Understanding Retro Interior Styles

Retro and traditional interior styles are making a comeback, and have been for many years. Why is this? Interior designers are revisiting past interior design trends and enhancing them, making them better this time around. One very good reason to revisit these interior styles is to develop timeless and functional interiors that are still stylish and comfortable.

With more individuals looking to decorate their home with vintage and retro designs, it can be important to understand what era exactly the piece is coming from. By understanding what era the design is from, you can understand more whether it is going to complement your home style.

The Staple Design In The 1910’s Was Art Deco

This distinctive and glamorous movement has seen a revival recently, as pieces were elaborate and atypical, the glamorous movement has been adored by many individuals over recent years. The design style saw the use of round mirrors, geometric textiles, and stainless steel framed sofas.

In The 1920’s We Saw The Bauhaus Movement

Originating from the German School of Arts, it was so successful and revolutionary that Bauhaus turned into its own design movement. Famous furniture designers who went to the school included Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe who designed the modern icon, the Barcelona Chair.

Today Bauhaus is loved for its unique aesthetic and influence on modern and contemporary art. Look for pieces that combine form and function with very minimal detail. The boldness came from a primary color palette. The Bauhaus was the initial movement to utilize revolutionary materials like tubular steel, glass, and plastic.

Look out for furniture that was lightweight and had thin, slender legs, much like the mid-century modern movement.

Through the 1940’s and 50’s both America and Europe Were Having Modern Movements

Inspired by new technologies and advanced machinery, more designers started revolutionizing the approach to furniture, interior design, and architecture. In America, the mid-century modern movement was being pioneered by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, and Florence Knoll.

Across the pond in Europe, their own Functionalism movement was taking place. Both design styles were very similar, with a mantra that more is less and prioritizing the function of designs rather than the flamboyance like years before them. Influential designers of the Functionalism movement included design icons like Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton.

Look for furniture that is modern, minimal and makes use of both traditional and modern materials. Designers experimented with the likes of molded plastic, Charles and Ray Eames developed their Eiffel Chair range that utilized a molded plastic shell.

The Modern Movement Moved Further To The Space Age Era

In the 60s, after the post-war years, there was progress and recovery that led designers to be more enthusiastic and optimistic. They went ultra-modern and the Space Age Era was born. Furniture was a mixture of futuristic and organic, all pieces made use of fluid shapes and sleek forms. More modern materials were used.

Verner Panton developed a chair from a single piece of molded plastic, the first of its time to be produced. The revolutionary Panton S Chair is often used in retro homes all over the world. The S Chair design along with the Tulip Table from Eero Saarinen and Ball Chair from Eero Aaranio really embodied the trend, the designs look brand new today as they did more than 50 years ago.

Self Expression Took Centre Stage

The 1970s saw the hippie movement make a social change on interior design as interior design turned to the outdoors for inspiration. More organic materials and color schemes were used, pieces were made to be environmentally friendly as individuals were starting to get concerned about the industrial industry and technological advancements.

There was a Reaction to Modern Design in the 1980s

A reverse reaction to the previously modern design trends, postmodernism was everything that modern wasn’t. Bold colors, clashing patterns, oversized scales, and excessive decoration became popular. In rebellion against modern design, they started to embrace unconventional ideas and artsy, extravagant styles.

Extravagance Went Out the Window as Minimalism Became Trendy

The wild and excessive decade before took a turn to a simple and sophisticated interior design trend. You could say that trends moved back to the basics as there was a major focus on making a home comfortable and welcoming.

Minimal design can be seen as very similar to modern design, the two intertwine and can be used in coordination.

The Start Of Bespoke Furniture

During the 2010s and the rise of the internet and eCommerce stores, there was a wider choice and more diverse styles for individuals to shop. This is the time that retro and vintage styles came back in fashion.

Now there is the market for retro furniture, you can find bespoke brands specializing in retro, vintage, or mid-century designs. This is really beneficial for developing your own retro home as it means you don’t need to just shop second-hand, you can enjoy brand new pieces inspired by the eras in your own home.

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