How to Design the Perfect Retro Rec Room

Retro and vintage are terms often used interchangeably. In a design context, there are notable differences. Retro refers to more recent decades (usually the 1950s, 60s, and 70s). It’s a whimsical, even campy style in contrast to vintage, which leans more on the Hollywood glamour era of the 1930s and 40s.Rec Room

Why Retro?

Retro styling lends itself particularly well to a recreation or “rumpus” room. The 1950s brought us urban sprawl when the post-war economy gave families the ability to move out of the cities and into the suburbs. Many of these homes saw the first rumpus rooms (a then-modern update to the old-fashioned parlor), so retro décor is really a perfect fit for your custom rec room.

How to Design the Perfect Retro Rec Room

Start from the inside out when you want to design a retro rec room. You do that by determining which elements are essential components; then, coordinate the walls and flooring to match. 

Adding a bar, a pool table or a dartboard? What about an air hockey table, a card table or a pinball game?

Don’t forget the flat screen TV (hey, everything doesn’t have to be retro).

Focus on One Decade

Are the 1950s your favorite? Start with a bar and any combination of poker table, billiards, darts, and other game furnishings. All you need to add now is a tile floor, perhaps in a checkerboard design, and some primary color accents on off-white walls. A bit of chrome goes well for a 50s look, bringing one back in time to the popular malt shop of mid-century Americana.

Perhaps the 1960s are more your thing. Here, bright colors reign supreme. Even your pool table can join the fun, with red (or any other color) felt instead of the traditional green or blue-green hue. A whimsical clock or modern art piece should adorn at least two walls, and you (or your designer) can go wild with brightly patterned upholstery on the sofa and barstools.

Wood paneling and shag carpet define the 70s retro look. This is also a good place for your lava lamp and low-wattage colored bulbs for ambient lighting. Hanging fixtures with directional lighting can illuminate your billiards and card table while keeping the overall room lighting muted and warm.

Ready for a Custom Rec Room of Your Own?

Call us at 615-824-6970 or send us a note. We’d love to talk about your plans for your rec room and show you how we can help.

While you’re here, have a look at our extensive photo gallery. It’s brimming with custom-built Middle Tennessee homes that will give you plenty of inspiration for your own.[gravityform id=”9″ title=”true” description=”true”]

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Remodeling and Home Design