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The lived-in feel of a good vintage find is being embraced more and more as the retro aesthetic gains momentum, again. Past styles are effortlessly reimagined into new and sleek designs giving us the definition of retro, somewhere in-between old and new.

The word ‘retro’ itself implies a backward look, or back in time, as design elements associated with the trend are often influenced by vintage designs. People are drawn to the aesthetic of our past as a way to reconnect with personal histories and rediscover it in a new way. 

With retro back in the spotlight, designers bring us that sense of nostalgia through their furniture, homewares, art and fashion. Not just limited to designers, people everywhere can embrace the trend and are getting creative by repurposing, upcycling and recycling their older items to give them a new life. Embracing slow living when we’re completely dominated by mass-produced goods means the retro aesthetic promotes individuality and sustainability as well as a timeless look, which also happens to be one of the easiest styles to master.

One of the most influential periods in retro design is the mid-20th century, particularly from 1950s to 1970s. This era gave birth to the renowned ‘Mid-Century Modern’ design style, clean lines, organic shapes, and a focus on functionality. The influence of designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, and Eero Saarinen during this period still shine through in the latest contemporary designs now.

As an example, the 1960s and 1970s made a shift towards bold, experimental designs. The years of psychedelic patterns, vibrant colours, and the Pop Art movement, popularised by artists like Andy Warhol. We see the iconic lounge chairs by Eames and Jacobson replicated by countless designers, sepia glassware is back on shelves and bright orange ceramic tableware is in high demand.

It's clear though, that the retro movement has evolved this time around. We’ve shifted away from crowded spaces and cluttered rooms to prioritise originality and practicality in more of a minimal way. Blending earthy and sleek elements is the new approach to executing the retro style well, because we’re also in our purposeful and minimal era. Balancing soul with simplicity, colour and fun is key. By harmonising saturated tones with minimalist silhouettes and emphasising quality over quantity, we have the perfect aesthetic that lets us embrace the comfort and familiarity of vintage and retro pieces.

Trends come and go but retro will always be here. From mid-century furniture designs, to incense, to Mikasa tableware, to diner mugs, to wooden dinner plates, old is indeed becoming the new and is more appreciated than ever before.

Images are iconic designs by Arne Jacobson, from his official website.