Retro Décor for your Modern Home.

Often when we think about 1970’s retro décor we think about dark, dim rooms and dark brown.  Everything brown!

So I can understand if there is hesitation to incorporate 70’s retro style (which is trending this year) into your bright, airy, modern home.

So how can you incorporate this retro style without dating your modern home?

Let’s check out 4 easy ways to incorporate the retro nostalgic feelings into your modern personal space. 

dim retro room
Retro Vibes gone wrong. Photo via Canva.

Retro Colours

70’s colour scheme’s are one of the easiest methods to bring a Retro feel into your modern home.  The 70’s focused on warm toned, earthy colours;.

  • Rich Browns:  The 70’s were all about dark, warm wood tones. Think teak, walnut and other rich wood colours. 
  • Burnt Orange: similar to wood, the burnt orange had a brown/red undertone to it.  Which made it a great accent colour for the popular brown colours and wood furniture of the time. Read more about Burnt Orange.
  • Mustard Yellow: A dark yellow to hold it’s own against the popular browns or avocado greens.  It provided a bright contrast while fitting into the overall colour palette. 

How to incorporate the colours of the 70’s into your modern home?  Use them as accent colours!  Pairing any of these colours with shades of blue can work well or opt for neutrals to balance out the warm tones..  Simple accents to consider is using retro earthware to bring in a retro feel.  The popular vases from West Germany often incorporate shades of brown, orange and yellows and a collection on your bookshelf will definitely  catch the eye.

Want to explore more 1970’s era colours for your home? Check out this article from the Spruce

modern retro furniture
Photos via Canva
Bright retro print wallpaper in oranges and blue. On a table is retro items, including a lamp, old radio and glassware.


Wallpaper in large bold prints was a popular choice in the 70’s.  That is when people were not panelling their walls with dark woods.

To include wallpaper in your home and yet keep a modern touch, consider wallpaper with large prints in brighter, colours and tones. If you are concerned with the space becoming to busy, you can opt to only wallpaper an accent wall or start in a space like the powder room.

Wallpaper graham and brown
Coronation Craze Carnival from Graham & Brown


Macramé is the technique of making a design with a cord or rope that has been twisted, braided, knotted or plaited. In the 70’s it was a huge accessory to the personal home.  Today you can find macramé making a comeback.  Specifically as wall hangings and plant hangers. 

The colours of the 70’s are gone as well as the outdated beads.  The modern take is often fresh and bright and most definitely not your grandmother’s macramé!

Consider adding Macramé plant hangers to a corner of your home to lift the eye upwards.  Or perhaps an artistic Macramé wall mural in colours matching your interior colour scheme. 

macrame pots
Photos via canva
colourful macrame

Mid-Century Vintage Furniture

Finding a piece of vintage furniture for your living space is a way to bring warmth and unique style into your home.  But to create a truly retro feel, you require a piece of mid-century modern furniture.  Whether a buffet, cabinet or coffee table, this is a style focused on clean lines and functionality.  

This style of furniture has become increasingly popular in recent years and the prices will reflect it’s high demand. It’s  timeless and elegant designs work well with both modern and traditional interiors. So if you are looking to add a touch of nostalgia to your space, you cannot forgo adding a piece of midcentury modern furniture. 

Midcentury modern after refinishing and restoration work, with water based top coat

Retro interior décor can be easily mixed with modern pieces to create a nostalgic feeling without feeling like you have stepped into a dim room, filled with wood panelling and shag carpet.  70’s vibes can create a light and airy feel while still adding personality to your home.

Have you included one of these options into your home décor already?  What about the other favourites of the 70’s, such as rattan, wood panelling or velvet?

If you are interested in easy DIY projects to add that retro vibe yourself and on a budget; consider adding a retro wall mural or making your own pillow slip covers

Want more 2023 interior trend information?  Check out all interior trends which I’m excited for this year! 

Author picture

Hey, I'm Sarah, the owner of Bold Wallflowers.

I'm on a self-taught journey through furniture refinishing and restoration, loving every experiment in my workshop.

Join me as I share my discoveries and gained knowledge with our vibrant community of fellow refinishers!

This post may contain amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, if you decide to make a purchase through the provided links, at no additional cost to you.


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