Get the look: Retro

‘Retro’ can cover any number of different looks - really, it just refers to an aesthetic that has been popular in the past - but the word usually conjures up vivid images of one particular era: the 1970s.


Sometimes referred to as ‘the decade that taste forgot’, the 1970s exploded with a clash of colours and patterns, mixing geometrics, blousy flowers, shaggy textures and psychedelia. In stark contrast to the sleek visual vocabulary of mid-century modern design, the expressive, unlimited aesthetic of the seventies gave great scope for creativity and individuality, and something of that rebellious spirit has endured in interior design to this day.


Avocado green, xanthic yellow, chartreuse, burnt orange and chocolate brown are all colours that are synonymous with retro style, each with their own part to play in modern interior schemes. Balance is important, so as not to overwhelm, but these are shades that you can really have some fun with.



With the appetite for pattern at an all-time high, wallpaper became hugely popular in the seventies. Recreating that bold, fearless look can require a little bravery, but with some of our fantastic heritage brands offering wallcoverings and fabrics that embrace 1970s style with a timeless twist, it’s never been easier to choose an out-there design.


Osborne & Little’s Chrysler and Coltrane fabrics offer an opportunity to inject some seventies style into your home, perfect for cushions and upholstery, while Clarke & Clarke’s geometric Galileo design comes in multiple colours that are hard to resist. Another fabric that will give an instant seventies vibe is corduroy, which you can find in our Ralph Lauren Signature West Village collection.


When it comes to your walls, there’s no end of possibilities – an angular pattern like Borastapeter Trapez or Nina Campbell's Kelburn, a hexagonal motif like Hicks' Hexagon by Cole & Son, or the dreamy colour scheme of Mind The Gap’s leafy Jardin Del Sol, for instance.



'If you’re open to something a little more daring, why not choose a flooring design for your walls? Osborne & Little’s Parquet design is the perfect choice.'

Jane Clayton Style Team

Curating and balancing a seventies interior can be tricky, but it’s such a fun and freeing scheme to work with. Incorporate shag pile rugs for texture, choose vintage furniture and accessorise with risqué prints to really maximise the impact of your look, or stick to a few key 1970s elements while keeping the rest neutral – it really is up to you.

Shop the look: Retro

Discover our edit of retro fabric and wallpaper designs.
Linear Stem Fabric by Ashley Wilde Cool Grey
Linear Stem
Per metre
Rose Bud Fabric by Ashley Wilde Powder Blue
Rose Bud
Per metre
Scribble Fabric by Ashley Wilde Olive
Per metre
Bark Texture Fabric by Ashley Wilde Orange
Bark Texture
Per metre
Jacquard Stem Fabric by Ashley Wilde Dandelion
Jacquard Stem
Per metre
Chrysler Fabric by Osborne & Little Burnt Orange/Multi
Per metre
Coltrane Fabric by Osborne & Little 2
Per metre
Retro Ads Wallpaper by Mind The Gap Multi
Retro Ads
Per set of 3 rolls
Jardin Del Sol Wallpaper by Mind The Gap Green
Jardin Del Sol
Per set of 3 rolls
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