Retro Wallpaper

A Blast from the Past: Top Retro Wallpaper Patterns to Transform Your Living Space

Retro wallpaper is making a significant comeback in interior design, and it’s easy to see why. With bold patterns, vibrant colors, and nostalgic appeal, retro wallpaper can instantly transform any living space into a stylish and inviting sanctuary. This how-to guide will introduce you to some of the top retro wallpaper patterns and provide helpful tips on incorporating them into your home. So, buckle up and get ready to embrace the charm of the past with these stunning designs!

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns are a staple of retro design, dating back to the Art Deco era of the 1920s and the Mid-Century Modern movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Featuring bold shapes, symmetrical designs, and striking color combinations, geometric wallpaper can inspire energy and excitement in any room. Here’s how to get started:

  • Please choose a color palette that complements your existing decor, whether a monochromatic scheme or a mix of bright, contrasting hues.
  • Apply the wallpaper to a feature wall or an alcove to create a focal point in your living space.
  • Coordinate your furnishings and accessories with the colors and shapes of the wallpaper for a cohesive look.

Floral Patterns

Floral patterns have been a popular choice for wallpaper throughout the decades, from the Victorian era’s intricate designs to the 1960s’ bold, oversized blooms. To bring a touch of vintage elegance to your home, consider these tips:

  • Select a floral pattern that suits your delicate, romantic, bold, or modern style.
  • Use the wallpaper on a single wall to create a statement, or apply it to all four walls for an immersive, garden-inspired space.
  • Pair your floral wallpaper with complementary textiles like curtains, cushions, and upholstery for a harmonious and polished look.

Pop Art-Inspired Designs

Pop Art emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, drawing inspiration from popular culture, comic strips, and advertising. Wallpaper designs featuring bold graphic images and bright colors can add a playful and dynamic touch to your living space. Here’s how to incorporate Pop Art-inspired wallpaper into your home:

  • Choose a design that reflects your personality and interests, such as a favorite cartoon character, iconic celebrity, or classic advertisement.
  • Apply the wallpaper to a feature wall or a small, unexpected space, like a powder room or a stairwell, for maximum impact.
  • Balance the boldness of the wallpaper with more neutral furnishings and accessories to avoid overwhelming the space.

Psychedelic Patterns

The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of psychedelic art, characterized by swirling patterns, vibrant colors, and optical illusions. Psychedelic wallpaper can create a unique and captivating atmosphere in your living space. Still, it’s essential to use it thoughtfully to prevent visual overload. Follow these tips to make it work:

  • Opt for a smaller-scale pattern if you’re new to psychedelic design, or go all out with a larger-scale design if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • Use the wallpaper on a single wall or in a smaller room, such as a bathroom or a reading nook, to create a cozy, immersive environment.
  • Pair the wallpaper with simple, streamlined furnishings and accessories to let the pattern take center stage.

Vintage Stripes

Striped wallpaper is a classic choice that always stays in style, and vintage-inspired designs can add a touch of retro sophistication to any room. To incorporate striped wallpaper into your home, consider these suggestions:

Choose a stripe pattern that complements your decor, whether thin pinstripes, wide bands, or a combination of both.

  • Apply the wallpaper vertically to create the illusion of height or horizontally to make the room appear wider.
  • Use a color palette that reflects the era you want to emulate, such as soft pastels for a 1950s vibe or bold, contrasting hues for a 1970s-inspired look.
  • Coordinate your furnishings and accessories with the colors and style of the stripes for a cohesive and harmonious aesthetic.

Retro Textured Wallpaper

Textured wallpaper was all the rage in the mid-20th century, with popular options like grasscloth, cork, and flocked designs adding depth and interest to walls. To incorporate retro textured wallpaper into your living space, follow these tips:

  • Choose a texture that complements your existing decor and adds a layer of visual interest.
  • Consider using textured wallpaper on a feature wall or in a smaller space to make a statement without overwhelming the room.
  • Pair the textured wallpaper with smooth, sleek furnishings and accessories to create a balanced and visually appealing contrast.


With so many incredible retro wallpaper patterns, you will find the perfect design to transform your living space. Whether you opt for geometric shapes, floral patterns, Pop Art-inspired designs, psychedelic prints, vintage stripes, or textured options, these how-to tips will help you create a stylish and nostalgic atmosphere in your home. Remember to choose a pattern and color palette that suits your style, and don’t be afraid to experiment with combinations to achieve the perfect retro look. So go ahead, embrace the charm of the past, and enjoy your stunning, updated living space!

About the Author

nicole king

Nicole King

Nicole is a shopaholic with decades of experience. With a passion for writing and an undeniable ability to grab the best deals, Nicole enjoys helping others feed their inner-shopaholic too. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, Lifehacker, The Motley Fool, USA Today, and Moneyish.