How to Decorate With Retro Black and Tan Tiles

How to Decorate With Retro Black and Tan Tiles thumbnail
Black and tan tiles would add depth to this neutral color scheme.

Black and tan tiles are a starting point for creating a retro 1950s look in your home. Whether you want to combine certain aspects of retro decor with a more modern look, or create a full-on themed interior, this is a relatively easy look to achieve because of the popularity of the style. There are plenty of retro accessories available to help create an authentic retro 50s atmosphere.


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      Combine black and tan tiles with bright, bold colors to create a retro color scheme. The use of contrasting colors was popular in the 50s. Yellow, red, hot pink, mint green and turquoise were all common colors used in interior decor of this era. To keep the overall effect a little calmer, use just one of these colors and choose a much softer shade. Using a tan color that matches the tiles to create a more neutral background is another option, and using black as an accent color ties the tiles and the brighter colors together.

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      A diner booth is a funky and fun alternative to normal seating.
      A diner booth is a funky and fun alternative to normal seating.

      Throw a black and white, or red and white vinyl tablecloth over the kitchen/coffee table. Molded plastic chairs were a staple in the 50s home, along with Formica counter tops and vinyl. Use plastic chairs around the kitchen table, or as extra seating in the lounge. In the kitchen, kit the room out with retro appliances such as refrigerators and stoves. Mix and match these items with modern appliances to create a funky eclectic look. For an all-out themed room, an authentic retro diner booth makes a great focal point.

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      Add bright, bold, retro fabrics to the room. In the lounge, cushions, throws and rugs are all opportunities to combine spots, stripes and retro designs together for a visual feast. Add in one black and one tan cushion to tie the entire color scheme together.

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      Retro prints liven up a neutral color scheme.
      Retro prints liven up a neutral color scheme.

      Hang retro-patterned canvas prints on the wall. This is an ideal option if you opt to avoid a full-on themed room. The prints add a bright and bold touch of retro, complementing the black and tan tiles beautifully, without interfering with the more neutral color scheme. In a themed room, tin cola and hot dog advertising signs add authenticity to your wall decor, suitable for any room in the house.

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      Complete the look with a few well-chosen retro accessories. There are so many from which to choose, be careful not to cram the room too full and create a cluttered appearance. A jukebox, a retro cat clock and a traditional 50s-style wall telephone all make fun additions to any room. In the kitchen, keep it simple with a retro diner set, or go to town creating a diner straight from the set of "Happy Days."

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