5 Tips for Sourcing Retro Decor, According to the “WandaVision” Production Designer

published Feb 25, 2021
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Marvel’s “WandaVision” season one is currently captivating audiences on Disney+. The storyline started out with super-powered beings Wanda and Vision living the idyllic suburban lifestyle, as shown through sitcoms of the ’50s to the 2000s. But as the series progresses, the townsfolk — and the viewers — begin to notice that things aren’t what they seem with this couple.

Another thing that’s easy to notice: the impressive retro decor that continuously transforms the home of Wanda and Vision. From the vintage kitchen appliances in the ’50s and ’60s episodes, to the green couch reflecting the trendy style of the ’70s — which then transforms into an on-trend mustard color with curvy arms in the ’80s — the furniture in this series can make you wish for a home filled with retro statement pieces, too.

Apartment Therapy sat down with Mark Worthington, the production designer for “WandaVision,” to chat about the best places to source your own gems of decades’ past.

Shop at secondhand shops (and be patient)

While shooting “WandaVision,” the design team scoured secondhand shops in Atlanta for mid-century design, where they discovered that patience is key. “If you’re careful and really diligent and willing to stick it out, you can find things,” Worthington told Apartment Therapy. Along with vintage shops and markets, the team searched online on sites like Craigslist, which anyone can do for their own homes, too.

Attend yard and estate sales when you can

For those on the hunt for retro decor, one major tip Worthington reveled is to make a habit of going to yard and

Scout out the closest used appliance outlet

If you don’t actually want to go out and buy a brand new kitchen appliance, Worthington suggests going to your local used appliance outlet. “Sometimes you can get a used piece and [the appliance outlet] will paint them for you.” Worthington says not to be afraid to buy the piece, then spruce it up later. Who knows, maybe you’ll even land retro kitchen appliances like the ’50s and ’60s kitchen in “WandaVision.”

Explore outside your neighborhood

Even though estate sales and yard sales are a good launching point, Worthington encourages those who really want to find gems to get out to the less trodden and rural areas of town. “There’s a lot of stuff in areas where there aren’t vintage shops and stuff [hasn’t] already been found and valued,” Worthington said. He goes on to say that as part of his job, he travels all around the country to find pieces and in rural areas, mid-century furniture was easier to find.

Attend an online furniture auction

If you’re really set on a certain piece to complete the retro look in your space, Worthington says it’s worth checking out online furniture auctions as they’re becoming more and more popular. Memberships for many of the auction houses are free, but he warns that you do need to know what you’re doing. “Just watch them for a few iterations, and then you can start to see what the trends are and what goes cheaply and what doesn’t so you don’t get burned. You can actually get some decent deals there if you’re savvy about it.”