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3 Easy Takeaways That Show How This Before & After Nailed the “Modern Retro” Aesthetic

published Sep 25, 2023
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Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Prop Stylist: Amanda Wolfson

When Leslie moved cross-country from LA to Chicago, she found a dreamy city apartment with floor-to-ceiling views, hardwood floors, and modern conveniences. She was having trouble deciding on an aesthetic for her new-build bedroom — one of those all too familiar spaces that at first presents as an exciting blank canvas, but quickly reveals itself as a tricky style challenge. But the Brownstone Boys stepped in with a groovy idea: a subtle ode to ’70s style.

The dreamy decade is a big design trend this season, with modern twists that keep it feeling fresh. From furniture to finishing touches, the Brownstone Boys found everything for Leslie’s new room at Walmart. Trust us: The retailer’s home furniture and decor offerings will have you swooning, and so will the prices. Here’s how they pulled it all together for a cohesive look.

Use a Subdued Color Palette

’70s style calls to mind the sun-baked hues you might find in a desert sunset or Big Sur cabin. The Brownstone Boys brought the same spirit to Leslie’s space, with a duvet cover in soothing mossy green, a throw in a calming sandy stripe, and plenty of greenery. Warm wood tones — in the bed frame, credenza, and nightstand — offer a natural color complement. Accents like candles in rust orange and ocean blue make for a serene palette with just enough energy.

Seek Interesting Shapes

Fluid, organic shapes are hallmarks of this era’s style. The standout example in Leslie’s room is a rounded bouclé chair that somehow feels both retro and futuristic at the same time. We also love the subtle curvature of the wall mirror, the sculptural design of the bedside lamp, and the midcentury-inspired lines of the turned bed frame. These soft shapes create a cozy atmosphere and nostalgic feel.

Layer Textures and Materials

If you just want to snuggle up in this room, that’s by design: Highly touchable textures and materials are part of what make ’70s style so rich. From that nubby bouclé chair to the fluffy faux pampas and ribbed candle holders, Leslie’s room is full of tactile charm. That goes double for the bed, which is decked out with a light and soft linen duvet set, snuggly chenille throw, and accent pillows in a mix of fabrics and weaves. They all combine to create an earthy effect.