How To Outfit Your House In Retro Style

When we hear the word ‘makeover’ the first thing that comes to our mind is upgrading an existing condition to make it look new. This can apply to your house or your wardrobe. But sometimes, a makeover to your house will be more dramatic if you turn the clock back and style it retro, instead of futuristic. Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to change the overall look of the house and still keep it from looking too dated.

Avoid White Lace Accessories

One of the most common mistakes people make is to assume that white lace will look good as a household accessory. Unless the house is red- brick and Victorian, lace will only make new things look old. White lace has also been associated with old maids and cat ladies in popular culture so avoid lace doilies, antimacassars, table mats, coasters, and curtains. Not only will white lace gather and show too much dust (prompting you to wash it every week), it will yellow over time, turning your house into Miss. Havisham’s manor from Great Expectations.

Use Photographs and Frames

Bust out some artistic family portraits in Perth from the attic, where they have been gathering dust.

Choose a few (but not too many) family portraits that will look good with the space, and ones which are not too new. Sepia toned photographs add a charming sense of yesteryear to any house, and imbue it with tradition and history. If you can’t find good portraits, remove the newborn photos and use the old frames to frame a scenic picture, or a bit of text. Hang it where people can see and comment on it, but make sure that none of the photographs overwhelm the room they are in. The goal is to ‘look’ retro, not actually ‘be’ retro.

Dust out the Furniture

The easiest way to add a retro ‘feel’ to a house is to switch out some of the existing furniture for iconic old pieces, like Chippendale chairs or a Hepplewhite rocker. Again, make sure not to buy an entire set of old furniture. Too many old pieces make a room look old and dreary. Instead, pepper each room with one unique piece, like a carved mirror, an old rocking chair, a stool or a dinner wagon. Old houses in warmer climes also had wooden louvers, and these are a wonderful addition to any house as they can be used as decoration if the weather doesn’t call for it to be installed.

Frank Leaman