7 Retro Home Design Features That Are Cool Again


Photo: Houzz

It’s true that everything rolls around again.I sometimes wore my mother’s old poodle skirts when I was in high school and, well, we’ve all seen the Flashdance look on today’s middle schoolers.

Click here to see what’s back in style >
There are some things that become symbols of an era’s misguided choices, a shorthand for bad style. Avocado appliances immediately bring to mind ’70s suburbia. And not in a good way.

But even those things that end up as the butt of jokes about decor delusions can make a comeback. And even things you were happy to see go (forever, you thought) can have a rebirth that makes them beautiful. In the ’80s Eichlers were considered cheap and boxy. Now they are vintage treasures selling for millions.

Here are seven design throwbacks that have made a triumphant return.

Click here to see what’s back in style >
More From Houzz:

Be Inspired By 150,000+ Modern Products

Browse 110,000 Modern Design Photos

My Houzz: Tour a Groovy 1970’s Retro Pad

Find A Designer In Your Area

Shag Rugs

You might not go wall to wall in green shag anymore, but a long-fibre shag is definitely in. This grass-green area rug is a stylish nod to the abomination of the '70s.

Pictured: A beautifully textured neutral shag is warm, stylish and modern in this room. No Brady Bunch here.

Wood Paneling

Not too long ago wood paneling was an automatic rip-down. It was dark and dated and screamed '1970s rec room.' Not so fast. Wood-paneled accent walls are back. But this time they are lighter, often horizontal and real.

Rotary Phones

What was once an obsolete piece of technology is now a retro design statement.

Pictured: The old-fashioned kitchen-wall rotary phone looks charming and vintage in this eclectic white room.

Flocked Wallpaper

Flocked wallpaper used to be the provenance of Elvis, Vegas and brothels. Tacky, tacky, tacky. Today's fresh and often ironic designs have brought it back. And really, what's so wrong about a little velvety texture on the walls?


Remember the rattan fan-back chair? Well, it's back.

Pictured: And so are other groovy wicker and rattan iterations, like these swinging chairs.

Avocado Green

Call it wasabi green if you want, but we know the truth. Avocado is back. Maybe not for appliances, but these kitchen cabinets are getting awfully close.

Pictured: Avocado green and yellow in a guest room--very throwback and very modern.


Again, what was once a rec room staple is now a living room feature. I can see why: They're so easy to move and so squishily comfy.

Pictured: A white sheepskin beanbag in a modern eclectic Eichler. Very chic.

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.