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What is Retro Furniture?

Before we try to understand what exactly "Retro Furniture' is, we need to take a much closer look at the actual meaning of the word 'Retro'. Retro is actually short for retrospect. Generally speaking 'retrospect' has the meaning of 'looking back at past times, especially with reflection and present knowledge.'

Therefore retro style furniture is furniture that belongs to the past, whether it be of vintage style of the times or the style of modernism - Where designers created furniture styles associated with how they saw the future. For want of a better term I will use "Retro Modernist Furniture" and it is this style which seems to be the most interesting and collectible. To many, to 'go retro' means to go back to the past and experience how people back then thought the future would look like.

Why does Industasia feature Retro Furniture?

Although not strictly of the industrial genre but it certainly has it's similarities and does look extremely good in an industrial styled room. Further, the original notion of retro decor was born from that era of initiial industrialisation and is indeed a very manufactured product rather than being hand crafted.

Looking back

The key decades for this style was from around the 1910's to the 1980's, with the most notable being the 20's, 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. All being industrious times in one way or another.

The first "Retro Modernist Furniture" was born in 1910, more than 100 years ago! Josef Hoffmann designed the 'Kubus sofa' which at the time was 'out of this world', with the design being based of 'Cubism'. This sofa was totally modern having a striking design with no frills or patterns. The 20's saw many new developments, such as the 'Le Corbusier LC4 Daybed' and 'LC2 Sofa'.

From the 1950's onwards the modern style really took hold and was seen everywhere and was available to the masses at affordable prices. Sleek furniture was placed with boldly patterned wallpapers and fabrics. New technologies and materials, such as Formica were also adopted.

The 1960's was much more playful and heavily influenced by pop culture, with psychedelic colours and patterns. Technology also played an increasing role with the invention of molded plastic and glass fibre furniture, such as the 'Panton Chair' and the 'Ball Chair'.

In the 1970's we witnessed furniture losing it's sleek quality and vibrant colours. It became more chunky and bulky and vivid colours gave way to nature with the arrival of 'earthy' colourways - Such as brown!

The last decade for the time being at least is the 1980's. Art Deco had a big influence on decor style. 1980's interior design was complex. Metallic accents, striking shapes and curves, the return of vivid colour schemes created many 80's motifs.

In Conclusion

Take a look at the picture in this article, can you guess the original year of design? So looking back, and looking forward, the "Retro Modernist Furniture" theme played a huge role in the development of contemporary modern furniture and it will surely continue to do so.

The next decade we need to look at is the 90's. Thinking back all I seem to remember is black and grey with everything coming from Ikea - Was that really true? I would love to know what you think? Will all that come back as retro?

Retro Furniture

Modern classics - The oldest is now over 100 years of age! How time flies and how some people were really thinking ahead.

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Retro Sofas

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