by Tactile Wonderland

12 design ideas of the retro chic persuasion

MC Sutherns MC Sutherns
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Nostalgia is the chemical reaction inside our heads which causes a sentimentality for the past. It is often spurred by a momentary glance which triggers a forgotten, warm memory inside of us and brings it to the fore. 

This happens each and every day for us, in small doses, and more rarely, in large quantities that are the cause of laughter and tears of joy.

It is something to be embraced, both for its revelations, and for its acute ability to remind us of better times.

This compilation embodies the spirit of nostalgia. Nostalgia for a time when fashionable interior design meant something different.

When chic wasn't based on hipster jeans and Facebook likes.

When homes were made homely by the people inside of them, not the cars parked in front of them.

When a sitting room revolved around the family and not the Kardashians.

When memories were made with gestures and interaction, not smart phones and Twitter. 

Come back to that place in your memory, the one where you felt the heat of the bodies around you, where you listened to stories and played Monopoly with your loved ones, where you begged for five more minutes before bed because you couldn't bear leaving that circle of safety and comfort.

Come back to your roots. 

1. Eclectic mania.

Whichever way you turn you're confronted by something that brings back a different feeling.

The exotic colors and shelving of one wall are only offset by a tasteful spiral staircase through a narrow doorway. 

Turn ninety degrees and you're facing a dressed stone wall, adorned with a chiseled fireplace and capped by a wooden crossbeam ceiling.

Behind you is a fully windowed wall to provide that vital sunlight and view.

Throw down a beautiful carpet and you have the living room of legend.

2. Kitchen de'tat.

A beautifully placed counter top bar bisects this fabulous kitchen, while the sitting and dining rooms maintain eye contact with their noisy sibling. 

The wicker sofas still smell of years gone by, while the tiles floors gleam immaculately with pride. The lights above the bar would look good in a nightclub from the eighties,  but have been rendered harmless with the soft golden glow they emit. This is further enhanced by the same glow around the entire room.

The wooden shelves behind the island could be French wine racks, while the patterning on the tiles below them are from the golden age of tile-designers. 

3. Spacious… yet satisfying.

Wooden floors that socks were made to slide upon set this comfortable dining/sitting room space up nicely. 

The squishy chair, ignoring the dining table, has a friend in its footrest, a place to curl up or stretch out with a book, oblivious to the trappings of modern television.

The dining table itself is a casual acknowledgement to bucket chairs and homework-before-dinner. 

But the real joy here is the valuable amount of space for moving around the home in the simplest, most functional way. 

4. Hotel comfort at home.

Remember that picture that Mom had, of that room where she stayed in the early seventies, as she gallivanted around Europe on a whim? You can't remember exactly where, but you do know that every time she looked that picture over, her eyes would glaze into their faraway state, and she would relive the rebellious moments of youth that made her the force she is today.

This is the true marvel of wooden framing, especially when that of the bed compliments that of the doors. The deep empire lampshades crowning the bed could be from Great Budapest itself, making this bedroom a thing of maudlin beauty. 

5. Wooden that be the dream?

Such a modest wall coloring is only justified in its ability to make the supreme seem unconquerable.

This fully wooden kitchen has all the trappings of the modern home, but exudes an aura of more historic glamour. The kitchen tile design is a perfect adjoiner to the style, successfully cementing the room in two time zones. 

It's almost like Mum let Gran do the kitchen.

And Gran nailed it.

6. Soothsayer.

This room does exactly that, with its soothing tones and unassuming design. But let's not mistake unassuming for banal, as it has clearly captured something of modern day apartment look, while adhering to a more functional, older feel. 

The gentle colors of the room are accentuated by the lighting sources, both window and electric, and this lends a sense of purposeful style to a snug living space.

Have you ever seen an Armani three-piece silver tuxedo?

It doesn't look this good. 

7. Light my fire.

modern Living room by Katie Malik Interiors
Katie Malik Interiors

French Shabby Chic Living Room

Katie Malik Interiors

The smoldering fire place, burning through the night, with the exquisite white carpeting, symmetrical design, 20's lamps and twin lanterns to boot. 

This is everything you dreamed of, during that first winter you remember. It can be every winter from now.

8. The roaring 20s.

Black paneled walls with white inlay only says one thing; right of admission reserved. Go full retro with the leather couch and spider-candelabra hanging from the ceiling. 

It speaks in soft tones, with the soulful sound of jazz tickling your ears in the background. 

The wooden chairs contrast magically with the yellow loungers. 

Gatsby will be here shortly. 

9. The world of tomorrow.

If people from the sixties had been right in their visions of the future, more homes would possess this exquisite style. As it is, thanks to Microsoft and Apple, we seem to have been pulled another way.

Which is why this room belongs here, because it is the memory of an idea that never came to be, and when only the memory remains, it reminds us all of what could one day be.

10. Colonel Mustard.

eclectic Living room by Arch/tecture
Arch/tecture

Retro mustard!

Arch/tecture

There is something of the Wild West in the color of mustard. It speaks of harder men in harder times, when strength was judged on character and toil, by the sweat of the back and the working of the earth. 

Some say there is no more honest work than that of a farmer, but it was someone of renown who said that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. 

The four primary colors here are meshed together with a genius tetris-block style that makes the television become one with the background. The coffee table enhances the color on the walls, but neither are too flamboyant to become a distraction. The wooded finish and funky additions are just the cherry on top.

11. The royal bathroom.

large apartment in classic style in Moscow: classic Bathroom by design studio by Mariya Rubleva
design studio by Mariya Rubleva

large apartment in classic style in Moscow

design studio by Mariya Rubleva

Nothing speaks more to the civilities of nobility in the nineteenth century than a chandelier above the tub. Adding in the mosaic patterning on said tub, and the paneled oak walls, this bathroom is fit for nothing short of royalty. The rippling curtain allows the last of the afternoon light in at a moderate rate, enough for a steamy bath with a couple of candles, to soak that stressful day away. 

Remember that old Victorian piece you wanted, with the clawed feet and single tap? 

Get this one instead. 

12. Light it up.

modern Living room by Pixers
Pixers

Retro

Pixers

The wallpaper is really the hard hitter here. Who says single toned sheets of paint are the only way to get a good wall out of it?

Certainly not this room.

With some minimalist furniture, wooden floors and a shag rug of fluffy intent, this room has all the makings of a hall-of-famer.

Do you have a retro design in mind or in your home? Do you think chic is just a matter of perspective? Please let us know your thoughts below.
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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