Retro styles are on-trend for 2022, and we’ve put together a guide to make the most of these classic design ideas. From Americana-inspired wall art, to vintage-themed color schemes, there are tons of ways to incorporate style from the past. Take a hint from tried-and-true design trends with our expert selection of décor ideas. Our interior designers have highlighter the top retro décor that is making a comeback this coming year. Turn your home into a blast from the past, while still maintaining a contemporary vibe. These are definitively the best retro wall ideas moving from 2021 to 2022. Let’s get started!
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Intro to Retro Wall Art
Retro wall art can be defined as any vintage-inspired piece, but styles from the 1950s-1970s are particularly popular. Mid-century retro artwork is trendy and eye-catching, which makes it the perfect statement piece for your space. Don’t shy away from bright colors and lively patterns. As long as you avoid clutter and chaos, you have the freedom to experiment with bold décor.
70s Retro Wall Art
The 70s are back in style in a big way. Preview our article on this iconic decade and learn how to add a splash of the movin’ groovin’ 70s to your living space:
“There was nothing subtle about the 70s. From Studio 54 to David Bowie, this iconic decade was all about being loud and proud. For an authentic color palette, combine both warm and cool shades. A typical 70s color scheme included orange, yellow, and teal.”
Vintage Road Trip Posters
Plan your next getaway from home! If you’re an adventurous free spirit, we have the perfect retro wall décor for frequent travelers. Our “Americana Road Trip” collection is inspired by retro road trips across the USA. Curated by our art director, Tirzah Goodman, these posters are reminiscent of the past while inspiring your plans for the future.
Trending Retro Artwork
The aesthetic of the 1960s and 1970s was heavily influenced by political dialogue and progressive movements. Just as it was trendy to voice your opinion back then, speaking your truth is even more encouraged today! Opt for a few pieces of décor that exemplify your stance on social issues. Put a positive spin on politics with eye-catching wall art! Your home should represent you. From your living room to your bedroom, choose décor that speaks to your unique vision. Add a retro twist by picking a piece of wall décor that has a modern message in a vintage font. Our art director has highlighted typography as one of the top trends for 2022, and a retro look will ensure your space stays classic and doesn’t go out of style!
Modernizing Retro Art
There are several ways to mix retro décor with a modern interior. In fact, the birth of modernism came in the Mid-century. Much of the contemporary décor we see today was heavily influenced by the 1960s-1980s. One way to make your space look modern without taking away from the retro charm is to use a monochromatic color palette. However, that doesn’t mean stick to neutrals! Explore 80s hues like dusty rose and mauve, along with scarlet and rose pink. Hang a piece of wall art with your chosen trendy tones, and accessorize with wood and metal so as not to compete with your single-tone space.
PS Shop our LGBT+ pride collection!
Retro Bathroom Wall Art
If you’re trying to make the most of a compact space, retro décor is ideal for brightening up small areas. For a timeless look, go with a black and white print to fill empty space. Wall art is a great way to accessorize without taking up space. Keep your bathroom clean, chic, and sleek with framed artwork that hints at the past.
ElephantStock's interior design expert Elimar Lobo Sáenz shares her tips for adding vintage décor to your bathroom:
“Marble and travertine are two traditional materials that have made a massive comeback in recent years. Add antique accessories and scalloped details for a truly vintage-inspired look. Consider a vanity or credenza made of burlwood to add a splash of classic character. Don’t forget the impact antique light fixtures can have on your bathroom. Edwardian holophane lights are super popular for 2022.”
Teal Wall Art Ideas
As we mentioned in the 70s blurb, teal is the perfect classic-meets-contemporary color. This color bridges the past and the present. Popping up all over 2022 color trends, teal is a shade that will look modern while still working with a Mid-century theme. Somewhere in-between blue and green, this color works with any season – which makes it ultra-versatile!
Our resident décor pro Elimar Lobo Sáenz expands on the teal trend for the upcoming year:
“Classic blue may have been the top pick for 2021, but the shade of blue is changing slightly for 2022 trends. While traditional blue will stay relevant, Benjamin Moore has predicted that the shade Aegean Teal will take over the next year of décor. Aegean Teal is a stunning, dusty mixture of blue and green with gray undertones.”
Retro Artwork: Size Guide
Choose the best size of retro artwork for your unique space. Spatial awareness is essential when incorporating retro décor, which is why we created this handy wall art size guide so you can ensure a well-proportioned, balanced interior:
“Your canvas should take up approximately 60% to 75% of the empty wall area. The first step is to measure the height and width of the wall. Next, multiply the measurements by both 0.6 and 0.75. You’ll end up with the perfect range of canvas print sizes to suit your space.
Take this example for reference: If your wall is 9 feet tall and 5 feet wide, multiply 9 by 0.6 to get the low end of the height range. After that, multiply 9 by 0.75 to get the high end of the height range. Do the same for your wall's width. The ideal height of your wall art would be 5.4 feet - 6.75 feet and the ideal width would be 3 feet - 3.75 feet.”
Vintage Wall Prints: Shapes & Layouts
Vintage-style wall art comes in a variety of striking shapes. Choose the best layout for your retro vision. Follow this breakdown of our single and multi-panel canvases, and select the shape that most closely matches your décor:
Classic and Classy: 1-Piece Classic Canvas
Add a Trendy Touch: 2-Piece Split Canvas
Balance Modernism with Tradition: 3 to 5-Piece Multi-Panel Canvas
Retro and Quirky: 7-Piece Hexagonal Canvas
More Classic Décor Topics
If you’re enamored with classic décor, a retro interior is the way to go. Beyond this guide to retro wall art, we have additional vintage-inspired articles on our design blog. For trendy vintage patterns, check out our blog post on vibrant vintage florals. Another feminine décor idea is utilizing our botanical vintage décor ideas. No matter what kind of retro interior you choose to create, you can’t go wrong with classic. Plus, having a retro callback in your residence is an excellent conversation piece for guests!