Eames chairs, sunburst mirrors, Chesterfield sofas – all hallmarks of a strong, vintage aesthetic. But one element shouldnâ€™t be overlooked: the power of colour.
From clashing hues to gentler pairings, choosing the right colours to combine and contrast can instantly evoke the style and influence of iconic eras.
Weâ€™ve put together a visual feast of interiors that pulled off some classic combinations to perfection, so read on and get inspired along the way.
Blue and Orange
Weâ€™re starting strong, with a bold – and clashing – pairing. It may not make sense on paper, but when done right, orange and blue can be a winning look at home.
This duo commands attention, and is best pulled off with one serving as the dominant shade, and the other as an accent hue.
For instance, a turquoise sofa against an orange feature wall will effortlessly set the scene in the living room without being too harsh. Or if blue furniture isnâ€™t up your alley, blue-themed accessories would also pair well with an orange wall – extra design points for matching your wallpaper to the decorations!
Teal and Yellow
Moving over to a calmer theme, a combination thatâ€™s glamorous and full of character – teal and yellow. This cool, in-between It colour is especially interesting thanks to its versatility, whether itâ€™s making a punchy statement in vivid emerald tones, or subtly updating a room in a muted, darker iteration.
Bright colours like yellow contrast nicely against the richness of the teal walls, giving both shades an equal amount of star power. Large decor pieces like curtains or even a sofa will add a stylish spark, but you can also opt for gold finishes for a little Mid Century glam – a gold-framed mirror is a chic example that also creates the illusion of a larger space.
Blue and Pink (pastel shades)
From the past to present day, pastels have proved time and time again that theyâ€™re the darlings of the interior design world. While pastels can be styled to a darker, edgier look, soft and dreamy colours are more commonly linked to retro interiors.
Light blue and dusty pink is a stylish combination to take note of – they both work great as feature walls as well as in smaller accessories. Get creative with pastel furniture, or keep an eye out for decor such as vases, lamps and pillows, or pair pink with marble for a gorgeous statement wall.
Pink and Green
An all-time great colour combination, the contrast of pink and green still feels as fresh today as it did in the 70s. With a huge variety of shades to play with in both (think magenta paired with forest green, or blush pink and emerald), this is a look that can be dressed up or down.
And of course not forgetting natural greenery here: set against the brightness of pink, having an indoor plant or three can have a deeply calming effect. Bonus points for plants that have a strong visual impact, such as large palms, or succulents.
Black and White
We have a confession: we know that neither black nor white are technically colours, but we still wanted to include this monochrome pairing in the list, because they do a tremendous and striking job at evoking vintage glamour.
Black and white checkerboard tiles are a classic look, immediately injecting vintage Parisian chic into the home, and pairing beautifully with cream tones. Or you could take a leaf from the 1975 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book (the image on the right!) and use black and white in strong graphic prints, paired with the warmth of wood for retro style that would easily work in a modern living room.
Do any of these colour combinations strike your fancy? Any we missed out? Let us know in the comments!