Decorations, food, and costumes are all huge parts of vintage parties. But if you want your soiree to evoke the nostalgia of youth or transport your guests to another decade, then you absolutely cannot forget about the lighting. Just as each era had different fashion and food trends, each era used different lighting. Amp up your vintage game by choosing the perfect lighting for your next party.
Go Metallic for the Roaring Twenties
When you think of the 1920s and 1930s, you think of Art Deco. Shades of black, gold, and silver make a visually striking color palette for your Roaring Twenties party. Add to the vintage look by hanging gold and silver paper lanterns throughout the space, and place them over simple hanging bulbs to create cool era-appropriate ambient lighting. If you want to evoke the feeling of prohibition, put all your alcohol bottles in paper bags, and encourage your guests to bring flasks filled with their favorite spirits.
Colored Bulbs Create the Groovy Sixties
The lighting at parties in the 1960s was all about color. Lava lamps added their mesmerizing glow to the colored incandescent bulbs you’d find in many light fixtures. Check out Christmas Lights Etc to find a wide array of colored bulbs that you can scatter in the fixtures all over your house. Choose popular tie-dye colors like blue, purple, red, and green to create a groovy scene. If you can find a few black lights, that’ll put your 1960s party lighting over the top.
Light Up That Seventies Disco Ball
Image via Flickr by Bruno Girin
You can’t throw a true disco-era party without a disco ball. Instead of buying a cheap one and hanging it in the center of the room, go all out for your 1970s party with the real vintage item. The right placement and lighting will let your disco ball cast an array of fun circular lights spinning around the room. Use neon lights to light the disco ball and throughout the rest of the space. Strobe lights are another way to create that disco mood. Just don’t turn on any overhead lights. You want to create the illusion of a 1970s-era club!
Glow Sticks Make Your Nineties Party
The gaudy neon colors in glow sticks were a staple of fun for many kids during the 1990s, especially those old enough to go to concerts. Bring nostalgia to your 1990s party by buying a bunch of glow sticks, cracking them until they glow (remember not to do this until the party is about to start), and using them in your decor. Scatter them across food and drink tables, hang them from the ceiling, and don’t forget to deck yourself out in them as well.
You don’t have to throw theme parties to use these lighting ideas, either. A little throwback lighting at a modern party will give your guests a taste of nostalgia without the extra work of planning, decorating, and hosting a themed party. Sometimes all you need to liven up a limp dance floor is a surprise disco ball or some glow sticks.