How to nail the retro renaissance home interior trend

Your guide to bringing the charm of '70s living into the 21st century.

Just like nailing your favourite dish, there are recipes to follow when it comes to styling your home. Here are the key ingredients you need to pull off the current vintage aesthetic trend in a snap.

There was so much to love about the interiors of the late-1960s and ’70s, when vibrant, often clashing colours and patterns defined our homes, and design features centred around connection – like the sunken
living room or ‘conversation pit’. I love this modern take fitted out by interior designers Arent&Pyke. It’s a lighter, laid-back version that encourages interaction and a sense of flow. They used artwork, sculptural lighting and oversized lounges, along with shades reminiscent of shoreline blues, gentle terracotta and creamy clay tones, to bring the owners’ vision to life.

Key elements

Embracing a retro renaissance means looking at colours and materials that speak to the era, with a modern twist (no polyester, thank you!). Warming rust and ochre pairs so well with modern pinks and
neutrals. For surfaces, look to textured sandstone or paving, thick-pile wool carpets and rugs, terrazzo tiles, refined wood panelling and arches and curves all the way! It just adds so much warmth.

You can get the vibe without installing a full sunken lounge by bringing curves to all the right places, like couches and coffee tables, which add softness to gathering spaces. Area rugs add an extra hit of pattern or colour, and lots of cushions – in geometrics, plains and florals – provide a mix of shapes. A record player or displayed vinyl collection would make a fabulous feature, and statement lighting is essential.

“You can still get the vibe without
installing a full conversation pit by
bringing curves to all the right places,
like couches and coffee tables, which
add softness to gathering spaces.”

Wendy Moore

Do it yourself

Designate your conversation zone and define it with a large rug – if this feels out of reach, companies like Bremworth can supply carpet in your preferred size. Make it large enough that furniture pieces
can all sit atop it, and plan them to face each other and the fireplace – not the TV! For walls, look to feature wallpaper or embrace a colour. Artwork should make your heart sing – try film posters from the ’70s, or choose a wild psychedelic print. It should include at least one hue that can be mirrored in your furnishings elsewhere, like in this example (opposite).

Be led by what you love, as colour trends may change but your artwork is here for the long haul. Your finished room should make you feel warm, happy and ready to get groovy, baby!

Vintage aesthetic home décor

You can bring the vintage aesthetic into your home without having to knock down walls or install shagpile carpets. Shop retro-inspired décor below to transform your home into a ’70s oasis.


In The Roundhouse – 17 piece green scallop dining set

$250 at David Jones

Why stop the vintage aesthetics just in the loungeroom? Bring the retro vibes into the kitchen with these adorable green scalloped dishes from In The Roundhouse.


GPO Retro 746 Rotary Telephone

$119 at The Iconic

Ditch your smartphone for this charming rotary telephone from The Iconic (and yes, it actually works!).


Castlery Owen 3 Seater Sofa

$1,799 at Castlery

If you can’t commit to a conversation pit then surely this chartreuse lounge will give your living room a major 70s boost.


Candice Velvet Accent Chair

$389 at Temple & Webster

This tangerine arm chair is the perfect accent piece to tie together your retro living space.


Uglich Floor Lamp

$139 at Temple & Webster

There’s no bigger mood killer than blinding downlights. To keep the chill 70s vibes going, invest in a retro-inspired lamp like this one from Temple & Webster.

Related stories