Time Travelling Decor: Retro Styles In Your Modern Home

Time Travelling Decor: Retro Styles In Your Modern Home

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 16.59.38Is modern retro a tautology?

Fusions of style are hard to pull off, aren’t they? That’s why a lot of people don’t bother with them. It takes a light touch and an unfailing eye to bring off a mix of two styles or more, especially when they seem to conflict. Primary colours and monochrome can clash very easily. Natural tones and high tech can be jarring, and so on.

So why do we try to meld one look with another? The simple answer is that very few of us like just one style. Further to that, if you lean too heavily on one style it’s easy to end up with what looks like a theme home.

You may really love the Regency aesthetic. But if everything you put in your home fits into that look, it feels like a museum. If you’re going to chase a style that far, then you might as well dine only on port and roast quail while you’re at it. It’s a home, not a shrine.

So we do need to balance what we like with what works. We all have a bit of a weakness for retro style, but a home needs to be modern to be liveable. We do want to indulge our arty side, but it has to be at least a little comforting. Otherwise you’d be afraid to ever sit down.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 16.59.56

You May Love An Open Fireplace, But…

A forgotten classic?

An increasing number of people around today grew up without a fireplace in their home. Indeed, put a seventy-year-old and a fifteen-year-old together to talk about fireplaces, and you’re in for a treat. Incomprehension will cross both faces. “How did that even work?” and “You mean you’ve never seen firelighters?” will be overheard sentences.

The truth is that the old-fashioned fireplace has all but died out in most homes. Certainly, newly-built homes have to meet fairly rigorous green standards that preclude burning coal. But we still love the aesthetic, don’t we? For those who are old enough, it really takes us back to roaring winter fires. If you’re a little younger, it’s a cosy retro chic feel that’s hard to beat.

Which is where electric fires come in. They’re better for the planet, give off plenty of heat and look welcoming. They can even double as TV stands these days – read more about that if you’re interested. This can be the perfect way to tie together a retro-modern look.

Does Flat-Pack Furniture Have Its Place?

And it was all assembled without crying! #progress #doingwell  #actuallycriedabit

It’s getting harder to remember a time when stores like IKEA were not part of life for those of us looking to furnish a home. Certainly, the Scandinavian approach never goes out of fashion. The move towards flat-pack furniture, and resulting lower prices, has led to other home stores following suit.

Consequently, even the higher-end home stores are now making most of their occasional furniture this way. It’s hard to find newly-made, ready-assembled furniture for a price that doesn’t break the bank. And while the saving may be appreciated, it has its drawbacks.

First, no one likes putting flat pack furniture together. The wordless instructions are baffling. The fixings – if they are all there – are small enough to get lost and big enough to hurt if you kneel on them. Perhaps the trickiest part is that it’s not really built to last. You with a screwdriver versus a mechanism designed for assembly – who do you think will win?

The good news is, it’s a perfect excuse to look for solutions in antique and thrift stores. Older furniture which has been built to last – possibly refurbished – can give you that classic look in an otherwise modern room. You may pay a little more for the piece you really want. But it is ready-assembled, and it will stay that way.

Short Cuts On A Budget?

Budgeting – i.e. the thing that made you hate your calculator.

One way that the antique aesthetic has come roaring back is in the form of exposed brickwork. Particularly on home design shows you can’t move for the stuff now. But if your house was built and plastered many years ago, exposing that brickwork is going to be expensive or time-consuming. Or both.

If it’s just the aesthetic that you like, why not pick a wallpaper in the brickwork pattern? Yes, people may notice it’s not real – big deal. If that’s really a concern, go for it on one wall. Accessorise that wall with bookcases and lamps, and nobody will notice nor care if it isn’t real brickwork.

You can’t play the piano but it looks good, so it’ll do.

Fusing two different styles isn’t easy to pull off. But if you know what you’re looking for, you can make it work. It just takes a keen eye and a focus on what you want.


Naomi Isted
Editor in Chief, Naomi Isted is known as The Ultimate Lifestylist to her readers and viewers. She is a TV Presenter and Columnist. Ranked in the Top 100 LFW Social Media Influencers AW14 & SS15, Brand Ambassador for Pears Soap UK. Her Celebrity beauty TV Series currently airs to 27million homes on Physique TV in UAE, previously on Wedding TV in the UK. She brings fashion and beauty advice to her readers and viewers on a daily basis. She is Fashion and Beauty Columnist for Herald Scotland and has a Fashion and Beauty Bridal Blog for HELLO. She can usually be found attending celebrity fashion and beauty events in and around London and sharing the latest fashion and beauty trends with her readers.

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