The Best Way To Do 1960s Retro Interior Design


The key to understanding 1960s-style retro interior design is understanding how the 60s-era designers thought about the future, and to do gain a better understanding of this, oddly enough, you must go back even further thean the 1960’s. Designers in the ’60s greatly attributed their inspirations from the ’20s-era, and the art nouveau movement.

It might come as a surprise to you, but the interior desiors of the ‘60s were also greatly facinated and influenced by the Victorian era, however, being the creative soles that they are, they took this old Victorian theme, added a touch of their own personal gove and twist it, so to complete the unique ’60s look. Taking all of these aspects, blending the concepts together, adding a hint of an open-plan, and bang the “swinging sixties” and the “cool Britannia vibe” concepts were formed. These two styles of decorating, life, morals and social norms are what the ‘60s are mostly remember by, well that and the music, which were the two biggest influences to come out of London at this time.

As the world continues to move forward, it is only natural that human nature likes to take us back to times in the past back to the times times where life seemed far less complicated and simple. Following this theory and looking at the social trends, it comes as no surprise that the “Retro” ear is making a huge comeback in homes.

If you follow the social trends or if you are an interior designer at heart, then continue reading to learn some simple tricks on how to spice up your home in the ever popular “Retro Style”.

The first thing to know and to keep in mind throughout your refurbishment is that; open plan is key! The big innovation of the sixties were mezzanines, so put together a floor plan (including elevations) to see if you can add one to your room. If so, consult an interior architect about doing a remodel.

Next, look around for design elements to add the “60s look.” Much of the decade was about music and designs that came out of London, so some British influences from that era is more than appropriate. Beyond that, remember how much free love, flower power, and pop music / pop culture influenced design — Andy Warhol being a major figure. It’s easy to find plenty of excellent ’60s style replicas to add to your interiors, from pop art prints to accessories and more.

When it comes to colours, they in many respects define “retro” design. Colours were very prominent in carpeting, on the walls, plus everywhere in between. The general mood was hopeful and bright following WWII, and popular colours included avocado, turquoise, mustard yellow, mint green, candy apple red, black and white, blues, and of course rust orange and brown.

A great source of inspiration can be found in the movie “Barbarella,” featuring Jane Fonda. It’s an excellent example of the ’60s plastic space-age style — full of white, pink, red, blues, oranges, silver, and purple. For your own space, you can also use a colour wheel to introduce colours on the other end of the spectrum. Do your research well, consider going to the library and getting magazines from the ’60s as a form of inspiration. The advertisements for home products in particular are a superb source of ideas.

Monotone / monochrome colour schemes were also very popular. Black and white floor tiles and furniture are a good way to go; for more inspiration, look at artist Betty Riley’s work.

When it comes to the walls, the sixties were characterised by formerly Deco and Nouveau motifs that exploded out into psychedelia on a giant scale. Walls painted flat colours also work well for a retro-inspired interior, if large motifs are too much for your personal taste. You can also use large murals and framed posters, or “mod” symbols and logos painted on the wall to give it a retro feel.

For more internal decor designs and interests, put your feet up, get a pen and pencil ready and put on a old James Bond movies (or Austin Powers for that matter). What you’ll be able to notice is that plastic pod chairs and plastic ball chairs were a huge hit, and are perfect for any modern living space. You’ll also be able to notice that the ’60s ear furniture, was strongly surrounded by beanbags, scatter cushions, and big foot stools. And finally you can not go past a hyper colour display cabinet or TV unit, you’ll notice in the 60s movies cognac, crystal glasses, ice and record players were always held on such cabinets. These are not only decorative, but very practical for everyday use and entertainment.

And finally, but not by any means less importantly, no retro style home is complete without a big shag-pile rug and lava lamp. The longer your pile, the groovier, and nothing says “sixties” like a lava lamp.

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