Design classics surrounding a contemporary sofa, giving the panache of the 1950s a new lease of life: triumphantly retro, everything by Fritz Hansen.

Retro look

Haven't we met before? Suddenly old is back in fashion.

Bucket seats, neon colours, jazzy patterns, upholstered furniture with that nostalgic factor: designers are currently bringing vivacious imitations from the 1950s to 1970s into the mix. Amidst all the fast pace of life today, this awakens feelings of familiarity and reassurance: it's familiar to us, we were part of it! Not always, but increasingly this is the case.

What began a few years ago with the rediscovery of the "lava lamp" has now found its way into many sectors. It's not only junk shops and auctioneers who are benefiting from the wave of nostalgia. Countless online traders and interior designers are too. Those things that were previously considered "modern antiques" are now referred to as "retro" or, somewhat more sophisticatedly in the English-speaking world, also as "mid-century modern". The organic shapes, graphic patterns and often delicately-built frames convey something of that rediscovered lightness of the early post-war period and the modern, abstract styles of art. Hello "swinging sixties".

The result is a complete mix of styles

Brown, green, orange.... It's essentially a complete mixture. The retro look is seldom celebrated in its pure unadulterated form, rather it is blended with other influences. Some call this mix of styles eclectic. This is the name that one of the most successful creative minds of today also gives to her particular style: Patricia Urquiola, the vivacious designer who, together with Axor, has designed a multifaceted, feminine bathroom for the Axor Urquiola collection.

It's not just interior designers who are going on the retro trip, other industries are also rediscovering tried-and-tested forms: some examples of these are cars that are reinterpretations of their classic predecessors, or internet radios that look like the old portable radios. Even the rediscovery of horn-rimmed glasses and jazzy wallpaper are part of the retro trend. There are many examples of manufacturers giving new life to classic designs, in the simplest cases by using new and unusual colours. Some of the past masters have suddenly been given fresh youth and vigour: old is new.

The internet doesn't forget

The internet, with its countless blogs on specific topics of interest, provides a whole host of further examples and rediscoveries. Take a look at these, for example:

Retro is the trend

  • Orange upholstered bucket seat: a perfect illustration of the retro trend.
  • Internet radio in the guise of an old portable radio from the fifties.
  • Floor lamp in the objective, minimalist Bauhaus design, new from Lumini.
  • Jazzy décor on the wallpaper, graphic decoration in large format.
  • Small chest of drawers, its front in two neon colours, yellow and green.
  • Bathroom furniture with wooden veneer, counter top wash bowl from Infrared, combined with Axor Citterio mixer.
  • Cordless phone in the 1960s look, when phones still had cradles and dials.
  • Wash bowl and bath tub from the Axor Urquiola bathroom collection.
  • New wallpaper with large floral decorations invoke memories of the wall designs of the past.
  • Balloon-shaped glass pendant lights, inspired by Asian lanterns. © foscarini

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