The understated allure of vintage wallpapers

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Our societies seem to live in a permanent dichotomy: on the one side innovation speeds up at an always quicker pace, reshaping the manner in which we live, converse with one another, work and cooperate. Occupations that have existed for quite a long time vanish in the blip of an eye, supplanted by robotization AI and web applications. Conversely, as we proceed faster and faster on the highway of technological progress, we cannot help but develop immediate and strong emotions with objects and elements that harken to our recent past. Let’s just for example look at how we consume music. We abandoned vinyl records for cassette tapes as they were convenient and portable only to upgrade a few years down the line to the audio quality of the CD. We then got rid of the physical medium altogether and embraced first mp3s and are back in style, another age finding the material delight of putting a circle on the turntable similarly as innovation permits us to stream a large number of tracks remotely to anything that gadget we like, and even film cameras and Polaroid are making a specialty rebound.

This is particularly evident in the world of fashion and design, a business cyclical by nature, which is experiencing a return to vintage patterns and vibes. The reasons behind this trend are complex. For sure, the speed of change and the big traumatic experiences of pandemics and climate change have made many afraid of the future. There is also the natural tendency we have to romanticise bygone eras, but it’s impossible not to notice how lately our society has been experiencing an introspective and nostalgic moment towards all things 70s and 80s.

In the last few years, we have witnessed a wave of audio visual inputs harkening back to a time depicted as a more innocent and spontaneous era. One just needs to peek at Netflix or Prime Video, which are full of series like “Cobra Kai”, “Stranger Things”, “Red Oak” and many more. While they cover different themes and genre, they all have in common very evident vintage aesthetic references.

The same can be said for street fashion. A quick walk in any Western city would make you wonder whether you have fallen in a time warp and gone back to the days of Footloose or Back to the Future.


While cyclical elements in fashion have always existed, it has to be said that, from a visual point of view, those decades were truly exceptional. In the field of interior decoration it was revolutionary, as the conservative rigidity that had characterised furnishings up to that time was swiftly abandoned for daring experiments with colour and form.

It is therefore not too surprising that lately we are also witnessing the great return of many design elements of that era, revised and renewed thanks to the technological development that has taken place, particularly in the field of wallpaper, which allows them to be displayed in a new and fresh way and with characteristics of cleanability and resistance that were unthinkable in the past.

Creating a defining vintage atmosphere

From the humble IKEA to the most expensive designers, everybody these days is offering furnishing and accessories that that inspiration from the ‘70s and ‘80s. There is therefore no shortage of option when it comes to decorate your home in a modern yet vintage fashion. The secret is in mixing matching elements from different era, allowing you home to be a perfect fusion of eras. In order to avoid a clash of styles and colours, it this important to have a unifying element. This is the ideal role for vintage wallpaper and use its pattern hues as inspiration for the other elements of the room. Wallpapers have a very strong visual impact and help setting the tone without having to replace every single piece of furniture. It just needs to be combined with a couple of appropriate decorative elements and maybe a piece or two of modern furniture. Nowadays it is quite trendy to highlight one wall with a designer wallpaper than to cover all four walls. In this case, taking into account the background colours of the chosen wallpaper and the motifs, matching shades reminiscent of the 1970s should be chosen. Of course it’s recommended you choose furniture and accessories that complement them.

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