Just Like ‘The Brady Bunch’ House, These 5 Retro Features Are Making a (Big) Comeback

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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Let’s just say you loved the look of “The Brady Bunch” house—we’re talking sunken living room, modular furniture, the works. If that retro vibe talks to you, this is good news: These blast-from-the-past features are now on the major rebound. Here are five ways experts are seeing homeowners turn back the clock:

1. Colorful retro-inspired appliances are in

Instead of stainless options, homeowners are increasingly drawn to retro-inspired appliances from companies like Smeg and Elmira Stove Works in fun colors like robin’s egg blue, buttercup yellow, and mint green.

“This can bring added character and a pop of color to kitchens, whether you pick one appliance, such as a fridge or range, or a whole suite of retro appliances,” says Jere Bowden, a certified kitchen designer at Auburn Design Associates in Auburn, Alabama.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

2. Homes are light and airy

Jay Kallos, senior vice president of architecture at Ashton Woods, a homebuilding company in Roswell, Georgia, says he’s noticed that homebuyers are increasingly excited about building with mid-century modern-inspired features—think roof planes with lower sloped pitches, windows that take on the triangular shape of the wall, open floor plans, outdoor living areas, and lots of glass.

“Gone are stogy formal rooms and in are the light-filled living spaces that blur the line between indoors and outdoors,” he says. “It’s the 1950s version of how people live in the 2000s.”

3. Time-travel furnishings are new faves

“Nostalgia is in the air,” says Shelby Greene, a visual stylist at Living Spaces, a La Mirada, California-based home decor and furniture brand. “Young adults are gravitating towards items with striking elements and unique forms of design. This can take the form of a bold orange sectional, a statement-making arc lamp, or a flared desk that looks like a work of art.”

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

4. It’s all about color in the bathroom

“When I show apartments, a colorful guest bathroom stands out,” says Maria Velazquez, a luxury real estate agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City. She notices that buyers have flocked to properties with bright colors, modern decor, rose gold or black fixtures, authentic tiling.

“It gives that space a cool but vintage-y look,” she says.

5. Entertaining spaces are bigger and better

Kallos says he’s noticed his clients requesting retro entertaining features like backyard fire pits. “Even when it’s warmer outside, it’s a way to bring people together and enjoy the outdoors,” he says.

Another boomerang feature? Home bars. Kallos says that because formal dining rooms have been nixed in favor of open floor plans, people are increasingly looking for other indoor gathering places. But these aren’t their grandparents’ home bars, or even their parents’—the newly-installed ones are bigger and better than ever with slicker bells and whistles than previous generations.