#TBT: 6 Kid Rooms That Prove Retro is So Cool

Go ahead and steal a glimpse for yourself.  

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As a parent, it's your duty to impart the wisdom of the ages unto your children. This means dispensing golden nuggets about how the original Karate Kid is obviously better than the remake and how '80s Pac-Man is far superior to today's Mario Kart. (That's just good parenting, people.)

But ultimately, it's your job to show the next generation what separates the classic and cool from the here today, gone tomorrow. Drop some knowledge (AKA, parental guidance) with a retro-inspired room they'll want to share as a #TBT in a few years.

1: Comic Book Cool

Long before they shattered box-office records, Marvel and DC heroes dominated the pages of comics. Introduce your mini guardian of the galaxy to the multiverses (and the power of reading) with a big-kid bedroom defined by those epic storylines.

Multicolored Contemporary Boy's Bedroom With Mural

Multicolored Contemporary Boy's Bedroom With Mural

Super-hero style gets graphic and way cool in this boy's bedroom that mixes crisp, comic book-style drawings with bright, bold colors.

Photo by: John Woodcock Photography

John Woodcock Photography

And if you really want to kick bland wall butt? Take note from super-duo Jen and Jo of J&J Design Group and deck your kid's cave with a NYC streetscape, Justice League sheets and Batman accessories. The poppy color schemes alone will knock their socks off.

Explore This Superhero Sanctum

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Superhero-Themed Boy's Room

Superhero style looks especially cool in this contemporary boy's room. Here, the designers mixed crisp, comic book-inspired wallpaper with bright colors to fuel the little one's big imagination.

Nightstand With Batman Accent

On the nightstand, a Batman figurine-turned-alarm clock makes for a fun accent. When paired with a sunny yellow lamp, the vignette feels especially Gotham-centric. 

Detailed Views

A closer look reveals Batman and his newest sidekick, Lady Liberty, keeping the world safe from too many boring color schemes.

Hero-Inspired Pillows

Captain America and his superhero friends make a colorful explosion (Pow! Bam!) via the bed's throw pillows. A gray duvet keeps the bright hues in check.

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Gray Armchair With Graphic Pillow

Opposite the bed, an upholstered chair and ottoman gives the little one his own reading corner. A graphic gallery wall and pillow further the heroic aesthetic. 

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Contemporary Sectional and Storage

Easy storage plus comfy seating make the young owner of this chic room very happy. Dark blue walls are a compelling neutral for the spirited prints and word play.

Homework and Art Corner

Unfinished wood panels give texture and visual interest to this nook equipped with a built-in desk and stools. A wire hung between the walls is an easy (and flexible!) place to pin up drying artwork or graded papers.

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

Blue and Green Bathroom

A lime-green coat of paint both enlivens this bathroom and packs a punch that Hulk himself would be proud of. A framed Superman print continues the theme of the nearby bedroom.

Geometric Mirror and Backsplash

Beneath the hub-style mirror, a mosaic backsplash adds color and interest to the neutral counters. Metallic accents give the space a subtle, shimmering finish.

Photo By: John Woodcock Photography

2: An Ode to the '80s —

If you were raised in the '80s, then you know that Ray-Bans, technicolor tracksuits and graphic patterns never really went out of style. Draw on those gems of the past and create a kid space that's as fun and flashy as it is iconic.

Multicolored Kid's Room With Graphic Wallpaper
J&J Design Group
Bedroom With Sunglass Mirrors
J&J Design Group

Multicolored Kid's Room With Graphic Wallpaper

To keep this bedroom feeling fun and kid-friendly, designers mix and match bright colors and graphic patterns. It's a look that is playful without being at all childish.

Bedroom With Sunglass Mirrors

Sunglasses make cheeky mirror frames in this boy's bedroom where a sunny yellow dresser is a bright companion. Fabric bins in graphic black and white hide toys and laundry with crisp panache.

For one lucky client, J&J Design Group did just that. Cassette tapes became a rockin' monogram, Pac-Man ghosts glowing nightlights and laser-cut Aviators a cheeky mirror. The result? A bedroom that's cool beyond its years.

3: — And Those Neon Nights

Another major takeaway from our favorite decade? Only the hippest of hangouts can be seen from outer space. Back in the day, fluorescent pinks and neon greens were key to achieving childhood popularity.

Retro Orange and Pink Palette Made Fresh in Joyful Bedroom

Retro Orange and Pink Palette Made Fresh in Joyful Bedroom

Designer Annie Lowengart created a modern homage to her sister's orange and pink childhood room in "Smoll's Room Redux" at the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The punchy, graphic wallpaper on the ceiling by Flavor Paper is tempered by the more traditional stylings of the headboards and armchair chair from Chairish.

Inspired by the raddest girl on the block, HGTV Designer of the Month Annie Lowengart recreated her big sister's childhood bedroom for the 2016 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. To make your daughter's space just as bold, we suggest going heavy on the orange day-glo.

4: Video Game Goals

Before you lament the loss of classic arcades, take heart: you can still indulge in the fun of Pac-Man and Space Invaders with your little ones. Wall decals that stretch from floor-to-ceiling will turn your kids' room into an intergalactic battleground. 

Playful Contemporary Kids Room
Danny Piassick
Fun Contemporary Kids Room
Danny Piassick

Playful Contemporary Kids Room

This fun, contemporary kids room keeps things interesting with a bright color palette and unconventional accessories.

Fun Contemporary Kids Room

This contemporary kid's room is fun from floor to ceiling with an oversized polka dot rug and a modern chandelier.

But don't just take our word for it. See how Mary Anne Smiley used neon aliens and ghosts to bring the familiar faces of old arcade games home.

5: Automotive Appeal

Have a future Speed Racer on your hands? Give them a crash course in the history of transportation with prints that depict race cars, motorbikes and yes, even the classic little red wagon.

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Art Wall

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Art Wall

A gallery wall of transportation prints makes a colorful, fun backdrop to the sleek gray crib in this boy's nursery. Visual texture and tactile appeal is brought in through a mix of patterns from the graphic curtains to the blue-and-white gingham rocking chair and faux fur area rug.

Photo by: Jacob Snavely

Jacob Snavely

We love how the designers at Chango & Co. drew on retro autos to help their champ get ahead. The wood train on the floor is also a nice touch, just in case the kiddo decides to switch gears down the line.

Take The Space for a Spin

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Contemporary Boy's Nursery is Urban, Chic

A sleek gray crib is paired with colorful art prints of vehicles, creating a contemporary setting for this boy's nursery. Black graphic curtains flank windows overlooking the Tribeca area, while blue-and-white gingham rocking chairs provide cozy seats.

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Art Wall

A gallery wall of transportation prints makes a colorful, fun backdrop to the sleek gray crib in this boy's nursery. Visual texture and tactile appeal is brought in through a mix of patterns from the graphic curtains to the blue-and-white gingham rocking chair and faux fur area rug.

Contemporary Boy's Nursery With Built-In Changing Station

Sleek white built-ins add plenty of storage to this boy's nursery. Drawers and cabinets add hidden organization, while open shelves are the perfect spot to display favorite toys and stuffed animals. Inset in the cabinets is a changing station, complete with robot-themed wallpaper and bright red sconces.

Contemporary Changing Station With Robot-Themed Wallpaper

Bright red sconces pop off the robot-themed wallpaper, a fun, whimsical touch to this boy's nursery. The changing table area is built into sleek cabinets, but is designed to grow with the child, providing much-needed storage to the room.

Built-In Cabinets in Contemporary Boy's Nursery

Sleek gray built-in cabinets, complete with a changing station, provide much-needed storage and functionality for this boy's nursery. Adding to the contemporary vibe is a mix of patterns from the graphic curtains to the blue-and-white gingham rocking chair.

Open Shelving in Contemporary Boy's Nursery

Open shelving in a nursery is the perfect place to display favorite toys and stuffed animals, adding true child-like charm to the room. Felt bins stow away smaller toys and keep the space looking organized.

Robot-Themed Boy's Bathroom

Funky robot wallpaper sets the tone for a whimsical Tribeca nursery bathroom, while the streamlined pedestal sink and toilet bring contemporary style to the room. A sleek-lined mirror is functional and also helps to expand the space visually.

6: Summer Camp Chic

Nothing says retro-cool quite like a summer spent at sleepaway camp. Recreate the experience for your kids by decking their corner of the lakehouse with bunk beds and an antique medicine cabinet.

Built-In Bunk Beds With Storage
James R. Salomon Photography
Wooden Ladder & Bright Red Chair in Lakefront Kids Room
James R. Salomon Photography

Built-In Bunk Beds With Storage

Room to sleep is plentiful in this kids bedroom. Multiple built-in bunk beds offer storage underneath the bottom beds as well as the steps leading to the top bunk beds. A patriotic color scheme adds a fresh, coastal vibe to the space.

Photo By: James R. Salomon Photography

Wooden Ladder & Bright Red Chair in Lakefront Kids Room

A long wooden ladder is used as decor to enhance this coastal-themed kids room. A bright red chair and an American Red Cross framed print complete the design.

Photo By: James R. Salomon Photography

Better still, choose a classic color palette like Kristina Crestin did here. Red, white and blue bed linens feel oh-so Americana.

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