Is it possible to achieve "modern retro" design on a budget?

Looking to make a statement in your home? Opting for a more conscious design theme can be a great way to develop a real sense of aesthetic identity. With the revival of retro design in recent years, a modern take on classic ideas is becoming a great way to enhance and improve your property. Take a look through any design magazine, though, and you’ll see rooms which have been lavished with thousands of pounds worth of designer materials. Surely you don’t need to spend so much to achieve a little retro appeal? You don’t - here’s what you can do to get a ‘70s vibe on a budget.

The Three Main Ingredients

There are three central concepts to retro design; colour, texture and space. If you understand how to use all of these effectively, you’ll be able to put together a design aesthetic that transports you straight back to the ‘70s. It doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money, either; it’s more about the decisions you make and the context you create than the exact ingredients you put in.

Choosing The Right Colours

The 1960s and 70s were a time of experimentation, and interior design was no exception. As a reaction to the beige and drab colours of postwar Britain, colours were used in a dazzling variety of combinations. It’s important to note here that you don’t need bright colours to create a retro vibe; it’s more about choosing strong colours. Combine dark reds and mustard yellows, brown leather and dark greens, or pale pink and royal blue - this will provide a sense of bold aesthetic choices. Remember to consider the colour of every ingredient in a room; sofas, curtains, carpets and cushions can all contribute.

Add Some Texture

Contrast is about more than just colour, and texture plays a huge part in interior design. Again, choose materials and textures that offset one another. Think outside the box; using concrete and tiles to create striking juxtapositions in any room, while soft furnishings can make use of velvet to really enhance a colour.

Making Use Of Space

Colour and texture create an amazing atmosphere when used correctly. However, it’s essential to provide room for the design to “breathe” - if everything is crammed in together, then the room will feel jumbled and chaotic rather than cool and retro. This is perhaps the trickiest part to get right, and it takes restraint to achieve. The best way to do so is to focus on one single point to start with; take a single wall in your living room, and work backwards from that. Perhaps you’ll paint it a muted blue, and hang a retro-style mirror on it. Great - now, what works with that? Maybe you’ve found a great beige-and-brown sofa throw that works with it, and you tracked down a cool odd-shaped coffee table at a car boot sale last weekend. Working back from one great idea means you never lose focus, and you’re less tempted to throw too many ideas into the pot.