Newington sofa green velvet

Retro interior trends for autumn/winter

Tapping into the nostalgia trend

The retro interiors trend has been brewing for a while but for autumn/winter we’re in full swing – and the colder weather is the perfect time to really indulge in plush fabrics, deep hues and soft rugs.

Wallpapers are bright, bold and geometric, and velvet is a must. Vintage crockery is perfect for referencing the 50s and 60s. Or go wild for a 70s effect with fringing, macrame planters and peacock chairs.

Think ethnic style rugs and homespun crafts celebrating the hippy vibe. We’re not talking gaudy parody though but subtle references or one big statement design piece. The interpretation is far more restrained than first time round.

This year’s interiors show Decorex International (at Olympia London, from 6-9 October, open to the public on 8 October), has seen a distinct trend among exhibitors referencing mid-century forms and sixties colour palettes. Says event director Sam Fisher: “They are easily incorporated into a wide range of interior schemes, making them a good choice whether you want to go bold or add subtle accents. While mid-century design evokes a sense of nostalgia, it continues to feel contemporary.”

Alongside minimal Japanese simplicity, Habitat is also showcasing colourful 1970s excess in its autumn/winter collection. “Designs draw on the louche opulence of Studio54 in its 70s heyday with a mix of lavish materials from rich coloured velvets to shagpile rugs and rich metallic,” it says. Pick a stand-out chair – we love this retro-styled wing chair inspired by Italian furniture of the 1970s, and available in Roberto Cavalli fabrics at Kings of Chelsea.

Heal’s too is going big on retro with its Modern Nostalgia collection. Says Kris Manalo, senior upholstery buyer at Heal’s: “Modern Nostalgia takes inspiration from mid-century silhouettes and blends a contrasting colour palette of dark earthy hues with pops of teal, rust and fir green. As we transition into the colder months, rich woods offer warmth and deep bottle green leather adds an instant impact.”

So how else to work the trend? “The 60s and 70s were a memorable time for bold and bright colour palettes. With the return of retro being one of the most popular trends of 2019, the use of fabric is an easy way to add some retro charm into your living spaces. Bold pinks, oranges and blues represent the swinging 60s, while dark, flowery, terracotta prints take us back to the 70s. Update an old cushion with a quirky geometric print for an understated nod to the trend or go full out retro with a new pair of curtains or a sofa,” says Debbie Leigh, design manager, at fabric designers ILIV.