Groovy, Baby! 5 Retro Living Rooms

Bring bold mid-century style to your home

We love romanticizing the 1950s and ’60s: dreaming of the stylish parties, beautiful clothing and the eclectic decorating styles. We’ve decided to put our nostalgia to good use, rounding up our top 5 spaces that blend old and new. Take a note and bring retro-cool into your own living room. 

On the Rocks, Palm Springs 

california-desertcities_ontherocks_05Palm Spring’s abundance of mid-century modern homes makes it a hotbed of inspiration for the design inclined. Like its name implies, On the Rocks is propped up against Palm Springs’ mountainous terrain, making for a cool contrast between the home’s glassy exterior and the rugged rocks. Inside, each room has taken on a character of its own, including this retro-chic living room. Here you’ll find just the right amount of retro: a plush fur throw adds a feminine touch to the dark leather chairs, while the deep blue abstract artwork brings the color from the outside in.
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Casa Weiss, Cabo San Lucas 

gal-cabosanlucas-casaweiss-09In Cabo San Lucas, you can obviously find the typical Mexican Casa style of home. But you’ll come across villas like Casa Weiss, where contemporary chic reigns supreme. ’60s style groovy furniture is set in the company of floor-to-ceiling glass walls that reveal mind-blowing views of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, Casa Weiss draws inspiration from all over the world: that fur rug and fireplace reminds us of a cozy chalet in the Swiss Alps, while those mid-century modern chairs could easily be from a cool SoHo loft. But those golden rays pouring through the windows? Now that’s classic Cabo.

Arthur Elrod’s Escape, Palm Springs 

retro-california-arthurelrodsescape-04Arthur Elrod was an interior designer known for throwing fabulous parties when Palm Spring’s was in its Hollywood prime. One of his homes was made famous for forming part of the backdrop in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. But to take a break from the grandeur of his Tinsel Town pad, Arthur Elrod built himself a little staycation spot. Arthur Elrod’s Escape is classic Palm Spring’s mid-century modern, where yellow cushions lay beneath the pool cabana, and carpets are decked out in floral designs. Though you might not want to commit to wallpaper and stucco ceilings in your own home, Elrod’s bold use of color, ornate gold mirrors and oh-so-inviting couch are timeless classics.
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The Samuel Navarro House, Greater Los Angeles 

retro-californiala_samuelnovarrohouse_07This home was declared a historical cultural monument by the City of Los Angeles for its reflection of Hollywood’s golden era. It gained quite the reputation under the ownership of Ramon Navarro (who received the home from Hollywood manager Louise Samuel), who would throw parties around his grand piano. Today, the home still has an inviting atmosphere for entertaining. From the turquoise lap pool shaded by green vines to this spacious, bright living space with cowhide upholstery and chess pieces turned chairs, it’s clear the Samuel Navarro House still pulses with Tinsel Town memories.

Ocean Front Azure, San Diego 

cali-sandiego-azurelajolla-04When it comes to nailing retro cool, it seems that no one does it better than the west coast. Ocean Front Azure is no exception; this glass, ultra-modern estate right on the sea in San Diego is an Architectural Digest worthy space. Not only is the 3-floor home entirely eco-friendly, its glass, steel and concrete exterior is artfully softened by the interior decor. Warm walnut walls, bright, playful artwork and practical, neutral furnishings balance the space to become an inviting home for the whole family. Besides, who doesn’t love watching the California sunset right from their living room couch?


Colleen McNamara