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Retro Style Living Room Ideas For Your Home (Shop The Look)

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In the ever-changing world of interior design, the interest in retro style living room spaces is currently trending. The timeless style is a sophisticated blend of the past and present.

Disclaimer: Although I am an interior designer by profession, I am not YOUR interior designer. All content and information on this website including our designs, products and/or services is for informational and educational purposes only. Please read my full disclaimer here.

It typically includes furniture from the 50s, 60s, and 70s mixed with current-day styles. The result is a curated eclectic look that’s unique and makes a statement.

Retro living rooms offer a sophisticated departure from minimalist trends. It blends the clean lines of mid-century modern furniture with curated pops of personality.

Spaces are filled with sculptural coffee tables and sofas from the past. The neutral palette is accented with bold pops of color.

Geometric patterns in area rugs and textiles provide visual interest. Nostalgic lighting such as geometric-shaded and atmospheric lava lamps enhances the ambiance.

Vintage finds, like macrame wall hangings and curated artwork, inject a touch of whimsy, while lush greenery fosters a connection to nature. The look is a meticulously crafted haven and timeless escape full of personality and style.

Join me as we explore how to seamlessly incorporate retro elements into your contemporary living room design.

This post is all about retro style living room ideas.

READ MORE>>> Home Design Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

retro living room design with ivory sofa and black and white area rug

What does retro mean in furniture?

Retro style furniture can be vintage pieces from the 1950s through the 1980s or can be replicas of original designs. Retro refers to the appearance of the furniture while vintage is the actual construction.

Here are some terms to help you understand the modern retro style living room trend:

Antiques are historic furniture that’s over 100 years old. Collectibles are less than 100 years old and no longer in production. These styles are very valuable since they’re hard to find.

Reproductions are new versions of antique originals. Adaptations are updated versions inspired by an antique style. It’s typically a blend of different furniture styles combined to create a new piece.

Vintage furniture is over 25 years old and isn’t super costly. Modern classics are exact replicas of furniture designs by twentieth-century architects and designers that are still popular.

What is modern retro design?

Modern retro design is a combination of current furniture pieces mixed with past styles or replicas. Anything from artwork to furniture to colors can be inspired by a past design style.

Typically it’s a combination of neutrals combined with bold pops of color, patterns, printed, geometric shapes, and textures.

retro living room
Apartment Therapy NYC | Design by Jessica Davis

Retro Living Room Ideas


  1. Bold Hues and Vibrant Patterns
  2. Vintage Furniture
  3. Statement Lighting
  4. Gallery Walls
  5. Shag Rugs
  6. Vintage Electronics
  7. Indoor Plants
  8. Mix And Match Patterns

1. Color Splash: Go Bold or Go Home

Let’s kick things off with a bang – or should I say, a burst of color! Retro style living rooms are all about embracing bold hues and vibrant patterns. Think avocado green, mustard yellow, and burnt orange.

Don’t shy away from mixing and matching; the more daring, the better. Add color to your walls, furniture, and accessories for a true blast from the past.

Geometric patterns and shapes are quintessential to retro interior design. Whether it’s chevrons, circles, or bold stripes, these patterns add a playful and dynamic visual element to furniture, textiles, and decor.

2. Furniture Flashback: Vintage Finds

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? Head to thrift stores, flea markets, or even your grandma’s attic to unearth some retro living room furniture gems.

Think mid-century modern sofas, vinyl lounge chairs, and coffee tables with funky legs. Don’t be afraid to reupholster or paint to breathe new life into these timeless pieces.

70s furniture living room with black leather sofa and travertine coffee tables
Soriano Sofa

Incorporating iconic furniture pieces from the mid-century era is a hallmark of the retro style living room. The Eames chair, Saarinen table, Soriano sofa, and other designs from the 1950s and 1960s are popular styles.

3. Let There Be Light: Statement Lamps

Lighting can make or break a room, and in the retro realm, it’s all about making a statement. Think oversized floor lamps with quirky shapes, pendant lights with psychedelic patterns, or even lava lamps for that extra dose of grooviness. They’ll light up your space and be conversation starters.

The Sputnik chandelier is an iconic lighting fixture associated with retro style living room design. Its atomic-inspired design, featuring multiple arms extending in various directions, adds a touch of space-age flair. Chrome accents and colored glass shades add to the retro charm.

4. Wall-to-Wall Memories: Gallery Walls

Give your modern living room walls a trip down memory lane with a gallery wall of vintage posters, album covers, and retro art. Whether it’s the iconic Beatles album cover or a classic movie poster, these visuals will transport you to a bygone era. Mix and match frames for an eclectic touch.

Pop art, with its vibrant colors and bold graphics, heavily influenced retro interior design. Incorporate pop art elements through wall art, textiles, and decor items featuring iconic imagery from the era.

5. Shagadelic Rugs: Soft Underfoot

Elevate your retro living room decor with the bold artistry of statement rugs. They’ll be a focal point in design while defining the seating area. Embrace the vibrancy of the era with geometric patterns – think intricate squares, playful diamonds, and sunbursts radiating energy across the floor.

For a touch of plush luxury, shag rugs with their long, tufted fibers are a popular flooring choice in retro interiors. Not only do these rugs add warmth and comfort, but they also scream ’70s chic. They’re perfect for creating a nostalgic feel.

For a more minimalist statement, flatweaves with bold stripes and Mondrian-inspired color blocks are a great option. Choose a cozy, plush rug in a bold color or a funky pattern to tie the room together.

6. Tech Throwback: Vintage Electronics

Embrace the nostalgia of days when gadgets were a little less sleek and a lot more charming. Consider incorporating vintage record players, rotary phones, or even an old-school TV set (yes, the ones with knobs) for an authentic retro feel. They’ll add character and be cool decor items.

black and white living room coffee table with unique sofa

A well-designed retro style living room goes beyond individual elements. Board games are invitations to create memories with friends and family. Statement pieces like a pinball machine add a playful touch of nostalgia.

Don’t forget the soundtrack! Curate a playlist of soulful classics, Motown hits, and groovy instrumentals. They’ll transform your living room into the ultimate gathering place for good vibes and unforgettable times.

7. Greenery Galore: Indoor Plants

Bring a touch of nature into your retro style living room design with some indoor plants. Macramé plant hangers, hanging spider plants, and oversized ferns were all the rage back in the day. Not only do they add a refreshing element, but they also complement the retro aesthetic beautifully.

Include iconic plant stands and vessels into your design that echo the geometric lines of mid-century design. Planters with clean, minimalist shapes or quirky, asymmetrical designs will add interest and personality.

The use of indoor plants will be a nod to retro living and an artful expression of nature in your modern design.

8. Textile Time Warp: Patterns Everywhere

When it comes to textiles, more is more in the retro world. Think of geometric shapes, bold stripes, and funky florals. Whether it’s throw pillows, curtains, or upholstery, infuse your space with patterns that make a statement.

A living room can have throw pillows with geometric shapes, curtains with bold stripes, and upholstery with funky florals all in one space. It’s a celebration of self-expression where every textile is a canvas for making a bold statement. In the realm of retro design, textiles are not just functional they’re vibrant storytellers!

Retro Style Living Room Furniture & Decor

This post features a retro style living room design that combines the vintage-inspired Soriana Sofa with modern pieces. It has a neutral color palette with pops of pink pulled out from the artwork.

The vintage modern living room trend is a combination of old styles mixed with new ones. For example, a vintage or retro-inspired sofa combined with contemporary furniture or artwork.

The overall vibe is a cool sophisticated living space that guests will never want to leave. It has a bold style that’s sure to be a conversation starter!

The inspiration for this design was the Memphis Deco-inspired room designed by Jessica Davis. I visited the Apartment Therapy popup shop in NYC which was super inspiring.

This room caught my eye because I’ve been obsessed with vintage sofas from the 60s and 70s. The Scarpa sofa below was in the space and I thought I had to do a room around it.

And VOILA here we are!

SHOP THE LOOK MOODBOARD

retro living room with ivory sofa

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SHOP THE LOOK

1. Ivory Soriano Sofa Retro Living Room Furniture

retro ivory soriana sofa
Price $2639 at Eternity Modern

This retro-inspired Soriano sofa is a replica of the 60s and 70s furniture style. It has a funky vibe, low profile, and curvaceous silhouette.

There are soft pleats with gathered sides and back. It’s supported by a sculptural polished chrome system that adds to the unique design.

The tufted back is like a work of art that’s comfortable and stylish. This showstopper sofa is sure to be a focal point in your contemporary design.

The beauty of designing with a neutral sofa is it creates a timeless design. In the future, you can just change out your pop color and accessories for a new vibe.

2. Round Coffee Table

round coffee table
$2299 at Arhaus

At just under 12″ high this modern coffee table is perfect to pair with the low-profile sofa. The edgy design is made of recycled pine with a charcoal black finish.

It has a spikey gear shape silhouette that’ll level up the look of your interior design. Remember to keep approx 18″ space between your sofa and coffee table for traffic.

3. Striped Retro Area Rug

black and white retro rug
From $116 at RugsUSA

This retro-inspired black and white rug is the perfect complement to this modern living room design. The organic geometric pattern adds interest and draws your eye into the center of the room.

It is machine-made of 100% Polypropylene with a thickness of 3/4″. Area rugs are great for adding texture, pattern, and dimension to any space.

Black and white home decor is the perfect backdrop for any design.

4. Marble Side Table

marble side table
$498 at Anthropologie

Love the look of this modern side table. It has a two-tone design that’s sure to grab attention. Due to the hand-crafted nature, each piece will have slight variations.

At 18″ high it’s just a few inches above the sofa height. That makes it perfect for adding your favorite cocktail, book, or home decor.

Add a pair at the sides of your modern couch to complete the look.

BTW I went back and forth between this table and the round Borel Side Table from France and Son. If you’d like another option check that one out as well.

5. Boucle Accent Chair

boucle accent chair
$400 at Wayfair

By now you know I love a good boucle accent chair and this one is fabulous! The curvy silhouette slopes down and is fully upholstered in a soft boucle fabric.

If you have the space add a pair of accent chairs with a side table in the center. A single chair would also look awesome with your favorite drink table.

6. Black Marble Side Table

black marble side table
$899 at France&Son

You may have noticed a common theme in this design. The coffee table and side tables are all low profile to complement the seat height of the sofa and side chair.

An important design element to incorporate in any space is balance and proportion. Keeping the heights similar throughout the room is pleasing to the eye and creates flow.

Tall tables would look out of place and make the space feel off. Have you ever walked into a living room and felt like something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what?

Chances are the design principles were not used. That said this short marble side table would look awesome next to the boucle chair or sofa if you prefer.

It also adds contrast and interest to the light sofa and chairs.

7. Fluted Bar Cabinet

fluted bar cabinet
$1699 at Crate & Barrel

A bar cabinet is a must-have in any living room in my opinion. Even if you’re not a drinker (like me) they’re great for other beverages or storage. Not to mention they look awesome too!

The featured bar cabinet is similar to the one I have in my house from Crate & Barrel. Both are black with gold accents.

bar cabinet ideas
Willow House Sitting Room

The featured style has a French flair, fluted design, and mango veneer in a charcoal finish. The Parisian Art Deco-inspired cabinet has mixed materials that add interest and style.

There’s a black marble top on the wood cabinet with x-braced warm brass legs. On the inside, there are stemware racks, bottle storage, and three adjustable racks for displaying barware or wine bottles.

It’s the perfect piece to upgrade the look of your contemporary living room or dining room interior design.

Retro Living Room Lighting Ideas

9. Gilded Iron Chandelier

gilded iron chandelier

Circa Lighting is one of my favorite go-to lighting resources. They have an abundance of “to the trade” vendors that are available to you as well!

This gorgeous gilded iron chandelier has a vintage-inspired design that’ll elevate the look of your living room. At 34″ wide it’s the perfect size to make a statement and draw the eye up.

10. Melange Elongated Sconce

elongated sconce

If you have been following along then you know I LOVE Kelly Wearstler! The melange elongated wall sconce would look awesome for accent lighting.

It would also look great on either side of the artwork to make a bold impact. Put it on a dimmer switch to set the vibe and create an atmosphere in your design.

Living Room Retro Pillows

13. Pink Velvet Pillow

fuschia pink velvet throw pillow

14. Black Modern Pillow

modern throw pillow
$39.99 at CB2

15. Sheepskin Modern Pillow

fur throw pillow
$79 at CB2

Pillows are another way to add pattern, texture, and color to your interior design. All four of these modern pillows complement each other and are interchangeable.

Retro Vintage Living Room Decor

17. Hand Gold Vase

gold hand vase decor with coffee table books
ACCESSORIES

If you’ve ever walked into a living room design and it felt incomplete chances are it was void of accessories. The finishing touch in any space is layers of home decor accents that help complete the look.

Just be careful to have the right balance. If you add too many pieces it’ll look like my Nana’s house full of chachkies.

For this design, I added pieces in gold, black, and white that all tie back to the elements of the room. This helps create flow and move the eye throughout a space.

A well-designed room will have just the right amount of accessories to make it feel complete. Remember to group in odd numbers or sets of three for a pleasing combination.

Conclusion

By combining these key elements, you’ll create a space that’s inspired by vintage retro design with functionality and personal style. This trending living room style will add a playful nostalgic vibe to your modern home.

This post is all about retro style living room ideas.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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