5 vintage home decor styles
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5 vintage home décor styles that never go out of fashion

Want your living room to combine timeless charm with a hint of nostalgia?

Well, vintage home décor can transport you to a completely different era, simply by swapping some furniture and adding a pop of colour. But which vintage living room style should you focus on? Do you prefer a 70s style sofa or 90s inspired furniture?

In this article, we will talk through some of the most popular retro home décor styles from the 20th century, offering advice on how to implement these designs in your living room.

Let’s take a trip through time.

1. The mid-century modern rise of the 50s

While we all immediately think of Elvis Presley, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe, did you know that the 50s also saw the rise of a hugely influential vintage home décor style?

That’s right, the aptly-named mid-century modern school of design exploded in popularity during the 50s, with homeowners falling head over heels for this elegant retro décor – and its influence can still be felt today!

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If you want a vintage living room in the mid-century modern mould, look at sleek and streamlined furniture designs that feature smooth, gently curved lines. For example, our Bergen and Zinc sofas perfectly encapsulate this iconic style, with their splayed legs, straight backs, and thin armrests. Stunning!

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You should also think about the textures you can pair with your vintage-style sofa. Mid-century modern décor is all about natural materials, so look for vintage living room furniture made with wood, such as sideboards, TV stands, and bookshelves.

2. The colourful expression of the 60s

Where the 50s focused on practicality and simplicity, the swinging 60s were all about self-expression and eye-popping splashes of colour. It’s little wonder why this era is a treasure trove of vintage living room ideas!

The main influence of this retro décor was the Pop Art Movement (think Andy Warhol and comic books), which was defined by bright and vibrant colours.

To follow this retro home décor style, see where you can introduce the likes of electric blues, sunny yellows, lime greens, and fiery oranges to your living room. We recommend starting with rugs, scatter cushions, and footstools, the small swaps that provide the all-important pop of colour.

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Then, once you’re more comfortable with the vibrancy of 60s retro home décor, you can turn your attention to the sofa. The popularity of mid-century sofas endured from the 50s, so it’s just a case of choosing the bold colour that best fits into your retro room design.

If you want to push the boat out a bit more with your vintage living room, then an accent chair could be the funky contrast you’re looking for. The 60s was an era of innovation with furniture designs, so something like our Enchanted or Luxe chairs would look right at home here.

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3. The laidback warmth of the 70s

Almost in direct contradiction to the energetic vibrancy of the 60s, 70s style living rooms take a more mellow approach to vintage home décor – which is perfectly encapsulated by our very own Fleetwood trend!

The idea here is to create a laid back atmosphere, where you can see yourself sinking into the cushions, listening to the likes of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, and George Harrison.

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5 vintage home decor styles with kruze sofa

So, let’s start with the 70s style sofa. This era was big on conversation pits and creating a cosy atmosphere, which puts modular sofas at the top of your shopping list. These versatile furniture designs let you freely switch up the seating arrangements, maintaining that intimate vibe no matter how many guests are over.

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4. The energetic environments of the 80s

In an era of shoulder pads, jelly shoes, and garish leg warmers, it’s no surprise that retro living rooms inspired by the 80s are bold and brash in equal measure.

As such, it’s vital you choose the right colours and patterns for this type of vintage-style living room – which are slightly less psychedelic than 60s shades. Fuchsias, teals, purples, and dark oranges are the orders of the day here, while introducing geometric patterns with scatter cushions and wallpaper can really add to the sense of energy and movement.

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Mirrors and glass accents were also hugely popular in 80s home décor, adding a touch of glamour and creating the illusion of more space. Look to hang a large ornate mirror on a feature wall for maximum effect, or opt for a glass coffee table for a similar style.

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5. The minimalist craze of the 90s

After the funky furniture and kaleidoscopic colours of the previous three decades, 90s vintage living rooms were much more subdued and pared back. Minimalism was back – and in a big way!

Gone were the vibrant hues of the 80s, replaced by neutral colours, such as beige, taupe, cream, and white. Retro décor throwing back to the 90s needs to focus on creating this neutral backdrop, with wallpaper, curtains, and carpets daubed in these colours.

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In terms of which vintage-style sofa you should choose, we recommend opting for the sleek sophistication of a leather sofa. These streamlined designs lend themselves perfectly to the clean lines and smooth surfaces that epitomise retro living room furniture from the 90s.

5 vintage home decor styles with ilana rug

And if you wanted to pick a pattern to contrast the minimalist approach, floral prints saw something of a resurgence during the 90s, albeit in a more understated fashion. Scatter cushions, throw blankets, and rugs should do the trick here, adding this eye-catching design without overwhelming the room.

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Whether you plan to recreate a specific vintage living room style or cherry pick your favourite parts from different decades, you can find everything you need for your retro-inspired makeover at DFS. Browse our collections of fabric and leather sofas, take a look at our wider furniture range, or shop the essential accessories.

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