The modern retro style is associated with the 1950s and 1960s. As a material for furniture, polypropylene, which was manufactured in colors that could be combined with pieces of paint, became famous. The term retro is less specific than other furniture styles, such as mid-century modern or art deco, which are the result of radical design movements. Retro tends to refer to something that is culturally outdated or aged in a style that has since come back into fashion.
For example, oversized round mini skirts and sunglasses are considered retro because they were very popular in the 1960s and are gaining popularity today. The most prevalent design style in the 1960s was modernism. Nowadays, the modernism of the 1960s is generally referred to as mid-century modernism. Mid-century modernism was heavily influenced by Danish modernism, the Scandinavian style that first appeared in the 1940s.
Danish modernism is best known for its durable wooden furniture that aims to unite form and function. During the 1960s, mid-century modernists began experimenting with materials beyond the wood that Danish modernists had preferred. Synthetic materials, such as acrylic, plastic and chrome, are materials that greatly influenced modern furniture designs of the mid-20th century. Retro is a much less specific term.
It strictly refers to something that is culturally outdated or aged in a style that has since become functionally or superficially the norm once again. In a nutshell, even though these styles of furniture and interior decoration were diverse, they all fall under the umbrella of being a retro style. Many of today's best-known furniture manufacturers, such as Knoll International, Fritz Hansen and Vitra, emerged during that time and still hold the licenses to produce furniture that date back to that time. There are some original pieces on the market, but there is no doubt that there are also many new pieces of furniture in production that mimic the furniture style of the 1960s and 1970s.
The term retro furniture has also been used colloquially to describe furniture from the mid-20th century. Vintage furniture is considered anything that is less than 100 years old and refers to furniture manufactured in the 20th century. Authentic vintage furniture that dates back to that time is very fashionable and, at the same time, continues to inspire contemporary furniture designers in their creations. In the late 1950s and 1960s, interiors became bolder and more colorful, and plastic was the material of choice for modern-style furniture.
Those who daydream about simple, no-nonsense furniture from the '60s will find solace in Drexel Furniture. Vintage furniture is less than 100 years old and, by any definition, refers to furniture manufactured in the 20th century. When designers, manufacturers, and customers talk about retro furniture, they're often referring to a style of furniture that pays homage to styles that were popular years ago. Their living room furniture from the 1960s is indebted to Danish design, but it combines it with a classic sense of American decor.