Coloured bathtubs and 5 other surprising retro trends coming back into style

Plouf bath, £10,819, Splash washbasin, £1,369, Wow mirror, £1,082, and Pinstripe tiles, from £317 per sq m, Bisazza (
Plouf bath, £10,819, Splash washbasin, £1,369, Wow mirror, £1,082, and Pinstripe tiles, from £317 per sq m, Bisazza (

Retro looks are making their way back into interiors – here’s how to make them right for now. 

Timeless terrazzo 

Tiles, from £63 per sq m, Otto Tiles (

Originating in Italy over 500 years ago when construction workers  set tiny pieces of leftover marble into clay to make hard-wearing yet inexpensive flooring, terrazzo had a surge in popularity during the 1970s. Now it’s enjoying a comeback, not only as a solid surface but as a pattern on a host of items, too.

Wool rug, from £1,228, The Rug Company ( 

Oversized chips form the design on a rug by The Rug Company, while striking tiles by Otto Tiles come in a range of neutral tones, as well as pink or mint green. Habitat has a collection of affordable tabletop accessories. Online hub Trouva stocks a range of terrazzo-patterned products, and Graham & Brown’s speckled wallpaper produces a similar effect on walls. 

Walnut and glass sideboard, £8,985, Elite To Be (

The new bamboo

Sofa, £474, and coffee table, £192, both Bloomingville (

While rattan has been doing the rounds for a while now, its chunkier counterpart – bamboo – is  now becoming popular, too. Bloomingville’s range is a fresh update for summer and works indoors  and out. Also a fan of the material is the Israeli designer Arik Levy, who has used it to create a  new collection of lamps for Forestier that project delicate shadows on to walls.

Habitat’s spun bamboo lighting is another twist on the theme, where the versatile plant is transformed into an unexpectedly smooth surface, while bamboo tableware makes a lightweight, eco-friendly alternative to plastic and paper sets for summer dining. 

On the fringe

Wallcovering, £125 per roll, Arte (arte-  

A fashion trend that has edged its way into interiors in the past, fringing is shimmying back into the spotlight once again. Bringing tasselled upholstery into the 21st century is Portuguese brand Munna, which has not held back on the swish-factor when designing its covetable sofas and chairs.

Fringing can even be found on walls – the aptly named Shiver wallpaper by Arte is inspired  by flapper dresses. But if  you don’t want to invest in something so permanent, there are plenty of fringed cushions and lampshades available  on the high street.

Bathed in colour 

Think of a 1970s interiors cliché and avocado bathroom suites come to mind. But believe it or not coloured baths are back, along with basins and taps too. Luxury manufacturer Bisazza has embraced the movement with a range by French designer India Mahdavi, which includes the joyfully named Plouf tub, Splash sink and Wow mirror, all available in blueberry, strawberry or pistachio.

Concrete basin from £1,128, Kast (

Brassware company Dornbracht has introduced a new tap collection in candy colours, while Kast can supply basins in no less than 28 shades, and also offers a bespoke service, should you wish to specify a colour. Victoria + Albert Baths can do any of its free-standing baths in  a choice of 194 colour finishes.

Or dip your toe into the trend with cheerful, coloured tiles, like these Lilypad designs by Capietra.

Porcelain tiles, £2.30 each, Capietra (

On-trend terracotta 

Team terracotta with pink for a really modern look. Chaise sofa, from £2,200, Arlo & Jacob (

Warm, calming and easy to live with, terracotta is a shade enjoying a revival. The Bertie chaise sofa by Arlo & Jacob looks inviting upholstered in terracotta (Heal’s and Loaf have velvet sofas in similar tones), while Dutch brand Moooi’s latest offering is a set of tables inspired by the ancient material itself. Scandi brand New Works has used a simple form to showcase several finishes including smooth terracotta, giving the primitive substance a distinctly modern edge.

One  to watch:  Contemporary corduroy

H.Lis Fox Easy chair, £725, Rose & Grey ( 

Though recently velvet has been the material of the moment, corduroy is being used  by some of the coolest interior  designers as an edgier alternative.  A heavier-weight fabric is ideal for upholstery,  whereas finer cord works well for accessories such as  cushion covers.

Rose & Grey is ahead of the curve with this mid-century-style chair in chunky jumbo cord, which  comes in seven smart colours, and check out Ferm Living’s corduroy cushions, available in a range of  sophisticated, jewel-like shades.

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