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How to Pull Off a Retro Interior Home Design in Your Tiny Home

More people today seem to be into retro interior home-design styles. It seems that the common home furnishings and decor elements from the 1970s through the 1990s are popular retro eras many wish to draw from in these more modern times. Using this decorating style in tiny homes can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s certainly not impossible. Look for smaller kitchen appliances and scaled-down furniture in your favorite retro time period.

The 70s

According to Flooring America, interior design in the 1970s emphasized neutral colors. Think soft, dove-gray, tufted-cushioned reading chairs set off with a small vintage end table of natural wood and lime-green accent pillows. This seating is perfect for under an attic eave next to a window or beneath a skylight. Hang wallpaper or paint the walls a lighter tan or beige hue. Consider utilizing a complementary-hued terrazzo flooring that was popular in that era. Other decor ideas include shag carpeting and disco-ball lighting. Experience hippie culture with a psychedelic wall-art poster, bohemian-styled potted-plant hangers and a groovy lava lamp that glows neon colors and gives the space a cool vibe. When adding your retro pieces, remember that balance is key in tiny spaces.

The 80s

Many children from the 1980s remember this time period’s distinctive nod to then-current pop culture with big fashion statements, hairstyles and almost garish jewelry. As RetroPlanet points out, this decade saw brighter and more vibrant explosions of colors that were often pastels or muted shades like seafoam green or mauve. This decade also gave us ultra-lavish fabrics and over-the-top design themes. Those with money definitely flaunted it. Think about the celebrities of those years and their bigger-than-life mansions and lifestyles. In a smaller home or apartment, this decade’s in-your-face style expectations could end up looking cluttered if the designer is not careful.

The 90s

Many adore the less-expansive design traits of the 1990s and are often drawn to the more elegant home furnishings sometimes combined with just a bit of back-to-nature design items. Sun rooms became popular, and breezy nature hues reigned. Wicker furniture along with darker color tones, like forest-green and jeweled hues, were all the rage. Consider a scaled-down, handcrafted canopy bed and fine wooden kitchen cabinetry to capture the 1990s essence.


For success when decorating tiny spaces, keep bold color accents small. Coordinate brighter hues with more neutral shades to keep everything in perfect balance. Many top designers now blend retro design characteristics with modern contemporary styles, and you can follow their lead in your tiny house.


If you enjoyed this article, check out this one to learn how to fit a desk into your tiny home!

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