By Mark Clifton
It seems that history always repeats itself, whether in a family, politics or even style and fashion. Slowly the clothing styles of the 50s, 60s, 70s and even (oh, no) the 80s have doubled back and been passed off as the hottest new fashions. This is equally true for interior design. It seems that people get tired of looking at the new designs, which have become old, and they want something newwhich is really just more of the old. Its a vicious cycle.
Retro furniture, lamps and other interior decorating favorites may be gone, but never forgotten. It doesnt take very many tries to find a website or retailer that specializes in retro furniture. Retro lamps are particularly fun because of the bright colors and crazy shapes they can be. Especially in the 1960s and 70s, anything could be fashionable, and just about everything was. Colors we wouldnt dream of using in our homes today were splashed all over the walls and the carpet looked like it needed to be mowed. But that was the style, and its not hard to find again.
The 1960s is when the interior design world first got a glimpse at the cone lamp. This retro lamp sported three or more adjustable cone shaped lights that rested on three separate arms protruding from the base of the lamp. The arms could be bent and turned in any direction to point light at anywhere you wanted it to go. This style has hung on throughout the years if for nothing else but its ingenious design. Though the idea is still used today, the original lamp gets a spot in the retro hall of fame, especially if you can find it in avocado green.
Another fabulously retro lamp that we can thank the 1970s for is the Modern Arco Lamp. Why in the world would you want to have a perfectly straight lamp on the left side of your chair for reading when you can have this retro lamp sitting on your right and arcing over your head to end up on your left side? Any retro decorated room is incomplete without one of these monsters; just make sure you have the room for a retro lamp as big as this.
Yet another retro lamp that has actually had a huge impact on todays lamp styles is the torch floor lamp from the 1950s. Though there were torchiere lamps before that time, this design modernized it into a style that is still quite popular. Now you can find torchiere lamps with a variety of energy saving bulbs from compact fluorescent to halogen. Its really not a retro lamp, but deserves to be recognized for its pioneering efforts toward todays interior decorating.
If youre looking to use retro lamps in your design scheme, there are more than enough out there to choose from, and most are being produced today so you dont have to spend a killing at an antique store. Just do yourself a favor and stay away from lava lamps. There is retro, and just plain ugly, you decide.
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