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11 retro design archetypes — which style are you?

retro design styleA while back, Pam and I created 11 retro decorating “archetypes” — and “retroscopes” to go with. We made these as a “freemium” for the signing up for our newsletter… and now, we decided to just put all this analysis out there. This archetyping was mostly in the spirit of fun, but reading through the retro vintage design styles we gave names to again, well, golly, we still kinda think they capture the different buckets pretty accurately. What do you think? Which archetype, or mix of archetypes are YOU? 

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Did we miss any???

No matter what your retro style – or mix – rest assured that here on Retro Renovation, you can feel at home. In fact, we are pretty insanely crazy about ALL the retro styles – so, we cover them all. To top it off, our community of readers really is like one big, retro-loving family – appreciative of everyone’s unique style – because, yup, we know: There’s more than one way to retro.

See the archetypes enlarged:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge and you can also read my captions… move forward or back via arrows below the photo… you can start or stop at any image:


  1. RocketSquirrel says:

    Just discovered this fun post! We’re trash-to-treasure mid-modern mashups. On our main floor–an open space of living room, kitchen, dining and sitting areas–we bought only four pieces new, and they’re all IKEA. (One is the tulip table!) The rest are ReStore, craigslist, and even a few street treats. Of course one of the chairs has been wearing a sheet over it’s head for months since I only reupholstered half of it so far.

    And our sofa is, indeed, a not-my-style sectional in greige from craigslist whose best property is that I don’t care who spills what on it. I’m still coveting the Petrie sofa at Crate and Barrel. Someday, when the children are no longer walking disasters…. Someday….

  2. I’m definitely a #7, Grandma’s Little Darling. When I found a retro floral couch that looked like it had been protected by plastic (just like a grandma would do), I bought it without showing it to hubby and prayed he’d like it. I think I’d prefer to be a Rockabilly Classic, but it would take too much work and expense.

  3. Zovesta says:

    Love all of these! Who did the art? 🙂

    I’d say I’m closest to Rockabilly Classic, but I’m not really any of them. I love aspects of retro design, but I love modern day tastes. For example: I like pink bathrooms, but Mamie pink is so warm in tone it drives me a little insane and gives me a gross feeling. So I like cooler, cotton candy pink with white to make the room seem “healthy”! I don’t like following trends – new or old – blindly. I’d rather look at everything and pull together a look that seems comfortable to me. My tastes just happen to include atomic shapes and a pastel palette!

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