Question: What is Retro Style Furniture?
Answer: Retro style furniture is furniture that belongs to, or has the look of having been made in the decades between the 1950s and the 1980s.
The word retro signifies looking backward, and when we talk of retro furniture, we are speaking of a furniture style that looks back with nostalgia and pays homage to styles that were popular in the decades of 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and recently we have added the 80s to the list.
Retro style can be whimsical, it can allude to pop-culture, and even be kitschy. But to achieve great retro style you have to understand kitsch and use it deliberately to create an effect.
Furniture from the 1950s shows the influence of modern furniture increasing. Sleek furniture with a slender profile was placed against boldly patterned wallpapers and fabrics. For retro style furniture of the 1950s we are also beholden to furniture from diners with Formica-topped tables, and chrome bar stools.
The next decade, the 1960s was more playful, with psychedelic patterns and splashes of color. Low coffee tables and sideboards were still popular, but you also saw furniture like one-piece molded or blow-up chairs.
The 1970s saw furniture losing its sleek quality and becoming a bit more bulky and chunky. Avocado Greens and Harvest Golds, oranges and earthy browns dominated.
As for the 1980s, Art Deco had a big influence on the decorating style, as did South Western motifs. Teal and mauve are two colors you may remember.