How to give furniture a retro feel?

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Retro style has been reigning among interior trends for a long time. Thanks to it we can enjoy the visual return to the old times. Furniture, which once seemed to us old and unnecessary, today gives a new character to the interior. We suggest how to give furniture the retro style.

What are the characteristics of retro style?

This style is primarily a unique palette of colors. Retro colors are strong, but at the same time a little bit dimmed. The retro color palette includes shades of brown, orange and yellow, as well as bottle green. These colors complement each other perfectly.

In retro style you can arrange the entire interior, but also decide to complement the vintage. For this perfect solution will be the right furniture. You can choose old furniture, which by its very appearance evoke memories of bygone eras, but also such, which through appropriate modifications will gain such a look.

Retro style, however, has many faces and does not always mean the same thing. It is worth considering beforehand in what direction we want to go when it comes to our furniture. It concerns not only their colors, but also the ornaments used.

In retro interiors the most popular solution is white furniture with “patches” and such is the easiest to do yourself. In turn, the interior in a rustic style is rather brown colors. You can also bet on the romantic version of this style and choose decorative, light forms.

Aging furniture

This is a very effective way to give furniture a retro style. Aging looks the same for both new and old furniture. The species of wood from which they are made is also of little importance. The most important thing is whether they are lacquered. In the case of old furniture, you only need to remove the remains of the varnish, but if you have relatively new furniture, preparing it will be a bit more time-consuming.

In both cases, the varnish should be removed using sandpaper. First, thoroughly clean the top layer of the furniture, wait for it to dry and then choose the places where you want to “sand through”. Apply diluted paint in the color of your choice to selected areas of the furniture, and when the paint dries, cover it with a wax preparation to protect the color from transferring to subsequent layers

The next step is to cover the furniture with the main color. If you decide on white paint, you need to apply a thin layer, so that the natural color of the furniture shines through. Then we will get the effect of whitening only. On the other hand, if you want to have a completely white furniture, you should apply several layers. At the end, use a knife to scrape off the paint in those places where you want to achieve a brushed effect. In this way, fragments covered with lighter paint will be exposed. At the end, it is worth covering the furniture with a protective varnish.


Regardless of whether you decide on white or brown furniture, you should remember that all its elements should match each other. Therefore, you should choose appropriate handles and hardware for the aged surfaces.

We can also decide to only replace certain parts of the furniture. In such a situation, it is worth betting on upholstered sofa and armchair upholstery, as well as original, Scandinavian handles for cabinets, closets and drawers.

Furniture is not everything

Retro style will work perfectly both in the living room and bedroom, as well as in the kitchen. You should, however, remember that the whole arrangement should create a coherent whole. Although furniture is the basis, it is also worth taking care of decorative elements. The best in this case will work photographs or paintings in decorated frames, and in the kitchen or dining room – elegant porcelain tableware behind glass.

Main photo: Julian Hochgesang/

Peter Bowers

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