Don’t be too quick to toss the retro look

If you are a follower on any social media site, you have probably noticed the trends which come and go and how fast things can change. Lately my feed has been full of retro items bringing up wonderful memories from my past. I can’t remember having so many suggestions for long forgotten recipes, knitting patterns, adult colouring books and long forgotten design styles.

Travel to the new areas of Red Deer and take note of the roof vaults and horizontal window styles being installed. They call this a more contemporary design but it is actually a retro, Andrew Lloyd Wright inspired look that has been dormant since the early 70s.

The exciting thing for those of you who never throw anything away is that you may be on the precipice of a style revolution which will allow you to use some of your treasures!

I was at a house showing with a client over the weekend; I went with this lovely couple to several homes ranging from a brand new build to a trapped in time house.

When we entered this home we actually started giggling at the design style that was perfectly preserved, I can’t remember the last time I saw shag carpet in a bathroom!

Then an amazing thing happened, the house caught their imagination and they started to use phrases like ‘we could change this or paint that’, ‘this feels like a real family home.’

It actually went from silly to charming in just a few minutes and it was easy to see that the house had many aspects which appealed to this family.

One bathroom had the original mosaic tiles around the tub which were absolutely perfect, not a chip or discoloured grout joint in sight and of all of the things they loved that was a major element.

It became more of a discussion about how fun that bathroom would be to decorate as a whimsical space for their children, keeping the retro tile and fixtures.

In our frantic attempt to keep up with our neighbours or to be ‘in style’, we often overlook or discard items from the past which are valuable or just plain charming.

I am all for spaces being updated and functional but I think that style is gaining a retro edge and we just be able to cash in on some of these aging homes in some of the coolest neighbourhoods including Sunnybrook, Mountview and Waskasoo.

Some of these homes have been lived in for decades without a single upgraded design element and the stories and styles they hold are priceless. You can’t even imagine how exciting it is for me to open the doors and cross the thresholds of some of these homes!

Think of some of these properties as the devilled eggs of real estate.

A forgotten appetizer that when revised and updated with a hit of chipotle or curry can be a new delight with a retro twist – and it’s absolutely delicious!

There is something very comforting about a charming archetypal home in a well-established neighbourhood. You will be the proud owner of a functional and well-constructed classic that will be the envy of your friends and family; don’t forget to serve fondue at your house warming party.

Kim Wyse is a freelance local designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer’.

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