Introduction to Mid Century and Retro StylesHome décor styles can be categorized into a variety of themes, each with its own unique characteristics and elements. Two popular styles that seem to be making a comeback in recent years are mid century and retro. Both styles originated during the middle of the 20th century and are still relevant in today’s homes. It’s essential to understand the differences between these two styles before incorporating them into your home décor. In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics and aesthetics of mid century and retro styles and the key differences that set them apart.
Mid Century Style Characteristics and ElementsThe mid-century style emerged after World War II, between the years 1940-1970. The design focused on simplicity, sleekness, clean lines, and functionality. It was a time when the economic boom in the United States allowed for the development of new materials, such as fiberglass, that could be molded into mid-century furniture pieces. Characteristics and elements of the mid-century style include:
- Organic shapes
- Sleek lines
- Uncluttered spaces
- Bright, bold, and contrasting hues
- Minimalist decoration
- Use of natural materials such as wood
- Geometric patterns
Retro Aesthetics and InfluencesRetro style, on the other hand, is more of an aesthetic that reflects the spirit and style of mid-century design. The term retro can refer to clothing, music, and even architecture; it refers to styles that borrow elements from past decades. The retro style draws heavily from the mid-century design but encompasses a much broader range of years, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Some of the characteristics and elements of retro design include:
- Bold, vibrant colors
- Floral and geometric patterns
- Mixing of textures and materials such as chrome, vinyl, and plastic
- Pop art and graphic design influences
- Exaggerated forms and proportions
- Futuristic and space-age design elements
- Nostalgic or sentimental elements from past popular culture
Key Differences between Mid Century and Retro StylesWhile mid-century and retro both draw influences from the same era, there are significant differences between the two styles. Some of the essential differences include:
- Mid-century focuses on functionality and minimalism, whereas retro emphasizes boldness and playfulness.
- Mid-century design is more refined and understated, while retro features more exaggerated and whimsical elements.
- Mid-century color palettes are typically more neutral, with pops of bright and contrasting hues, while retro features bold, eye-catching colors.
- Mid-century furniture is often made from natural materials like wood, while retro furniture often features materials like chrome, vinyl, and plastic.
- Mid-century décor features a lot of geometric shapes, while retro features floral patterns and other softer, more organic shapes.