Have you ever wondered what “retro” means? The Cambridge Dictionary defines retro as “similar to styles, fashions, etc. from the past”. Scandinavian, Industrial, Zen and Art Deco are styles that have have undergone a resurgence in popularity in recent years. As a result of this renewed interest I will be discussing these styles in this post.


Scandinavian designers and architects were very influential during the 1950s, and this style shares a lot of attributes with the Mid Century Modern Style. The goal of Scandinavian design is to create a clean and functional aesthetic. Because Scandinavian winters are long and dark, the interiors were designed to be as light and bright as possible. Scandinavians used large windows, light colour palettes, and light wood (Beech, Pine, Ash) tones to achieve this. Lightweight linens or gauzy fabric were used as curtains, or windows are left bare. Cosy throws and sheepskin rugs add warmth and texture.   Iconic furniture pieces are the Eames DSW chair, Wegener Wishbone chair, and the Jacobsen Egg chair. In general, furniture legs are splayed and tapered. This is an uncluttered style yet may include indoor plants. Houseplants add life and vibrancy and keep the design from feeling too cold and austere.


The industrial interior design style originated when people converted industrial spaces (factories etc.) to residential dwellings. Therefore, this style is characterized by high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, strong, clean lines, and open spaces. Other features include exposed brick walls, structural beams, metal air ducts and concrete or weathered wood floors. Spaces like these are rich in texture, and a neutral colour palette is often used to avoid overwhelming the senses. The focus is on hard surfaces, particularly steel. As a result of this, metal finishes abound, mainly black, but also silver, gold and copper.  Décor is primarily utilitarian objects: light fittings, Edison bulbs, exposed pipes.



The Zen interior design style originated in Japan. It is a philosophy based on elevating simplicity to an art form. Significant decluttering is a vital aspect of this style. Western minimalism is mainly inspired by Zen philosophy in that it focuses on what is minimally needed functionally and aesthetically.  Natural light and the use of natural materials are essential. Furniture and architecture in this style have smooth lines, and lots of light wood tones are used. The colour scheme is neutral: white, grey, beige, brown, black, minimal green or blue. No patterns are used in this style. Artworks are Japanese or nature-inspired. This style acknowledges our connection with nature and utilizes it to bring calm and tranquillity to spaces. Serenity is facilitated by using natural materials, water features, bamboo or bonsai plants.

Art Deco

Art Deco is the era from 1920-1930 with a streamlined, geometric style of home furnishings. Mirror accents, sleek lines, metal hardware and glass tops were prevalent.  Furniture was lacquered to a high gloss finish and inlaid with exotic material like ivory, pearl and tortoiseshell. Emerald green, gold, silver and black were popular. Sconces had shiny finishes, and large crystal chandeliers had multiple tiers and geometric designs.


Scandinavian, Industrial, Zen and Art Deco styles continuously influence our interiors. Scandinavian Mid-century furniture design is seen in many furniture pieces manufactured to this day. Exposed bricks, steel and pipes lend an industrial edge to designs. Zen interior principles influence contemporary minimalist thinking, and Art Deco patterns and light fittings remain popular.

What about you? What do you love about these styles? Contact us here, to assist you in making these styles a reality.

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