New Nostalgia Interior design trend: How to achieve the look

Forewords by Designer Michelle Halford, The Design Chaser

New Nostalgia is about taking design inspiration from the past and translating it into a contemporary setting. Whether you are drawn to one particular style such as 1930s Art Deco, Mid Century design or 1950s Retro, or prefer to mix elements from different eras, the colours and materials you choose will help to consolidate your overall vision. For a modernised 70s vibe, I mixed mid-wood tones with accents of beige, charcoal and dark red with a touch of terrazzo. It may be a nod to the home or space’s history that you are renovating, such as restoring the ornate ceiling mouldings of a traditional Victorian villa and installing contemporary wooden flooring and tiling, or it may be modernising a specific room and decorating with vintage furniture. Choosing personal objects that tell a story will turn your house into a home with soul. Layer in pieces from your travels, and those with which you have an emotional connection. Fuse times, places, cultures and styles to create a truly authentic look.

What is New Nostalgia interior design trend?

In the ever-evolving world of interior design, trends come and go, but one emerging concept is capturing our collective yearning for the past—New Nostalgia. This design trend combines vintage aesthetics with contemporary elements, creating spaces that evoke a sense of familiarity, comfort, and sentimental longing. It's a modern approach to incorporating elements from the past into our present-day design, allowing us to revisit cherished memories and embrace the beauty of nostalgia.

Nostalgia itself is defined as a wistful sentimental yearning for a return to a past period or irrecoverable condition. It often refers to an era before our lifetime, one that we perceive as simpler and filled with fond memories. The New Nostalgia trend taps into this sentiment by infusing our spaces with elements from the past, creating a visual and emotional connection to bygone times.

In recent times, consumers have turned to nostalgia for comfort and reassurance, especially during the pandemic. It serves as an emotional tool that delivers deep-rooted comfort and powerful healing properties. As a result, we've witnessed a resurgence in vintage and retro design. People are investing in preloved pieces as a more sustainable alternative to buying new, and they are embracing personal style through more unique choices.

So, what does the New Nostalgia trend mean for you? It means you can look to the past to influence your design and create spaces that provide an escape from the present. Nostalgia-inducing interiors are becoming increasingly relevant in homes, whether through vintage or antique pieces, the use of vintage dark wood and stone renditions in printed tiling, or personal objects with emotional attachments. By incorporating these elements, you can promote positive well-being, increase authenticity, mix and match styles, and create spaces that evoke a sense of nostalgia.

New Nostalgia Interior design trend: How to achieve the look

Benefits of Nostalgic Design

But what are the benefits of new nostalgic interior design? First and foremost, it brings comfort, warmth, and familiarity to space by evoking memories from the past. It allows you to add a sense of your true self to a space by incorporating preloved pieces, which is not only more sustainable but also allows you to embrace your personal style in more unique ways.

New Nostalgia Interior design trend: How to achieve the look

Key Steps to Achieve New Nostalgia Interior Design 

Research and Unearth Design Inspiration

Embark on a journey through time by conducting thorough research on different eras, styles, and cultural references that resonate with your desired nostalgic theme. Delve into vintage interior design magazines, classic movies, and nostalgic photographs. Take note of the colour palettes, furniture styles, patterns, and motifs that define the eras you find most compelling.

Embrace Key Elements

Identify the key elements that encapsulate the nostalgic aesthetics you wish to incorporate into your design. Whether it's the iconic mid-century modern furniture, the elegance of Victorian ornamentation, or the simplicity of Scandinavian design, embrace these elements as your foundation. Pay attention to architectural details, materials, and finishes that characterized the era you're drawn to.

Modernize with a Twist

New Nostalgia design is about merging the past with the present. Infuse a modern twist into your design by incorporating contemporary elements. This could involve blending vintage-inspired furniture with sleek, minimalist accents, or juxtaposing traditional patterns with bold, abstract artwork. Strive for a harmonious coexistence of old and new.

Selective Referencing

While you may be tempted to recreate an entire bygone era, selective referencing is key to achieving the New Nostalgia design trend. Choose specific elements that resonate with your vision and purpose. Integrate vintage-inspired wallpapers, retro light fixtures, or nostalgic memorabilia strategically, allowing them to act as focal points that transport occupants back in time.

Curate a Timeless Color Palette

Colours play a pivotal role in setting the nostalgic tone of your interior. Select a colour palette that reflects the essence of the era you draw inspiration from. Soft pastels and muted tones evoke a vintage vibe, while rich jewel tones exude an opulent retro aesthetic. Don't be afraid to experiment with unexpected combinations, adding a modern twist to the traditional.



Pay Attention to the Detail

In New Nostalgia design, attention to detail is paramount. Craftsmanship and quality materials are celebrated. Incorporate intricate details, such as ornate mouldings, decorative trims, and vintage-inspired hardware. Opt for furnishings and accessories that boast superior craftsmanship and authenticity, as they evoke a sense of nostalgia and longevity.

Embrace Your Personal Style

One of the beauties of the New Nostalgia trend is its ability to blend different time periods and styles. Embrace eclecticism by combining pieces from various eras, creating an intriguing tapestry of design. Pair a mid-century modern sofa with a vintage Persian rug or juxtapose a retro wallpaper with contemporary artwork. Strive for harmony amidst diversity.

Create an Emotionally Engaging Space

The essence of New Nostalgia design lies in its ability to evoke emotions and create an engaging atmosphere. Consider the feelings and experiences you want to elicit from occupants—warmth, nostalgia, or a sense of belonging. Incorporate sentimental elements like family heirlooms or personal artifacts to imbue the space with a personal touch.

Find vintage pieces that speak to you

The fun part of creating this design trend is the journey of finding those preloved pieces that speak to you and the era you love. Consider visiting second-hand or op shops on the weekend or scroll Facebook marketplace or sites like trade me for that perfect item. 

Add in pops of pattern 

Whether your style is mid-century modern or 1930s Art Deco adding pops of pattern from that era in your space is great to reference that era without it taking over the whole space. Consider adding pops of pattern in items such as I interesting cushion, or fun wallpaper for a feature wall or a poster if you're wanting something subtle. 


New Nostalgia Interior design trend: How to achieve the look
New Nostalgia Interior design trend: How to achieve the look