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24 Jun 2017Last updated
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Design Insights

Smart ways to get the quirky retro look in your home

Discover modern twists on cool vintage patterns in fabrics and wallpapers

Sharon Parsons
Added 16:39 | March 13, 2017
  • Noukkou wallpaper from Dh200 per roll Fabrics from Dh120 per metre, both Scion.

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  • Puzzle wallpaper from Cole & Son, Dh475 per roll.

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  • Esther from Reflections Collection by Eco D-tales, Dh320 per roll.

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  • Artisan Collection from Vanessa Arbuthnott, Dh475 per roll.

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  • Little Trees and Dandelion Mobile fabrics from Miss Print, from Dh298 per metre.

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  • Laterza zinc wallpaper Designers Guild, Dh478 per roll available from Maison d’Art.

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  • Esther from the Reflections Collection Eco, available from D-tales, from Dh320 per roll.

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  • Hayon Borastapeter, available from D-tales, Dh265 per roll.

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  • Up the Garden Path Wallpaper from Vanessa Arbuthnott, Dh248 per roll.

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  • Folio Collection from Harlequin, from Dh200 per metre and Dh200 metre per roll.

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  • Cushions in Ditto and Tree prints Dh298 per metre, Nectar wallpaper Dh297 per roll, both Miss Print.

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  • Acorn Sprout wallpaper from Orla Kiely at Harlequin, Dh228 per roll.

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Whether you want to embrace Mad Men chic, or just hint at a retro influence, here’s how to get it right for today’s interiors…

Tone it down. The original emergence of what we now term ‘retro’ design was based on bold, bright colour and pattern, but contemporary versions are altogether softer, and easier to combine with existing furnishings, so look for designs that hint rather than shout. Alternatively, if you especially love a bright, busy pattern, just use it on one wall.

Mix and match. Some of the best modern collections bring together a broad variety of patterns that work effortlessly because they’re united by a curated palette: pale grey and warm yellow; deep blue and tangerine; pale aqua and sharp green are all winning combinations – as shown here – and the varied designs keep the overall scheme interesting.

Choose retro lines. Mid-century furniture, whether original or reproduction, is slick, simple and stylish, and even one or two pieces – from a classic sideboard to low easy chairs, combined with retro-style lighting and accessories – will easily bring the look to life.

Sharon Parsons

Sharon Parsons