I found this color pallet the other day (shown on bottom left), and it got me thinking about retro designs, and how they differ from “mid-century modern.” I’m always saying how much I love retro interiors, but when looking at a traditional retro interior, it’s safe to say that I’m actually not a fan at all. They definitely weren’t afraid of color at the time (don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of color!) but in my opinion, there has to be a balance between the colors and the neutrals, and plenty of different materials. The picture with the lime green walls, deep green chairs, and orange and brown mixed in… definitely visually interesting, but not for me. Quite frankly, this looks like my grandma’s house. Bulky furniture, nothing really fits together, and the consistently dark colors/dark woods combined (and the horrid and unforgettable wood floor-to-ceiling paneled walls) makes the space look a bit suffocating. But the color combinations shown in that pallet, placed with glass, stainless steel, and neutral tones (not to mention the retro art) and some retro-inspired furniture can look really fantastic. There are so many storage consoles (like the pieces by Atomic Living) that show off the typical retro designs, with the orange lacquer doors and the tapered legs. Or the curved edges shown in the Arne Jacobsen pieces definitely have a retro look, but they’re just so timeless.
So… “mid-century modern” it is.