Look through most any well-respected home décor magazine and you will probably notice several pieces of retro décor. The reason for this is simple: it works! Using too much of any one style can create a boring or cold space, but using a mix of decorative styles from different eras can create an interesting and inviting environment.
Honestly, it is no secret that mixing in some retro style can bring a room to life; and, for this reason, if you take a trip downtown, you will find no shortage of stores willing to sell you all kinds of wonderful retro accouterments… for a pretty penny, that is. Fortunately, if you think just a little bit outside of the box, you can get a cool retro vibe without having to kiss your whole paycheck goodbye.
Do you really need the genuine article?
While there is nothing wrong with wanting an original Victrola record player from the ’50s, it is worth bearing in mind that you can achieve the same effect without having to cringe when you look at your credit card bill. Modern takes on retro items look the same (that is the whole point) and cost far less. The great thing about getting items like these is that there is a well-established market for them, so you will be able to find great deals without much effort. You can use specialty stores – for instance, a vinyl store if you are looking for records or record players; or, you could get hand-made items on a site like Etsy. If you are slightly more adventurous, one of the best ways to get a big retro bang for your buck is to look for items that are used. You can occasionally find genuine originals on sites like Facebook Marketplace and eBay, and you are all but guaranteed to find modern takes on retro styles. No matter where you look, there are a few go-to items that are always a safe bet. Vintage table lamps, record players, classic artwork, and retro furniture are all easy to incorporate in almost any room.
If you just have to have the real deal…
If you are dead set on only using genuine retro items, there are still affordable ways to get them, but you will have to get your hands dirty. That is because your best bet is going to be looking through thrift stores and flea markets. Many antique dealers do much the same thing. By combing through the flea market yourself, you can save a lot of money by cutting out the middleman. The difference between you and an expert, however, is that they know exactly what to look for. So be careful: it is very hard to know what is real. A good rule to follow is to never pay more for something than you would if you knew it was fake.
Are you handy? Do it yourself!
This option is certainly not for everybody, but if you are up for a project, the rewards can be well worth it. Aside from the satisfaction of having made your own piece, creating your own custom décor is a fantastic way to express yourself and get those creative juices flowing. If you look around for ideas online, you are bound to find something that sparks your interest. My personal favorite is to make art out of old board games.
This project checks all the boxes. It is inexpensive: you can buy used board games for next to nothing. It is easy: all you need are board games, an X-acto knife, some glue, and an eye for retro style. It works as a conversation piece that allows you to express yourself and exercise your creativity. And, most importantly, it will go a long way to livening-up your living space.
Retro décor can be a fun and inexpensive way to make your living space more fun, interesting, and inviting. It can also be an expensive headache if you are not careful. You can get great deals on modern interpretations of retro items, you can dig around in flea markets, or you can make your own cool conversation piece. Do what works for you, have fun, and keep that money in your pocket where it belongs.