6 cheap, cheerful and colorful decorating ideas from Jon & Trixi’s house

colorful retro decorJon and Trixi have provided this blog with a wealth of content over the years — from their bathroom stencil treatment to tipping us off to hudee-central Vance Industries. Now that we’ve seen their entire fun, colorful retro home from top to bottom, we can get even more fantastic ideas — six to be exact — from this dynamic decorating duo. 

avocado green kitchen1. 1970s style two-tone kitchen cabinets

midcentury green kitchenAfter Jon and Trixi painstakingly uncovered their home’s Armstrong embossed inlaid linoleum flooring and Formica Mayflower countertops to bring out the room’s colorful retro character — they then used custom-tinted Rustoleum Transformations to reinforce the 1970s-era color scheme: Avocado paint for the base cabinets, a medium warm woodtone for the wall cabinets. Red contrast decor pumps up the volume.

2. Wallpaper + starburst stencils = wow

vintage-pink-bathroomPeeling back more remuddling, the couple uncovered an original pink bathroom hiding under a layer of paint. Choosing to enhance the pink, Trixi installed and ‘framed’ a precious single role of vintage wallpaper in a sort of tall stripe on the long wall as the main focal point behind the mirror… she then covered the rest of the wall with pink paint and gold stenciled starbursts, creating her own inexpensive ‘wallpaper.’

3. Wallpaper accent stripses

vintage wallpaperIn the master bedroom, the couple created an accent wall with a just one roll of found vintage wallpaper. They painted the wall first with a greenish gold color — picked straight from the wallpaper pattern — then cut the wallpaper along its wavy design edges to create wallpaper stripes.

flocked wallpaper

So easy to replicate this idea — but first, you must find the right wallpaper. Pam spotted this groovalicious wavy FLOCKED (!) wallpaper, above, on ebay — about $50 including shipping from seller barnswallospirit. We’d start and end this paper with the orange wavys — very carefully trimming to include the leaves on the edge — “some therapy” but would be so worth it!

4. Make an arrow mural

wall muralYou don’t have to be an artist to paint a decorative wall mural in your home. Jon and Trixi repeated accent colors from their retro barrel furniture on the wall in their basement rec room to create a geometric arrow mural — adding movement, color and interest to the space.

5. Use a bold color for an entryway accent wall

retro accent wallThe couple’s entryway is connected to their main living room. Instead of painting it to blend with the blue on the other walls in the room, they chose to paint it a complementary color — orange — turning the small area into a purposeful alcove. midcentury living roomRepeating orange again throughout the living room — with the chair and ottoman, pillows and decor pieces — helps make this color choice cohesive with the adjacent living area.

6. Don’t forget the exterior

retro garage doorJon and Trixi very inexpensively gave their otherwise plain Jane garage a little sparkle by adding a trio of painted starburst stencils to the door. Brilliant!

Bonus tip: Careful use of color

Jon and Trixi’s taste in colorful decor is very similar to how I inject bright colors into my own home. By studying Jon and Trixi’s house and following a few key rules, you too can achieve a similar look:

  • Keep each room to a maximum of three colors — choosing a main color and two accents — any more than that starts to look a little crazy.
  • Color combinations are pleasing when you work off the color wheel — choose complementary colors like red and green (opposites on the wheel), or analogous colors (neighbors on the wheel) like blue and green.
  • Be sure to repeat the colors throughout the room a minimum of three times — through textiles, artwork and furniture to create a cohesive, intentional feeling.
  • Keep clutter at a minimum. Let the colors be the wow factor, not the stuff.

Mega thanks to Jon and Trixi for sharing their home with us!

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  1. Lisa says:

    Trixi, this says “After Jon and Trixi painstakingly uncovered their home’s Armstrong embossed inlaid linoleum flooring….”

    Can you please explain what the situation was, and how you went about uncovering the linoleum? I’m not sure it’ll directly apply to my situation, but it’s worth a shot. I have a 1930 bungalow which has original(?) linoleum underneath ceramic tile in the kitchen. I’d love to uncover and salvage it, if I can.

    Thank you.

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks, Pam. No, I don’t plan on doing that part of the work myself. The pros tell me the linoleum can’t be salvaged so when I see that someone has successfully saved theirs, I want details!

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