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A 60s time warp: stylish retro interiors

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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The 60s were a time of spiritual revolution, when wild attitudes clashed with the conservative view of traditionalists and a new wave of thinking washed over the globe like an unstoppable tsunami. Out of this new evolutionary trend came an innovative way to design one’s domestic space—colour was a suddenly an important consideration, and texture took on new meaning, as ingenious uses were found for paper, plastics and carpet. Many of us will associate 60s retro design with repugnant baby-poo-brown paintwork, garish orange bedspreads, and melodramatic floral curtains. However, beneath the psychedelic intensity of gaudy colour, their lies a sophisticated nuance of nifty and avant-garde attitude. Whether the 60s remind you of Randall and Hopkirk, Batman, or sticky polypropylene furniture, their décor and aesthetic sensibility is a historically formidable tour-de-force in the 20th century design timeline. 

So how to make the most of this era without seeming kitschy or crass? Choose a contemporary modern design that injects a little flower power cleverly—take the best bits of the swinging sixties, and renounce the acid-edged misfires that often plague retro interior design. For a hand in the right direction, check out the following stylishly modern vintage interiors and infuse a little chic-hippy attitude into your domestic space.

Colourful 60s open plan living

 Kitchen by Whitaker Studio
Whitaker Studio

West London Home by Sybarite Architects

Whitaker Studio

Just because you want a 60s interior design, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the modern convenience of an open plan and well-designed contemporary floorplan. This space is elegant, stylish and attention-grabbing. From the bright canary yellow kitchen to the round central table, this space is sophisticated with an element of vintage fun and playfulness. Enhance your existing space with a remodelled colourful kitchen, and some showpiece lighting for an eclectic and retro revival.

Cute and charming chairs

Want to infuse your space with a little retro playfulness, but without a complete renovation? Consider injecting a little bright 60s eclecticism with some statement making armchairs. These cute modular pieces are mid-century in their design, but provide an attractive and intriguing way to decorate your space.

Radically retro

Old is new again in this renovated cottage space. Replete with statement hanging light fitting, 50s retro fridge and black and white checkerboard floor, this open plan room is lively, smart yet spirited. Emulate this in your own abode with delicate yet colourful furniture, well-restored vintage items, and plenty of crisp mid-century décor and ornamentation.

Light and bright

 Living room by VINTAGENCY
VINTAGENCY

THAT'S FUSION

VINTAGENCY

Often retro interiors can come off dowdy, poorly executed and result in an area that feels a little too melancholy, and not nearly dynamic enough. This bright and well-designed room changes that. A blend of soft furnishings with hard contemporary linear forms, this domestic space juxtaposes furniture to create a lounge that is interesting, stimulating and frisky.

Wonderfully well-coordinated

 Living room by Dyer-Smith Frey
Dyer-Smith Frey

Hotel City, Zurich

Dyer-Smith Frey

If you are a fan of the television series Mad Men, you will undoubtedly be a fan of this interior—brimming with dark moody elements such as deep woodgrain and rich bronze furniture, this space contrasts the dark with the light, and infuses crisp white walls to balance the heaviness of the timber.

Vintage styled accessories?

  by PLAN d
PLAN d

RETRO MUG CUP

PLAN d

A great way to infuse a little retro charm into your abode is with some stylish yet vintage accessories. Think colourful, bright and lively accessories, punctuated with clean and crisp crockery. These retro mugs are an excellent way to give your kitchen or dining room a little pizzazz, and a hint of spirited stylishness.

Making the most of mid-century furniture

Mid-century furniture is back in a big way, and now is the perfect time to incorporate it into your abode. Think retro goodies such as moulded fibreglass chairs, Bewitched-esque furniture, and plenty of Mad Men charisma and ambience. This example is a great demonstration of different textures, materials and styles, being used together to create a space that is not only stylish, but practically liveable.

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