The Right Way to Do Retro

Amp up your meeting décor with these throwback design favorites

They say history repeats itself, and décor trends of yore are no exception. From furniture styles to materials and color schemes, these old-fashioned décor staples are making a resurgence in the design world. So, planners, take note. 

Midcentury Styling

When it comes to throwback design styles, midcentury is king. Known for minimal ornamentation, sleek lines and contrasting materials, midcentury furniture pieces are simple yet iconic. Because these designs can come with a hefty price tag, consider investing in one statement piece, such as a large table for guests, and building your setup around it. Form over function is key, so opt for décor pieces with a purpose rather than elaborate and decadent designs.

Art Deco Details

Throwing a Gatsby-type bash? Art deco design, which was popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, is known for its reliance on geometric shapes and bold, dark color schemes. Embody the glamour of the time by placing gilded décor pieces among geometric centerpieces and dark accent walls.


Adding texture to meeting décor can diversify an otherwise flat design, so spring for extra dimension with velvet, a hallmark of 1960s interior design. Feature the material in seating arrangements, such as velvet couches or chairs, or pillows, curtains and backdrops to frame your meeting space with pizzazz. 

Tropical-Inspired Touches

Colorful, jungle-inspired design setups are also making a comeback—even if your event is far from the tropics. So, include lots of greenery—particularly palms, monsteras and other tropical plants—in your meeting setup. Remember, tropical plants thrive best in warmer temperatures. If your event is happening in the midst of a cold front, try botanical wallpaper or fake greenery instead. 

Avocado Green

Speaking of green, if you’re looking for that retro feel without going over the top, include avocado green in your event’s color scheme. Considered the “it” color of the 1960s, use the hue in table runners, centerpieces, artwork or wall accents.