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Top 10 Hip Retro Decorating Ideas

Written by: Editorial Staff

July 30, 2011
Filed Under Decor 


One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideasContributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Are you so hipster it hurts?

If it comes from a store, and they have more than one, is it just too ordinary for you? Well, you have come to the right place, my friend, because this is hipster heaven when it comes to decorating. In fact, here are the top 10 hip retro decorating ideas that will have your other hipster friends feeling like their apartments are straight out of IKEA.


10. The chairs

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

A chair is a chair is a chair. Except if you’re too cool for an ordinary chair. Ditch that box store special and grab yourself a flaming red 1970’s Barcelona couch or a gold 60’s club chair, add a funky pillow that no one else has, and you’re on your way.

9. The artwork

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Posters of Lady Gaga or Usher? No way. Prints from the “every-painting-is-$15” sale at a local hotel? Maybe. It’s out there enough that it just might work.

Something you make yourself from a vintage craft workbook? Now we’re talking. One of kind, people, one of a kind.

8. The lighting

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

No recessed lighting. No multi-directional canned lighting. They still sell that stuff in stores, so it’s certainly not retro or hip.

When it comes to lighting, hit the thrift stores. Look for lamps your grandmother’s next door neighbor might have had back in 1952. Or something so 70’s it hurts.

7. Kitchen stuff

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Think wooden cutting boards shaped like animals. Bread boxes (hey, they’re great for storing your iPod in while it’s charging!), funky table cloths, and appliances with rounded corners or odd colors. Matched set of dishes? No way. Go for the creative look with different colors and patterns.

6. The bedroom

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Aw, now we’re getting into the good stuff. Bring back the 70’s with purple and lime green. Or channel the 60’s with tie dye and black light. Just make sure the furniture is just as retro. Bring in a tulip chair, some old industrial cabinets for side tables, toss your vintage clothes into the mix. and you’re set.

5. The bathroom

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

If you can rip out the tile and start over, by all means go vintage. Bring in pinks and greens and blacks, or go for the gold and green look with white subway tile on the floor.

But if you’re stuck with the bathroom that came with your apartment, go hip with the accessories. Hand towels with embroidered poodles, vintage night lights, quirky shower curtains and bath mats – as long as it’s not something your next door neighbor could come home with tomorrow, you’re on the right track.

4. On the floor

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Be daring. Bring back shag rugs and carpeting. Sure it looks funny, but it feels much better on your tootsies than that trendy woven matting stuff. (Tell me, who decided that we should walk barefoot on oversized welcome mats? Seriously!)

Go for color, or go all white. Add some Jetson’s style futuristic spots of color, or some Ozzie and Harriet retro mats by the sink, in the bathroom or by the front door.

3. Living room

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

On the wall, big squares of color. In the room, a granny couch with afghans, or a sleek waiting room style couch with lots of chrome.

Or go with shiny silver and black wallpaper, a black leather sling chair and couch. Glass and chrome coffee tables. Metal wall art with an funky, George Jetson appeal.

Just pick an era and go with it.

2. The electronics

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Okay, you have an iPod. But what about a console stereo that plays real vinyl? None of that smooth hiss-and-pop-free digital stuff. You have the records, and you’re not afraid to play them. Put your TV in an old TV cabinet or retrofit it into a console TV.

And when it comes to toting around that new iPhone? If you want to truly hipster, you can hide it in a retro case that makes it look like a transistor radio.

1. The details

One of the top ten hip retro decorating ideas

Retro decorating starts with the big stuff like couches and carpeting. But in the end, it all comes down to the details. And that can be touch to get right. Here’s a secret to making it simple.

Pretend you’re a tourist in whatever era you’re channeling. You’re on vacation, and you want to bring back some souvenirs from Florida, California, the Grand Canyon and New York City. Now go find those things. You’re there, my friend. You’re there.

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