In design terms, retro refers to styles that span the 1950s to1970s and going retro is one of the best ways of honouring Singapore's modern history
In design terms, retro refers to styles that span the 1950s to1970s and going retro is one of the best ways of honouring Singapore’s modern history

Thanks to vibrant hues and the wild combination of different materials and patterns, retro home décor appeals to those who appreciate the quirky and kitsch, and want to inject playfulness into their homes. Simply put, retro means ‘looking back’. In design terms, it refers to styles spanning the 1950s to 1970s, which makes it particularly fitting as we celebrate Singapore’s jubilee year

If you want to give your home a nostalgic makeover, here is how to get started.

Blast from the Past

One of the easiest ways to create a retro look is by decorating your home with items from that era. That way, you can inject elements from the past without a major overhaul. Old telephones, radios, televisions, sewing machines, fans, enamel dinner ware, wooden cabinets with glass doors – the list of vintage items that you can get to add authenticity to your retro-styled home is endless. Just think of the things you grew up with or what grandma used to have and you will have a pretty good idea of what retro décor is all about.

A Riot of Colours

A riot of colours is the other defining quality of retro style - primary colours of the 60s, and avocado green, mustard yellow, and orange of the 70s. Pick two or three key colours and stick with them throughout the house. Going for all the colours at once creates a psychedelic effect best left to Austin Powers movies.

Be creative in where you want those splashes of colour. Walls and furniture aside, soft furnishings, lighting, and decorative items can all bring the rainbow indoors.

Shaping Up Well

Geometric shapes, abstract patterns, paisley, checks, tie-dye prints are all part of the fun mish-mash that is retro. Combined with different colours and materials, the result is visually exciting.

Retro furniture also comes in a particular shape. Sofas tend to be elongated and angular. This is contrasted with round swivel seats and formless bean bags as well as circular light fixtures. If you haven’t already guessed it, retro is all about throwing things together for an effect that is unexpected yet harmonious.

Doing up a home in retro style can be so liberating because of the wide array of possibilities when it comes to colours, shapes, and material. Experimentation is the key. As you remember how far we have come as a nation, let your free spirit run wild and have fun living life in the past lane!

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