Inspired Retro Living-Room Ideas – 2024 Guide


If you’re a vintage lover, you’ll be thrilled to know that it’s easy to turn your living room into a retro paradise. Modern and contemporary styles can often feel a little cold and heartless due to their minimalist design, so we love the idea of transforming a cosy living room into a blast from the past. Design trends have changed massively over the years, but the living space has always been a space where families and friends spend quality time together. So, if you’re looking to turn your soulless living room into somewhere that echoes the best of retro design, here’s how.

Make a statement with cushions


Bold patterned wallpaper may create a distinctive retro look, but it’s a design trend that needs to stay in the 1980s. Sadly, wallpapers like these dominate the room and they make it impossible for guests to notice all of your lovely furniture. So, if you’re looking to inject some big patterns and bold colours into your living space, instead opt for feature cushions. These will still add a retro feel to your space, but they won’t dominate. Plus, as an added bonus, they’re easy to swap if you want to change the look and feel of the room at any point.

If you can, try to opt for traditionally retro colours such as browns, oranges and reds. If you’re looking to make a real statement, add a contrasting rug or a couple of green accents. And, if you have money in your budget, using your curtains to pick out colours from both cushions or rugs can really bring a room together.

Add wooden furniture

Wooden features like display cabinets, TV stands and coffee tables are ideal if you’re looking to transport your room back to the 1980s. Plus, they also add a sense of warmth to your space. As these very cool TV stands by VidaXL show, it couldn’t be simpler to choose a TV unit with a look that matches your personality. While a painted unit can inject colour, a distressed wooden TV unit can create a vintage and industrial feel. Plus, as an added bonus, vintage accents like spooled legs and spindles are one of 2020’s hottest design trends.

Retro fit coving


Intricate coving is the hallmark of any great retro look. However, in modern houses, it’s often a feature that’s missing. So, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to create an authentic retro look, then fit coving in your living room.

You can usually fit your coving using a strong adhesive, so it’s a really easy DIY project. Once you’ve fitted the coving, paint it in a gloss white, as this will provide a top-end finish. As an added bonus, it will also reflect the light into your space. Alternatively, if you’re feeling particularly bold, paint your coving in a strong colour to draw the eye.

If you love your new look, why not pair your new coving with a deep skirting board?

Pack the room with lighting options

Exposed light bulbs, copper lamps and outlandish chandeliers are all retro lighting options that have made a huge resurgence in the past couple of years. Now, feature pieces of lighting such as these are hot home decor trends.

So, when you’re creating your retro space, add numerous lighting options. After all, the living room is a cosy part of the home, so don’t be afraid to fill it with floor lamps, table lamps and ceiling lights. That way, you can select lighting that suits your mood.

Pick quirky accessories


To bring a design scheme together, the final touches are the items that really make a difference. For that reason, if you are attempting a retro-inspired living room, it can be a good idea to source some quirky accessories from the time you are imitating.

In fact, it can be a brilliant opportunity to replace some of your modern-day items with pieces that were used in the past instead. Think retro-look telephones, period style tea sets, or old fashioned bars and drinks cabinets.

These finishing touches can make or break a room too. Giving them the attention they deserve, despite their diminutive size in comparison to sofas, chairs and other furniture, is a very important step in your interior overhaul.

Go vintage

Perhaps one of the easiest, and key, ways to enhance your retro-inspired living room is to fill it with items that are actually from the time you are emulating. Trawl local flea markets and vintage shops, therefore, to locate pieces of furniture and ornaments which come from the past.

Doing so has many benefits. Firstly, it’s much better for the environment. Reusing perfectly serviceable furniture from the past means there is no need to buy new.

Secondly, it can often be cheaper not to mention better quality. If the pieces you want to buy have lasted this long, the chances are they have been made well. Breakages are actually minimised as a consequence, in a way that newer goods may not be such a guarantee.

Finally, they can really make your design scheme pop and come alive.

Retro living room ideas – key takeaways


Follow these top tips and you’ll have no problem turning your living room into a retro haven. Whether you’re recreating a space that you remember from your childhood or completely reimagining your current room, all these retro touches will create a stunning look. After all, retro furniture isn’t just from the past, it’s for the future, too.

Without doubt, however, one of the key things you need to bear in mind while decorating your living space in retro-inspired decor is that you need to do this look properly. Simply attempting to create a retro look in a half-hearted effort will result in a room that lacks any cohesion.

Remember to go that extra step therefore to achieve the look that you want. You’ll be glad of that extra effort when you are receiving compliment after compliment about your interior design prowess.