Published on January 10, 2022
While some vintage styles have long faded from memory, others are more popular than ever. In fact, many of this year’s biggest design trends draw inspiration from decades past. Here are 10 nostalgic design trends making their way back into our homes in fresh, modern ways.
1. Rattan Furniture
Popular throughout the 1960s and ’70s, rattan furniture is making a major comeback. The lightweight woven material delivers natural texture and a laidback look that works well in rooms of all styles. Especially popular for seating, rattan pieces—including the iconic peacock chair—are perfect for homes with a cozy, eclectic feeling.
2. Floral Wallpaper
You might remember kitschy floral wallpaper from your grandmother’s house, but today’s versions are a bit more refined. Wallpaper in general has seen a huge resurgence in recent years, and floral motifs are especially popular. Saturated colors, crisp lines, and watercolor-like designs give this nostalgic decor trend a modern twist.
3. Brass Finishes
Popular throughout the previous century, brass is once again a favorite finish in kitchens, bathrooms, and beyond. The metal offers a warmer alternative to the chrome and nickel finishes that dominated the last couple of decades. Opt for brass fixtures with brushed or satin finishes to soften the look, or mix in brass with other metal types for added character.
4. Midcentury Modern Furniture
Clean lines and shapely silhouettes defined much of the furniture produced around the mid-1900s, including famous designs like the wishbone chair and the tulip table. Emphasizing simplicity and function, midcentury modern style remains relevant (and desirable) today. While authentic vintage pieces are highly sought-after at thrift stores and flea markets, you can also find tons of midcentury-inspired styles at your favorite furniture retailers.
5. Wood Paneling
Wood paneling was a popular low-cost wall treatment throughout the ’60s and ’70s, but it later developed a reputation for making rooms feel dreary and dated. Today, many homeowners are embracing wood-paneled walls as a warm, texture-rich accent, especially in areas like dens and bedrooms. Update this throwback design trend by painting over the wood with a fresh color or installing the wood panels in different orientations (think horizontal shiplap or a unique diagonal pattern).
6. Retro Appliances
Retro-style refrigerators are a popular accent that gives contemporary kitchens an added sense of character. Fortunately, new versions of these old-school appliances typically feature modern technology, so you don’t have to sacrifice function. Look for brightly colored finishes such as blue, red, or mint-green, or opt for a classic neutral like white.
7. Macramé Decor
Seventies-era macramé is experiencing a modern revival. Look for the woven, knotted cording on wall hangings, plant holders, pillows, and more to give your space a boost of texture and boho flair. Or practice your knot-tying techniques so you can craft your own decor.
8. Vintage Rugs
Vintage rugs are a gorgeous way to introduce rich color and pattern to a space. You’ll now find them in every room of the home—even kitchens and bathrooms. Faded colors, worn spots, and fraying edges add to the character.
9. Curved Furniture
Reminiscent of styles common in the 1950s, curvy furniture is back in a big way. These comfy pieces often feature rounded backs, wavy arms, or an overall asymmetrical shape. Since rounded lines naturally feel more calming than sharp angles, this nostalgic design trend works well for bedrooms or living areas designed for relaxing.
10. Art Deco Designs
The high-style glitz of the 1920s still captivates today. Art Deco motifs, including arched shapes, metallic finishes, and fluted detailing, are once again in vogue. Use this vintage design trend to introduce a sense of luxury and sophistication to dining rooms, living areas, and entryways.
10 DESIGN TRENDS THAT ARE DATING YOUR HOME + HOW TO FIX THEM
These 10 nostalgic home trends offer a delightful blend of old and new, allowing you to infuse your space with a sense of history and personality. Whether you choose to incorporate rattan furniture, floral wallpaper, or brass finishes, these design elements are sure to bring warmth and character to your home. Embrace the past while embracing the present, as these trends are here to stay for good.