling. It’s fairly affordable, available at most neighborhood hardware stores, and a great way to add character and texture to any home.
Small, overlooked spaces like hallways, laundry rooms, and entryways are perfect candidates for paneling. Paired with a calming color or fun wallpaper, it can add visual interest almost immediately.
You don’t need to outfit your living room like The Jetsons to show your appreciation for fashions past. Simply adding one or two anchor pieces to a room, like a ’70s-inspired sofa or funky accent chair, is an instant nod to nostalgia. With the love of retro in full swing, many companies are re-creating styles from a range of periods.
Distinctly contemporary, the room pictured above incorporates mid-century elements, like a 1942 Noguchi coffee table and mod circular mirror, for a well-rounded but notably retro space.
Lighting, like furniture, is remarkably good at capturing the essence of an era. Use vintage-style industrial pendants for a rustic kitchen feel, or circular mod chandeliers for an instant retro upgrade.
Not ready to invest in permanent fixtures? Edison light bulbs are available in all shapes and sizes, some with LED technology, and can easily be paired with existing lamps, pendants, and sconces.