Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Lifestyles
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

BABY BOOMERS 2014: American retro decor favours Route 66 over techno highway

In this photo provided by CB2, LA-based board makers Todd Patterson and Ryan Harris shaped an ocean-ready canvas for a bold design by Chicago-based artist Brett Whitacre. Rendered with a reverse glass-painting technique, the design reflects the colors of sea life as seen from above, on a board crafted of recycled and sustainable materials. American retro imagery and elements can draw Baby Boomers back to what sometimes seem like simpler days. (AP Photo/CB2)

Enlarge Image

In this photo provided by CB2, LA-based board makers Todd Patterson and Ryan Harris shaped an ocean-ready canvas for a bold design by Chicago-based artist Brett Whitacre. Rendered with a reverse glass-painting technique, the design reflects the colors of sea life as seen from above, on a board crafted of recycled and sustainable materials. American retro imagery and elements can draw Baby Boomers back to what sometimes seem like simpler days. (AP Photo/CB2)

If you spent childhood summers on a northern lake, grew up lunching at diners and shake shacks, or took a college road trip, you'll be all over the next big home d�cor trend: American Retro.

And even if you didn't, you may appreciate the look and feel — an easygoing, aspirational lifestyle centred more on the meandering road than the techno highway.

Lifetime Brands trend expert Tom Mirabile calls the style "visual comfort food."

The imagery and decor elements draw baby boomers back to what might feel like simpler, more innocent days. Think vintage-style advertising and artwork, lunch-counter dishware, camping motifs, midcentury surf culture. Old bakeries, drive-ins, roadhouses, garages, beach shacks. It's the kind of retro, outdoorsy charm to be found in the production design of Wes Anderson films like "Moonrise Kingdom."

Online retailer Fab has jumped on the trend, with offerings like Roo Kee Roo's retro-style prints of boating and cottage motifs, made by Forest and Michael Evashevski, who grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Beach towels printed with patterns from famed blanket-maker Pendleton have a vintage vibe, and would work in a bathroom as well as at the shore. And a campfire-ready collection of enamelware from Falcon includes a red teapot and serveware. (www.fab.com )

Grace Feyock's wall clock for Uttermost is made of vintage pictures of old license plates. A map made of license-plate images makes bold, graphic wall art, by David Bowman. A set of coasters printed with images of the famous Route 66 road sign make a nice addition to the cocktail cart. (www.wayfair.com )

Martin Yeele's photographs of vintage motel and diner signage add style to serving trays from Bob's Your Uncle. (www.bobsyouruncle.com )

At Modcloth, find Karma Living's collection of curtains and pillows in cheerful, '70s-style medallion and floral prints in colorful hues. A blue, purple and pink psychedelic-print tapestry looks hip and new, but boomers will remember similar icons from their college days. Also here, a little chrome table lamp styled like a vintage motorbike's headlight. (www.modcloth.com )

Magical Thinking's wooden letters are embellished with henna-inspired painting at Urban Outfitters, which also carries groovy cotton bedding in paisleys and other retro prints. (www.urbanoutfitters.com )

Retro-surfer decor is available at several retailers. CB2 has launched a new collection that includes surfboards, canoe paddles, chairs and other accessories. The Hula lamp brings a bit of kitsch to the design forefront. Tiki motif glassware, surfboards and Bodhi vase planters kick up the midcentury Cali vibe. (www.cb2.com )

Or find fun reproductions of surf shop and beach signs at Retroplanet. (www.retroplanet.com )

"Moonrise Kingdom" fans, consider prints by artist Leah Flores of Portland, Oregon.

"I had a gypsy-esque childhood growing up in various national parks around the United States," she says. "Surrounded by mountains, oceans, wildflowers and redwood forests, I developed a sense of wonder with the natural world early on."

Flores takes photographs of rugged roads, rivers, waves crashing on beaches and misty forests, and then adds an inspired word or phrase, such as "Never Stop Exploring," ''Life is a Great Adventure" or "Wanderlust." She sells through Urban Outfitters, Society 6 and her own Etsy shop. (www.etsy.com/shop/leahfloresdesigns )

The trick is to not let this look get too kitschy, unless you want to. A few elements in an otherwise contemporary space pack design punch. But if your style's more boho than Bauhaus, then layering textiles, art and accent items creates a comfortable, lived-in look that captures the charm of retro style.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media