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Modern retro: How to give your home a Scandi-style makeover in 2021

By LLM Reporters  |  April 6, 2021

After months of being told to stay at home, you could be forgiven if staring at those same four walls is starting to feel tiresome – no matter how luxurious your abode happens to be. With this in mind, there has never been a better time to breathe some new life into your home with a makeover – even if that means taking a trip back to yesteryear.

Retro is a trend that never quite goes away, reminiscent of the swinging 60s and the vibrant 70s and adding a funky, fresh feel to just about anything. So, if you’ve been finding yourself dreaming of better days and want to inject a little fun into your home without compromising on style, then a luxury retro makeover could be just what is needed.

The Nordic design scene has been dominating our interiors over the past decade, leading the way when it comes to some of the biggest and best home trends we’ve seen. These days, it’s taking inspiration from some of our favourite decades to bring us a combination we never quite imagined we’d see. The Scandi take on 70s retro offers a modern twist to the tried and tested, juxtaposing retro trinkets and accessories with wooden furniture, hanging planters and sophisticated ceramics for a cool and contemporary feel.

Here are some of our favourite ways to ramp up the nostalgia factor to create an interior aesthetic that you’ll love, with a distinctly modern twist – and as lockdown eases, no doubt, your guests will love it, too.

Create a blank canvas

scandi living room
Minimalism is key when it comes to a Scandi style

With all of those bold colours, you’ll want to avoid overkill – and while the patterned wallpapers of the 60s and 70s were a vibe at the time, today’s Scandi retro trend keeps things more simple, featuring plain, neutral-toned or white walls and carpets that allow the accessories to do the talking. Scandi design is known for its minimalism, and this trend is no different – so opt for a blank canvas that will allow you to add personality and fun through the little touches.

Have fun with furnishings

living room
Add personality within pops of colour

Keep furniture simple, and accessorise with bold prints to continue the retro feel throughout your home. In the living room, try pairing a retro sideboard with a more modern TV cabinet and add cushions with geometric prints to a plain-coloured sofa. A 70s print chair can make for a great feature piece – but avoid going for a patterned suite, which will overwhelm and detract from the room’s minimalistic look and feel. Velvets and tactile fabrics in an array of bright colours will add fun to your furnishings without going overboard.

Turn back time

record player
This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your vintage vinyl collection

No matter how much of a contemporary twist you put on retro, some things will always have a place, and a turntable, complete with a vintage vinyl collection, is essential. Not only that, but it’s a great excuse to dig out some of your favourite tunes from times gone by, too – make it a focal point in the living room and arrange your collection around it on minimalist block shelves for a contemporary take on this unashamedly retro feature.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

retro living room
Decorate with different colours and textures for a more retro vibe

A key Scandi trend for the retro era was glazed ceramics and coasters, and these simple yet bold accessories will make a significant impact on your aesthetic with minimal fuss; a simple way to decorate your home. Group glazed ceramic pots together in different sizes and fill with different types of foliage to nail a modern twist on the look, and strategically place block-coloured coasters on your coffee table – think mustard yellows, deep purples and dusty blues.

Handmade macramé hanging planters are having a moment and are a great way to give your window spaces an instant update. Plant yours with ivy, ferns or even succulents and suspend them in a place where sunlight is plentiful. They’re a great way to add some life to bare wall spaces, too.

The bottom line

It couldn’t be easier to bring the retro Scandi trend into your home, and if you already have a simple and modern set-up, then all you’ll need is a few accessories and accent pieces to liven things up. This modern take on nostalgia is a top trend for homes in 2021, and with the end of lockdown on the horizon, there’s no better time to start updating your living room in time for the return of guests.