14 Retro Home Trends It’s Time to Revisit

Trends and styles are forever changing and evolving. Home trends that were once the height of popularity eventually seem mundane and drab, only to experience a resurgence decades later. Here are 14 retro home trends that are worth revisiting and, perhaps, implementing in your own home.

  1. Vintage Wall Vibes

    Retro trends   vintage wallpaper


    Vintage-inspired wallpaper is making a huge comeback. The colorful and bold prints of the 1950s, '60s, '70s, and '80s are by definition retro, but they can make a modern style statement when used judiciously throughout the home. Incorporate these period patterns on an accent wall, in a bathroom, or in any area that needs a colorful boost. 

    Related: 10 Wallpaper Options to Trick the Eye

  2. Better Bar Carts

    Retro trends   bar carts


    The classic bar cart got its start in the 1950s and '60s, providing convenient housing for an assortment of beverages, glasses, and other cocktail-hour essentials. Over time, however, these portable staples became replaced by built-in bars. Now, the elegant carts are experiencing a comeback, retooled to tie the classic aura of the past with the features and accessories that today's home bartenders want. Not only are these rolling bars efficient and compact, but they offer endless options for personalization.  

    Related: 17 DIY Minibars to Mix Up Your Home Decor

  3. Bathroom Bliss

    Retro trends   clawfoot tub

    Zillow Digs home in Seattle, WA

    The clawfoot tub was a symbol of bathroom elegance back in the 1920s, and today is no different. While freestanding tubs receded into the background for many years, they have now regained the spotlight as a luxurious upgrade, complete with custom finishes and a range of styles. As a bonus, their raised feet help keep a bathroom feeling open and airy. 

    Related: Before and After - 7 Stunning Bathroom Makeovers

  4. Back in Brass

    Retro trends   brass and copper fixtures


    The current obsession with stainless steel finishes is quickly becoming old news. Instead of cool, silvery metal, try warming your spaces with brass and copper alternatives. Metallic knobs and fixtures, most notable in the 1970s, offer a comforting glow that complements many kitchen and bathroom elements.

    Related: 10 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

  5. Soft and Stylish

    Retro trends   animal rugs


    Sheepskin or faux-fur rugs never really went out of style after their rise in popularity during the 1970s, but lately they’ve become a must-have accessory. With amazing texture, natural style, and unparalleled softness, faux-fur rugs offer a warm and cozy contrast to rustic hardwood floors.

    Related: 10 Doable Designs for a DIY Rug

  6. Barely-There Table Base

    Retro trends   hairpin legs


    Invented in 1941 by Henry P. Glass, hairpin legs were designed to limit the amount of material needed to make sturdy supports. Today, these midcentury modern furniture legs can be found everywhere, in part because their minimalist profile focuses attention on the tabletop's material and design. They also offer a light and airy alternative to clunky, solid table legs, making them perfect for small spaces that need a little breathing room. 

    Related: 10 Easy Ways to Build Your Own TV Stand

  7. Classic Cabinetry

    Retro trends   shaker cabinetry

    Zillow Digs home in Seattle, WA

    Shaker- and Craftsman-style cabinetry has long been a presence in many American homes. These cabinets showcase a simple yet functional design that can make either a classic or current statement in the kitchen. By varying your choice of wood, color, stain, and hardware, there are plenty of ways to bring this style out of the past and into your modern home. 

    Related: 11 Clever Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinets

  8. Fifties Fun

    Retro trends   throwback appliances


    If you’re bored with stainless steel appliances, these vintage-style alternatives that feature up-to-date functionality may be exactly what you’re looking for. Available in a wide array of Eisenhower-era colors, including buttercup yellow, cherry red, pink lemonade, and beach blue, these retro appliances provide the perfect pop of warmth and personality for today's kitchens. 

    Related: 12 Household Favorites Born in the USA

  9. Furniture Flashback

    Midcentury modern furniture


    The simplicity and clean lines of midcentury furniture are making a major resurgence in modern interiors. Easily updated with contemporary colors and features, these vintage pieces are hot commodities at thrift stores and flea markets. These furnishings embody the theme of "less is more," which works just as well in today's homes as it did when the pieces were first produced.   

    Related: 10 New Uses for Old Dressers

  10. Sunburst Season

    Sunburst mirror

    Zillow Digs home in Darien, CT

    The history of the sunburst motif goes back centuries, and there are numerous examples of sunburst mirrors dating back to the 1800s. Their popularity continues today—whether big or small, round or oval, metallic or colorful, bejeweled or wooden, sunburst mirrors still act as stunning focal points in bedrooms, living rooms, and other spaces throughout the home.

    Related: Mirror Magic - 10 Ways of Using Mirrors to Your Design Advantage

  11. Panel Play

    Retro trends   wood paneling


    Wood paneling, that mainstay of the 1960s, has now become retro cool. While paneling has always injected texture and depth into a room, today's fresh spin on this traditional wall treatment adds an updated feel with slimmer slats, smoother surfaces, and a wealth of neutral colors to replace the harsh latex wood finishes of the past.

    Related: 10 Ways to Unleash the Potential of Your Blank Walls

  12. Outside Indoors

    Retro trends   wicker


    The days of restricting wicker furniture to the outdoors are long gone. In fact, outdoor furniture can make as strong a style statement as indoor pieces, and it offers the advantage of extreme durability. Wicker, rattan, and bamboo are all excellent materials that can lend an airy and natural element to a home's interior. Many of these pieces are also handmade, which gives any room a custom, homespun look. 

    Related: Wicker Gone Wild - 10 Easy Ways to Transform Old into New

  13. Seventies Chic

    Retro home trends   macrame

    etsy.com via SunshineDreamingAus

    Extremely detailed and time-consuming to craft, macramé is a form of textile-making that relies on knots rather than knitting or weaving. Whether you incorporate macramé by means of a plant holder, wall hanging, or room divider, the intricate texture is what makes this retro look so distinctive. For a modern application, create a macramé item in bright colors, and display it in an area that needs a boost of style. 

    Related: Buy or DIY - 7 Hanging Planters for the Great Indoors

  14. Plant Power

    Retro trends   house plants


    For green-thumbed individuals, houseplants have always been a home decor constant, but for others, potted plants in the home can seem more a bother than a must. While spider plants and ferns were popular accents in the 1970s, today’s leafy indoor plants are touted less as accessories than they are as healthy oxygenators and air purifiers. Consider erecting a living wall of plants to create a lush and tranquil space in your home.

    Related: 10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere

  15. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!