Classically Cool Comfort: Vintage Furnishings With a Modern Twist

Cool never goes away.  Like the term itself, “cool” furnishings have a way of recycling and coming back despite years of dormancy.  Being yourself is cool, and if you liked the look and feel of particular vintage furniture, then you’re in luck.  A number of elements have made a comeback with a modern twist.  Go all in or decide to get just a few throwback items for a classically cool effect.

Choose an Era

Some people are nostalgic about a particular era whether it’s the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc.  Choose an era and then explore your interior options by paying tribute with items and designs native to that time.  Particular patterns, colors, finishes, and appeal will affect each homeowner differently.

Discover Your Architecture

Many homeowners absent mindedly choose implements while others choose their home for its architecture and allow the furniture to follow suit.  Do some research regarding the architectural style of your home.  Retro furniture can either blend or contrast the intentions of the architects and surrounding area’s homes.  Many architects doubled as furniture designers.

Make Lighting Easy on the Eyes

Some prefer a retro metal arc floor lamp to a big lampshade which was popular in the 70s.  Others may desire aluminum wall and pendant fixtures of the late 60s.  Discover if chosen lighting manufacturers do reproductions of ceiling, wall, and floor lighting implements.  If you’re into funky colors, avocado (or the more recent wasabi) green is making a comeback in a big way.

Convene in the Kitchen

In the 1950s, kitchens were places where family members would convene.  Similarly, that era featured a number of greasy spoon diners that have never lost their charm.  Today, you can combine the social atmosphere of the kitchen with the popularity of nostalgic diners.  Some create ambiance with high contrast kitchen tiles, stainless steel appliances, and pastel colored fixtures.  Introduce a rotary phone to your kitchen, paying tribute to a now obsolete device that was once a kitchen staple.

Add Small Accessories for Big Effects

Retro clocks, transistor radios, eclectic dishware collections, and sixties sunburst mirrors are embracing the interiors of homes.  Whether you’re a diehard advocate of retro accessories or believe that subtlety is more your style, small elements make huge effects when it comes to decor.  For example, a bean bag can make for a cool retro throwback.  Find bean bag covers at  Perhaps you would prefer colorful metal tins arranged on a side table.  Remember that it’s the tiny details that make a big difference.

Insert Contrast

Vintage is associated with high contrast in colors, textures, and textiles.  The bedroom is the prime place to insert contrast and show devotion to vintage.  Add dynamic shapes of orange, green, purple, turquoise, and yellow.  Get a lava lamp or two for added vintage effect.  Also, upholster your headboard with velvet or velour.  Top the bed with accent pillows and don’t forget the shag rug!

Seek Inspiration

If you’re not the creative type then get some inspiration from magazines, online interior sites, and television.  For example, the show, Mad Men, is set in the sixties.  Everything from the design of the rooms to the actors’ attire is a throwback.  Glean a number of interior design ideas from such shows.  For example, you may want to implement wood paneling into your living room or study.

Be Subtle

You don’t have to make a huge commitment in every corner of the house.  A bit of subtlety goes a long way.  For example, flocked wallpaper, a throwback to the days of Elvis, is pretty tacky for an entire wall, but a small strip in the bathroom can add a bit of zest, humor, and style.  An entire wall of velvety texture may be a bit much, but a few strips can be fun and chic.

Get One Bold Item

In the very least, go bold and get one item that will definitely catch the eye of onlookers.  For example, get a rattan fan back chair for the living room.  Rattan is back in a big way and placing it among the rest of your furnishings makes a bold statement.

Change It Up

You don’t have to devote your entire home to one era.  You may have several eras that you’re fond of and can dedicate particular rooms to a modern reprise.  Alternatively, you can keep it subtle and get a few things from one era, and after six months to a year, change things again so your decor never goes stale.


Georgia Howell has loved decorating from a young age, she was always updating her bedroom and changing things around! Now studying interior design at college she writes decor and design articles in her free time.

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