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Cocktail Rooms: How We're Adding Retro Lounge Style to Modern Spaces

After many years of the minimalist style dominating the design scene, retro lounges are making the ultimate comeback. At ADC, we’ve embraced this trend by creating a lounge that transports you back to the charm of mid-century cocktail room culture. Here's how we blend retro chic with modern sensibilities to craft spaces that are both nostalgic and contemporary.

What is a Cocktail Room?

Cocktail rooms are a dedicated space designed to evoke the glamour and sociability of classic cocktail culture. Originating from the mid-20th century, cocktail rooms were where people gathered to enjoy drinks, conversation, and music in a setting that combined sophistication with leisure. These rooms were characterized by their decor, comfortable seating, and an ambiance that encouraged fun and relaxation. Today, cocktail rooms are making a comeback, offering a stylish escape within modern homes.

The Armstrong Design Collective Approach

Our approach to designing cocktail rooms is rooted in a deep appreciation for the aesthetics and spirit of the mid-century era. This involves a meticulous selection of materials, colors, and furnishings that recreate the look and feel of the 1950s and 60s while integrating contemporary functionality.

Deep Emerald Snakeskin Wallpaper

The walls of our latest cocktail room project are wrapped in deep emerald snakeskin wallpaper, a bold choice that adds texture to the space. This striking backdrop sets the tone for the entire room, providing a feel that is both retro and modern.

Elegant Sconces and Mirror

Lighting plays a crucial role in creating the right ambiance. We selected beautiful sconces that cast a warm, inviting glow. A statement mirror also helps to reflect light, making the space feel larger and more open.These elements combined create a visually appealing focal point that draws guests in and invites them to linger.

Cocktail-Themed Prints

Art is a vital component of any well-designed space. We chose three playful, cocktail-themed prints by Erin Rothstein to add a burst to the room, and draw our guests into one cohesive space. These paintings celebrate the joy of mixology and martinis — a personal homage to the designer herself — complimenting the retro theme while adding a contemporary flair.

A “Mad Men” Inspired Lounge

Our cocktail rooms are inspired by the iconic lounge style that is sure to please a modern Don Draper. This style is characterized by a blend of sleek, modern lines with rich, luxurious materials. Key elements include:

Seating for Guests

Comfortable seating is essential for any cocktail room. We incorporate a mix of plush sofas and stylish armchairs, upholstered in rich fabrics. These mid-century modern pieces not only provide comfort but also contribute to the room’s sophisticated aesthetic. 

A Mini Bar for Mixology

No cocktail room is complete without a well-equipped mini bar. Our design includes a well-stocked bar with the essentials for making martinis and the like. We prioritize functionality, ensuring that the bar area is both stylish and practical, with ample storage for bottles, glassware, and bar tools.

Let Music Set the Mood

To fully immerse guests in the retro experience, we recommend including a playlist with the hits of the time. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, for example, provide the perfect soundtrack for a leisurely evening in the cocktail room. 

At Armstrong Design Collective, our cocktail rooms are designed to be more than just spaces—they are experiences. By combining the timeless elegance of mid-century style with modern design elements, we create rooms that are both nostalgic and fresh. Whether you're hosting a lively gathering or enjoying a quiet evening with a martini in hand, our cocktail rooms offer a stylish escape that celebrates the best of both past and present.


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