Retro trends are making a comeback

We were having a discussion yesterday about how everything old is new again. Neon brights are everywhere (it’s hard not to miss them) and retro styling have reached back into the past to present us with low slung furniture and hippie inspired prints. There is very little that hasn’t presented itself as a rerun from the past and for those of us who grew up in the 70s it is sometimes hard to embrace these ‘new’ trends.

When I was little we lived in a wonderful three-storey brick home (which inspired my love for old homes) and my mom gutted the entire thing and made it her own when we moved in. We endured months of hanging plastic, breathtaking paint fumes and sawdust in our sock drawers – you have to love renovations. The kitchen had a small bathroom attached to it which my mom removed and created a niche for her stove and fridge, it had a really fun arched ceiling and was covered with a product called Z-brick. Z-brick was a fun, sliced brick product which made interior spaces look like they were actual structural brick walls.

Now, 40–ish years later we are embracing the city loft style and interior brick walls are a must have. If you have an interesting cantilever, niche or two-storey stairwell this could be the perfect place for a faux brick look. The loft visual can be achieved with actual brick, brick veneer, wallpaper, paint or murals. Our store did a booth at the recent Red Deer Home show using a mural which represented a crumbling brick wall. The visual was very cool and helped us pull off our loft booth. The wallpaper or mural treatment is a wonderful solution for those of you who may like the look but don’t want the maintenance of true brick. One drawback of brick is that in an interior application it is difficult to wash and keep clean but if you truly love the look you will be willing to overlook that flaw.

Another retro comeback is wood panelling – I know! Some of you are cringing remembering basements past or possibly you still have panelling in your home. The good news is that it is making a comeback; the bad news is it has changed to a more rustic, hand sawn look. Some designers are using laminate or floating floors to feature walls and reclaimed boards and barn wood are a wonderful feature for anyone looking to recreate the warehouse space. Check out the Restoration Hardwood web site to get a sense of what this style is all about. Chunky metal hardware meets restored or pale streaked wood, it is a glorious style and I can’t wait to see more.

While I don’t suggest you bring out the bell bottoms and Grateful Dead t-shirts just yet, keep an eye on the blast from the past trends. These retro new spaces are yours to discover. Even though we live in a region without many old spaces to restore, you can still achieve that loft/warehouse space look in your own home with a brick wall or two and possibly some wood panelling.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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