Retro & Vintage Wallpaper – Design Essentials

retro wallpaper 3 examples

Get the Vintage Look for your home with our collection of retro wallpaper designs

Whether you are looking for retro wallpaper to emphasise your home’s original heritage features, or want to add that retro touch to a modern flat, we have a wide range of beautiful vintage wallpaper inspiration.

‘Retro’ is so much more than swirls and garish colours! Read our guide to achieving a vintage style by choosing the right retro wallpaper for you.

The Atomic Era of Retro Wallpaper

Following a decade of war time austerity, uncertainty and rationing, in 1951, the Festival of Britain was held to boost the nation’s spirits and was a futuristic showcase of what might be possible in a post-war Britain.

Key to achieving this Fifties-flavoured look is getting the colours right. Try some retro wallpaper in a mustard or olive colourway.

A great choice is Meadow, a retro wallpaper design by exciting New York-based illustrator Nancy Wolff Loboloup (one to watch!). With its stylised leaves, ferns and flowers design, it is reminiscient of Lucienne Day’s iconic Calyx design (which was especially created for Festival of Britain).

Retro wallpaper goes Pop!

During the mid fifties and early sixties, there was a Pop Art revolution led by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Pop art had its origins in comic book art and was epitomised by bright colours and flat, recognisable branding and is still a popular choice today.

You can achieve this iconic look by choosing a wallpaper which echoes the ‘Campbell Soup’ look with strong imagery such as Euclid’s Skull. It is available in Soft Sorbet, Ansel, Fresh Mint and the deliciously retro Vintage Mustard. This wallpaper is by edgy designer Becki Hiscocks (a former assistant to Damien Hirst) whose intricate compositions reflect a combined fascination of bizarre medical histories and a wonder of the structure and inner workings of both man and animals.

retro wallpaper example - euclids skull

Space Age Wallpaper – retro-futurism

Kicking off with ‘Beatlemania‘, and ending with the moon landing, the 1960s was an exciting decade. The space race fuelled a fascination with all things celestial, which manifested itself in all aspects of interior design from soft furnishings to furniture and decor.

A fun, yet stylish nod to the space age is given in the Final Frontier retro wallpaper by Paperboy who like to mix traditional themes with a distinctly modern English twist.

retro wallpapers example - space

Retro Wallpaper: Seventies Style

Most often associated with geometric design and a palette of orange, brown and green, 1970s interior design had a strong look.

Key to pulling off this style is to have a good balance of old and new. Try not to introduce too many colours but instead, build up the look with a retro wallpaper, a few vintage items from the era and contemporary accessories such as cushions.

The Eskayel collection features softer versions of the seventies look, such as Akimbo 6 by Brooklyn designer Shanan Campanaro whose hand painted pattern hints at the tie dye designs of the decade.

Retro & Vintage Wallpaper for Children’s rooms

When selecting wallpaper for a child’s bedroom, it always advisable to choose a design which will have long-lasting (and wide) appeal. Crucially, it shouldn’t look like ‘children’s wallpaper’!

We think this robot wallpaper, by creators of extraordinary wallpaper Studio Ditte, really fits the bill. Made from old prints and decorated with small finds, this vintage wallpaper is a blend of the nostalgic and the digital age.

If you like the quirky crisp lines of this Dutch design agency, take a look at other designs in their collection, many of which are perfect for creating a lively & vibrant interior whilst complimenting your grown-up style.

retro wallpaper example - childrens robots

Using colour for the Retro Look

Don’t feel you should limit your vintage style to a particular era. You can easily achieve a yesteryear look by using retro wallpaper in the colours associated with the era, or to complement your favourite vintage pieces.

Remember, you can search our collection of retro wallpaper by colour.

Over fifty years later, there is still a need for ‘feel good’ interiors and quality design. Why not pour yourself a cup of tea (in a cup and saucer of course!), take a seat on a Panton Eames chair and be transported back to a hopeful era with our collection of retro wallpapers.

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