Take your Living Room Back to the 50s
When you slip on your favourite vintage dress, set your hair and slick on that lipstick, how do you feel? If you’re anything like me, you feel sexy, stylish and sophisticated. Well – there’s no reason why your living room shouldn’t feel that way too!
In our guide to creating a 1950s inspired living room, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to turn your décor from bleak to chic and surround yourself with the look that you love.
How to get the 1950s Look
Modern homes can often feel characterless, but adding traditional features like Victorian fireplaces or cornicing simply looks out of place. However, the clean corners and boxy shapes of the modern home are ideal for creating a 50s feel.
If you’ve got an older home, you can still achieve a retro feel by cleverly mixing your period features with some more modern wallpaper, colours and pieces of furniture.
Walls, Doors and Windows
You can make subtle changes to your living room by looking out for vintage ornaments, paintings and soft furnishings, but if you’re planning on decorating then one sure fire way to give your room that retro feel is by adding some bold wallpaper.
There are lots of options available, from super expensive bespoke designs, to amazing prints that you can pick up relatively cheaply in a DIY store. Although in the 50s it’s likely that a whole room would be adorned with wallpaper, it’s usually more effective to choose one accent wall. If you’re planning on doing this you can bag a bargain by looking for end of line deals, as you’ll only need a few rolls to complete the job.
For a really authentic feel, try swapping your door for an original 1950s one. There are lots available online and in reclamation yards, but buying one in good condition can be expensive. Alternatively give your existing door a bright 50’s feel by painting it. Choose one of the colours from your scheme and your door will tie in perfectly with the rest of the room.
When it comes to window dressings, you can be as bold as you like. You’ll find 50s inspired curtains and blinds on the high street, but if you really want to go to town why not find some amazing vintage fabric and have it made into fabulous curtains or blinds. If you’ve got any fabric left over you can also create throw cushions, table cloths and other soft furnishings.
There’s lots of retro style furniture out there, but you can give your existing furniture a lift by having it reupholstered – a much cheaper alternative than buying replacements. In the 1950s seating like sofas and armchairs was a lot more formal and probably a lot less comfortable that what we’re used to today, but covering your existing furniture will give it an instant face lift and achieve a retro look without compromising on comfort.
A block colour armchair teamed with a sectional sofa covered in clashing fabrics creates a truly sophisticated feel. No 1950s room would be complete without a coffee table, but plain old wood can be a little dull. You could choose a table in a classic 50s material like Formica, or even cover the top of your table with 1950s inspired tiles.
Your finishing touches are where you can really go to town and decide whether you’re going to give a subtle nod to the 1950s or go full on retro.
A display cabinet is classic 50s so trawl the antiques markets and the internet for one that can take pride of place in your living room. It’s ideal for showing off your collection of retro trinkets.
Pictures really make a room so think carefully about the ones you choose. Movie posters look fantastic framed so look for one that ties in with your colour scheme. If you like your home to reflect your sense of humour, then why not opt for a classic 50s image like the classic Green Lady. An original print can set you back a few hundred pounds but you can get a new print for under £30.
Other ornaments you could invest in include coloured glass, such as the famous Ruby Glass created by Whitefriars. Or you could find a vintage coffee set, plates or figurines to display. Try cute cats, pretty princesses or even famous characters of the day to add a touch of kitsch to your room.
The great thing about ornaments and soft furnishings is that once you’ve decorated, to give your room a different feel you simply have to change your finishing touches. So every time you spot that trinket that you just can’t live without you’ll be able to proudly display it and ensure that your home reflects your personality just as much as your style of dress.
By Guest Blogger: E. Pierce of andalemono.com