Retro furniture and accessories will certainly liven up your home interior and can transform your space into one that is trendy, quirky and very up-to-date. However it’s best not to get carried away! As an interior designer I often view interiors and see common mistakes which are best avoided. To help you achieve that retro interior, I have put together a quick check list to help you transform your space in the right way.
1) Don’t over furnish your room – It doesn’t take much to turn a stylish retro room into one that resembles a dumping ground of collected furniture and accessories. Spend time looking for retro furniture and accessories that are ‘right’ for your space and are functional as well as attractive. In any room, there should be enough space to create a flow of energy and movement. You don’t want your room to feel cramped, instead, try adding pieces that will create a focal point as this tends to have more impact than refurnishing an entire room. Rooms that have been over-furnished will feel smaller and cluttered.
2) Don’t buy furniture that doesn’t fit – Furniture that is too small will make a room feel unbalanced and furniture that’s too large will create a space that is cramped. Before you buy your retro furniture, measure up and make sure it fits.
3) Don’t get pieces to match – No one wants a room to look chaotic; however, you also want to avoid everything feeling the same, especially in a retro interior where furniture and accessories should look like they have been collected over time. Choose pieces that work well together and suit your personality – your furniture does not need to match but should relate in terms of era and colour.
4) Don’t forget floor lamps and side lamps – You don’t always have to use the overhead lights; instead, by layering lots of levels of light you will create a lovely ambience. Retro lamps in distressed metal make a stylish feature and you can even create a cosy reading corner with a floor lamp. Hanging a retro styled mirror up will help reflect natural light, especially if it is positioned opposite windows, and it can also create a focal point in your room.
5) Don’t forget – with retro accessories, less is more – You need to create a sense of balance so don’t over-clutter. You will certainly need retro accessories to complete the look, but search for items that stand out as opposed to lots of knick-knacks. If you have collected knick-knacks over the years, then group them together on a display unit and only keep the ones that are important. You don’t want too many accessories in a room as this will create distraction and will make your space become disorganised. The key is to pick a few amazing pieces and to mix old with new.
6) Don’t make it too matchy-matchy – In a retro room, you will need variety to achieve the right look; so don’t buy all your items from the same store. Search around and go shopping in different areas.
7) Don’t forget to always create a focal point – Every room needs a focal point as it gives you direction and order. In the living room, it could be a coffee table or statement sideboard; in the hallway it could be a hung mirror or a console; in the bedroom it should be the bed, and so on. With retro inspired interiors, you need to find that one thing that people will take notice of when they enter the room, and the item you choose should be bold and interesting.
8) Don’t forget your windows – Even your windows need to be dressed and ideally your window coverings should just hit the floor or pool by only a couple of inches for an up-to-date look. Whatever you do, don’t buy curtains that are too short or too long. Also, allow as much natural light to filter into your room as possible.
9) Don’t go overboard on accessories – Add cushions and throws to soften your furniture but don’t get carried away. You want people to see your sofa and occasional chairs rather than have them filled with scatter cushions.
10) Don’t have too many patterns – You shouldn’t be afraid to mix patterns, but once again, although retro interiors are about items looking collected over the years, avoid having too many patterns, styles and textures as this will overload your space.
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