Retro Diner Decor Ideas for a Time-Stopping Space

retro diner interior decorating

If you love the look of the 50s, 60s, or 70s, then incorporating a retro diner interior decorating style into your home might be just what you are looking for.


Deciding upon a theme often involves finding inspiration. Whether you are creative and handy enough to handle the project on your own, or you need help from an outside source, there are thousands of ideas available in home decorating magazines and books, TV home and garden shows, and of course the Internet. If retro is what you crave, then why not consider a retro diner interior decorating style? Recreate the look of a retro diner for your kitchen, dining room, and even your living room with vintage items that become classic conversation pieces for you and your guests.

Retro Diner Interior Decorating

Retro diner interior decorating often relies on old pieces as well as reproductions. When you think retro, specific materials, textiles, and designs come to mind, like the following:

  • Chrome-Chrome is one of the most common materials used in retro interiors. From toasters to tables, chrome is the background for many of the items found during the years from 1950 to 1970. If you want to recreate the look of chrome without having to purchase an item, you can purchase chrome paint. While it won't look exactly like the original, it will be close enough. This is a great option when you want to turn a table into a retro dining piece. By painting the tabletop a retro color and adding chrome paint to the legs, you'll have a fantastic piece that required little effort to recreate.
  • Colors-Speaking of colors, there are certainly specific colors that play a role in retro diner decorating, such as red, white, black, aqua, lime green, yellow, hot pink, and turquoise. Because color combinations in these hues have made a comeback, it's pretty simple to find table linens, curtains, accent pillows and more at home decorating stores.
  • Materials-When you think of retro, you probably see lots of plastic, vinyl, chrome, fiberglass, pre-fabricated wood, and other manmade materials. Rounded edges are common, with kitchen tables often made of chrome or metal and painted in red and white, surrounded by metal chairs covered in vinyl.
  • Accessories- Accent pieces, like lamps, may have a funky look to them, such as mushroom or geometric designs in bright colors. Accessories for the dining room or kitchen typically feature retro toasters, blenders, and other small appliances.
  • Appliances-If you really crave the look of retro decorating, then you might consider scouting out some appliances for the decade of your choice. You can purchase the real deal, although keep in mind parts may be difficult to find if you want the item in usable order, or you could look for reproduction pieces, which offer the convenience of modern use with a vintage look.
  • Designs-Color is certainly used in a retro look, but shapes and designs also play a huge role in achieving this style of décor. Look for pieces that feature geometric shapes, in items like clocks, garbage cans, art pieces, and kitchen stools. Don't be afraid of incorporating color into the room. If you don't particularly like bright colors, however, go for the contrast of red, white, and black, instead.

Where to Shop

Finding pieces to fit into your new retro kitchen or dining room is as easy as visiting your local flea market. There you may be able to pick up some great items for a song. Other places to look include online auctions, such as eBay, yard sales, Craigslist and even your local classifieds. For more selection, however, check out the following Internet sites and get ready to go retro in your home!

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Retro Diner Decor Ideas for a Time-Stopping Space