Designers say Riverdale's Lili Reinhart looks to her 'grandparents' era' in her design choices – and we should too

The Riverdale actress looks to retro prints and '70s-inspired hues to evoke a sense of nostalgia in her main living space

Lili Reinhart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The revival of '70s-inspired interiors is nothing new – but with support from Riverdale's Lili Reinhart – we'd say this trend is far from over. 

The actress' dining room is the ultimate celebration of everything retro – from its intricately printed brown wallpaper to the patterned tablecloth and mid-century modern furnishings (including a noteworthy cabinet in her open-plan entryway). 

In all its nostalgic glory, the space pays homage to a time gone by – but it is, in no way, dated. Instead, it taps into an ever-popular design trend that experts say is inspired by our grandparents' homes. So, what exactly does this involve?

Design experts weigh in.

'There is a design theory that suggests designers often look to their grandparents' era when searching for home décor inspiration,' says style director Amber Dunford.

'The reasoning is that their childhood home décor tends to feel too recent to use as a reference, whereas their grandparents' home feels more nostalgic and exciting. Many trend-setting designers are currently of the age that perhaps the '70s might be a reference that aligns with their grandparents' home, sparking positive associations as they think back to memories they created while in that space.'

Amber Dunford
Amber Dunford

Amber Dunford has experience working as an interior designer, style director at Bed, Bath and Beyond. She's also an environmental designer, visual merchandiser and art director. Amber has united her interior design background and master's degree in psychology to also teach a Design Psychology course in Salt Lake City.

Plus, while nostalgic memories are sure to influence how we decorate our home, the growing desire for 'vintage inspired and natural materials' is similarly impactful in fuelling this trend.

A bright yellow wall with a wooden sideboard, lamp and abstract red painting

(Image credit: Victoria-Maria / Belen Imaz & Pedro Bermejo)

'There are many iconic furniture shapes from the '70s that stand the test of time yet still have the vintage vibe people might be aiming for,' Amber says. And, furniture aside, this era taps into recent color trends, too.

'This period leaned into the use of earthy color palettes and natural elements such as wood, rattan, and velvet, which we are all gravitating to these days,' Amber says.

To get the look, it is natural to begin with burnt yellows and brown hues, similar to those seen in Lili Reinhart's dining room. However, if statement wallpaper isn't for you, subtler ways to flirt with the trend remain.

'Seventies decor is about replicating shapes and color patterns from that era in a cleaner way that doesn’t feel frozen in time,' Amber explains.

'Designers can take elements they enjoy from this time such as caning and iconic retro light fixtures like mushroom lamps or bubble pendants and pair them with more modern-day pieces to keep the styling fresh.'

A retro living room with a large, curved yellow sofa as the focal point

(Image credit: Cole & Son)

'You can also capture that ‘70s feel by incorporating warm woods and neutral colors like oatmeal, linen and camel, and then layering in those classic earthy greens, oranges and mustard hues typically associated with this retro design period,' the designer adds. 

For a Lili-approved starting point, we're picking up these picks below.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.