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Lifestyle

June 8, 2014

It's American Retro

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a three-Sunday series taking a look at trends among baby boomers as the youngest of the generation turns 50 years old.

If you spent childhood summers on a northern lake, grew up lunching at diners and shake shacks, or took a college road trip, you’ll be all over the next big home décor trend: American Retro.

And even if you didn’t, you may appreciate the look and feel — an easygoing, aspirational lifestyle centered more on the meandering road than the techno highway.

Lifetime Brands trend expert Tom Mirabile calls the style “visual comfort food.”

The imagery and decor elements draw baby boomers back to what might feel like simpler, more innocent days. Think vintage-style advertising and artwork, lunch-counter dishware, camping motifs, mid-century surf culture. Old bakeries, drive-ins, roadhouses, garages, beach shacks. It’s the kind of retro, outdoorsy charm to be found in the production design of Wes Anderson films like “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Online retailer Fab has jumped on the trend, with offerings like Roo Kee Roo’s retro-style prints of boating and cottage motifs, made by Forest and Michael Evashevski, who grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Beach towels printed with patterns from famed blanket-maker Pendleton have a vintage vibe, and would work in a bathroom as well as at the shore. And a campfire-ready collection of enamelware from Falcon includes a red teapot and serveware. (www.fab.com )

Grace Feyock’s wall clock for Uttermost is made of vintage pictures of old license plates. A map made of license-plate images makes bold, graphic wall art, by David Bowman. A set of coasters printed with images of the famous Route 66 road sign make a nice addition to the cocktail cart. (www.wayfair.com )

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