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Retro Ideas | Retro Décor

Updated on March 28, 2013

Retro Ideas for Your Retro Décor

One of the most popular crazes in decorating is using authentic retro ideas for retro décor in your home décor plan. As they say, "all things old are new again". Very true in this day and age.

But, how do you go about incorporating these ideas for Retro Décor? Let's take a look at my sister's house, some products, photos and suggestions you can use to create that perfect hint of Retro Décor in your home.

Image Credit: Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

Turn on the radio, plug in your iPod and jam as you bring a bit of Retro Fun to the décor in your home. This is truly the best of both words -- old and new. The radio boosts a very Retro-Look but is loaded with today's best technology including:

  • Crosley's Patented "AroundSound" design for remarkable clarity and consistency in sound
  • AM/FM Arlarm Clock Radio
  • External Antenna
  • Universal iPod Dock

Retro Advertising Items - A Taste of Years Ago...

Retro Advertising items Display
Retro Advertising items Display

Using small or large vintage advertising items in your décor plan is simple and can really be a conversation starter. For kitchen or dining room area, use old tin cans with labels, flour sacks, spice bottles or tins, advertising glassware and the like.

This picture is of a built-in bookcase in my sister's dining room. Notice the advertising items she has incorporated along with some Vaseline glass, vintage Ball jars, pitches, glassware, canisters and a collection of enamelware. It makes a wonderful display and offsets her more modern, square, counter height, wood dining table.

Other items that would look good in a display or "vignette" include:

Milk bottles

Pickle jars

Wood cheese boxes

Small, print advertisements

Syrup jars

Ball or Mason Canning Jars

Vintage Pitches, sugar bowls or creamers

Vintage Coffee or teapot

You get the idea!

Image Credit: Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

A "Vignette" is a grouping of items displayed together. It can be a furniture, wall decor, tabletop or bookcase shelf grouping. Think of it as creating a small "scene".

Using Architectural Features for Display - In the Kitchen...

Kitchen Bulkhead as Display
Kitchen Bulkhead as Display

In the litchen, consider using your homes architectural features to your advantage. In the photo above, the bulkhead is used as a display area. My sister hung old kitchen tools and utensils she collected in a very eye pleasing manner. Again, bringing in the vintage feel. It mixes nicely with the other décor elements in her kitchen, both old and new to create that eclectic feel.

Add shelves to a wood column, above doorways, display a retro grouping on your fireplace mantel or on top of a half wall. Look around your house for areas that you wouldn't normally decorate and decorate them!

Image Credit: Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

Mixing vintage or antique items with new, more modern decor makes for an eclectic look and feel.

Use Advertising Signs in Unexpected Places

Use Advertising Signs in Unexpected Places
Use Advertising Signs in Unexpected Places

Mix Vintage and New Wall Decor

Mix Vintage and New Wall Décor
Mix Vintage and New Wall Décor

Vintage (or vintage style)

Tin or Porcelain Signs

Other ways to incorporate retro advertising into your décor plan is to use metal signs reminiscent of vintage products. These can be used in any room of the house or even just a hallway or foyer.

Place Shelves Above Doors for More Display

Place Shelves Above Doors for More Display
Place Shelves Above Doors for More Display
coca-cola kitchen
coca-cola kitchen

I had a retro Coca-Cola kitchen at one point. I wanted something different to add to the metal signs and plates I had for the walls.

I visited my local vintage antique mall and bought a few copies of old "Life" magazines. I took some of the full page ads out and framed them and then hung them in the kitchen. They were fantastic and I got lots of compliments.

Image Credit: Mandee Sears/DecoratingforEvents

More Retro Ideas - Retro Décor

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is an original Hoosier Cabinet that sits in the hallway. Notice the new candelabra and red bottles on top. My sister stores seasonal décor in the pull out counter area. Easy to get to but not seen in the mean time.Another cabinet in the living room. It's a large pie safe. One of the doors remains open and displays family photos. Throws and afghans are stored in the bottom.She re-did the cabinets in the kitchen with a two-tone look -- very retro -- then added granite-look formica counters. Mixing old and new again. See the large ceramic rooster sits next to some new Longaberger baskets.The sofa table sits on a wall in the living room and is filled with a nice mixture of old and new -- cast iron tea kettle and wire chicken on the bottom shelf with frames, candles and figurines on the top of the plank board surface.Custom built from re-claimed barnwood, this kitchen island is right at home on top of the ceramic tile floor of the kitchen.This used to be an oak stained pub table (counter height) that sat in her kitchen. Rather than get rid of it when she got the island, she had her husband cut it down to coffee table height. Then she painted and distressed it to go along with her otheUse an old chifforobe (shiff-robe) in the livingroom to store movies, games, linens or anything else you want close at hand but not seen. This one was painted black and then distressed.
This is an original Hoosier Cabinet that sits in the hallway. Notice the new candelabra and red bottles on top. My sister stores seasonal décor in the pull out counter area. Easy to get to but not seen in the mean time.
This is an original Hoosier Cabinet that sits in the hallway. Notice the new candelabra and red bottles on top. My sister stores seasonal décor in the pull out counter area. Easy to get to but not seen in the mean time.
Another cabinet in the living room. It's a large pie safe. One of the doors remains open and displays family photos. Throws and afghans are stored in the bottom.
Another cabinet in the living room. It's a large pie safe. One of the doors remains open and displays family photos. Throws and afghans are stored in the bottom.
She re-did the cabinets in the kitchen with a two-tone look -- very retro -- then added granite-look formica counters. Mixing old and new again. See the large ceramic rooster sits next to some new Longaberger baskets.
She re-did the cabinets in the kitchen with a two-tone look -- very retro -- then added granite-look formica counters. Mixing old and new again. See the large ceramic rooster sits next to some new Longaberger baskets.
The sofa table sits on a wall in the living room and is filled with a nice mixture of old and new -- cast iron tea kettle and wire chicken on the bottom shelf with frames, candles and figurines on the top of the plank board surface.
The sofa table sits on a wall in the living room and is filled with a nice mixture of old and new -- cast iron tea kettle and wire chicken on the bottom shelf with frames, candles and figurines on the top of the plank board surface.
Custom built from re-claimed barnwood, this kitchen island is right at home on top of the ceramic tile floor of the kitchen.
Custom built from re-claimed barnwood, this kitchen island is right at home on top of the ceramic tile floor of the kitchen.
This used to be an oak stained pub table (counter height) that sat in her kitchen. Rather than get rid of it when she got the island, she had her husband cut it down to coffee table height. Then she painted and distressed it to go along with her othe
This used to be an oak stained pub table (counter height) that sat in her kitchen. Rather than get rid of it when she got the island, she had her husband cut it down to coffee table height. Then she painted and distressed it to go along with her othe
Use an old chifforobe (shiff-robe) in the livingroom to store movies, games, linens or anything else you want close at hand but not seen. This one was painted black and then distressed.
Use an old chifforobe (shiff-robe) in the livingroom to store movies, games, linens or anything else you want close at hand but not seen. This one was painted black and then distressed.

Do Be Afraid to Mix and Match Styles of Design

I am an eclectic style decorator. Basically, that means I mix and match different styles to create a whole new style all my own. Mix retro or vintage with modern -- it looks great. Try mixing cottage and country or contemporary and coastal -- there is now limit and no rule stating you have to stay within one design style. Eclectic decorating is much more fun!

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~ DecoratingforEvents ~



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Do you use Retro Decor in your home?

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    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      I love the retro look...brings back memories! I love the idea of a display shelf over the doorway. :)

    • Niagara Ghosts profile image

      Niagara Ghosts 4 years ago

      I love the kitchen utensils bordering the top of the wall. I have all of these from my grandmother but actually still use them daily. They must have made them sturdier in those days!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Great tips and photos showing your ideas for retro decorating. I really enjoy reusing and re-purposing old items, giving them new life and displaying them in new ways.

    • profile image

      FashionMommy 5 years ago

      It seems that Retro never goes out of style. Nice lens with lots of good ideas.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Oooo, what a charming look! Just love the tips and suggestions you make here. Can't to try this out in my own kitchen - it needs a little retro flair!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image
      Author

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      @AnimalHouse: Thank you!

    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      Love the old look and feel, excellent lens.