How to Achieve that Cozy Nostalgic Feel of Your Childhood at Home

Lindsey - December 11, 2023

Create a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere at home by revisiting the comforting vibes of your childhood. It’s more than just decor—it’s a journey into personal history. Explore practical ideas like a carefully chosen color palette and DIY crafts inspired by 90s trends. These strategies range from vintage decor to personal touches, ensuring your home becomes a nostalgic haven. Learn how to infuse each corner with the charm of your childhood. It can make your home a welcoming place that embraces your defining memories while meeting the needs you have now. Here are some tips to help you achieve that warm and familiar vibe:

Photo: The Guardian

Color Scheme

Immerse yourself in the cozy nostalgia of the 90s by selecting a color scheme that captures the era’s warmth. Picture walls adorned with pastel tones, muted shades, and earthy colors, reminiscent of the comforting hues that graced your childhood home. The incorporation of iconic 90s colors such as teal, mauve, and dusty rose adds an extra layer of sentimentality. These shades don’t just paint the walls, though. They evoke memories of afternoons spent in the living room, bathed in the gentle glow of these hues. The very sight of these colors becomes a portal to the past, creating an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity that harkens back to the simple joys of growing up.

Photo: Architectural Digest

Oversized Furniture and Textiles

Recreate the snug embrace of your childhood home by selecting furniture and textiles with the laid-back charm of your childhood. Opt for oversized chairs or plush sofas that beckon you to sink into their comfort. Then, enhance the coziness with throw blankets and pillows adorned with patterns and colors in 90s style. Every moment of relaxation becomes a journey back in time, then. Your space envelops you in the familiar warmth of the past, a time when comfort was simple.

Photo: Gadget Flow

Technology with a Twist

Technology has come a long way since childhood. You can merge the old and the new by incorporating technology with a nod to the past. Picture a vintage-style phone resting on a table, its presence a link to a time when communication was more deliberate and personal. Meanwhile, a modern device with a retro screensaver brings back an era when the digital world was just beginning to weave its way into our lives. The juxtaposition of past and present creates a blend of comfort and familiarity, merging the best of both worlds.

Photo: IKEA Museum

Entertainment Center

The big entertainment centers that trended for us as kids have long since been swapped out for sleek, flat screen TVs. However, a den or movie room could benefit from an entertainment center! It can house your favorite media while it serves as a shrine to the nostalgia of the 90s. Envision a dedicated space adorned with a retro TV, perhaps even the curved silhouette of an old tube TV, resurrecting the joy of Saturday morning cartoons or family movie nights. Surround this centerpiece with 90s memorabilia – action figures, neon signs, and other relics of the past. This entertainment haven becomes a time capsule, preserving the essence of a 90s living room and offering a cozy retreat into cherished memories.

Photo: Oprah Daily

Music and Sounds

What was your favorite album as a kid? Immerse yourself in the sounds of your youth by curating a playlist that echoes the diverse rhythms of the era. With streaming services at your fingertips, recreate your old favorite playlists into a musical journey that spans pop, grunge, hip-hop, and R&B – a melodic time machine transporting you to the days when these genres defined the soundscape. The nostalgia isn’t just auditory; it’s a visceral experience that transforms your living space into a haven of familiar beats. For an even more authentic touch, invest in a record player and begin a collection of vinyl records from your favorite 90s artists. The gentle crackle and warmth of vinyl, paired with the iconic album art, evoke the essence of a time when music was a tangible and cherished treasure.

Photo: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

Memorabilia Display

So many 90s kids have a box of old trinkets and treasures from youth. Capture the essence of your childhood by creating a dedicated space showcasing those remnants of your past. Imagine a display shelf adorned with your favorite childhood toys, action figures, or memorabilia – a shrine to the joys of growing up in the 90s. As you know, items like Tamagotchis, Beanie Babies, or Pokémon cards become more than collectibles. They’re windows into the carefree days of youth. Frame and hang old concert tickets, movie stubs, or other items on the wall that speaks to the unique moments that shaped your past. Let the display unlock memories, turning your home into a place where the tangible artifacts of your past coexist with your present.

Photo: Mashed

Themed Snacks and Drinks

After school snacks and TGIF evenings – what did your family choose? Transport your taste buds back in time by recreating the iconic snacks and drinks that fueled your childhood adventures. Picture classic lunchbox items: Dunkaroos, Capri Sun, SunnyD, Little Debbies, or even the clear effervescence of Crystal Pepsi – culinary time capsules that instantly evoke the flavors of your childhood. To enhance the experience, set up a DIY soda station featuring a variety of sodas, including retro favorites that once lined the shelves of convenience stores. The crackling of a can opening or the crunch of a beloved snack becomes a sensory journey back to the days when the kitchen was a portal to simple joys and after-school delights. Pro-tip: Pair your snacks with a movie night with your friends!

Photo: Best Life


Illuminate your space with the warm and ambient glow of 90s-inspired lighting. Envision the soft radiance of string lights casting a gentle aura, reminiscent of the cozy evenings spent with family. Alternatively, imagine the undulations of lava lamps creating an atmosphere that soothes and captivates. For an extra touch of nostalgia, consider incorporating neon signs or signs that evoke the aesthetic of your childhood room. Each flicker of light transforms your home into a haven of warmth and familiarity.

Photo: Medium

DIY Crafts

Embark on a creative journey that brings the hands-on spirit of the 90s into your home through DIY crafts. Picture crafting your own tie-dye pillowcases, infusing your living space with vibrant colors and patterns reminiscent of the iconic fashion trends of the decade. Alternatively, engage in the art of making friendship bracelets! Weaving together embroidery floss into colorful braids is both trendy and nostalgic. Each completed craft becomes an expression of your creativity and a charming reminder of the friendly, enthusiastic spirit of the time.

Photo: Seventeen Magazine

Movie Night Setup

What’s more fun than a movie night? Transform your living room into a cinematic haven with a carefully designed movie night setup, paying homage to the classic 90s film experience. Envision a cozy corner adorned with a selection of timeless childhood favorites, the air filled with anticipation and the unmistakable scent of buttered popcorn. Consider adding a popcorn machine or vintage-style popcorn bowls to enhance the immersive experience. The flickering glow of the screen and the shared laughter echo the countless movie nights of your childhood, creating a space where time seems to stand still, and the magic of cinema is alive and well. Check out the snack tips above for a great idea on a childhood treat buffet to accompany the evening!

Photo: Kineticist

Retro Rugs and Carpets

You can add a jolt of yesteryear to your living space with the vibrant and dynamic patterns that adorned the floors of 90s homes by laying down retro rugs. Visualize geometric patterns and bold prints that were a hallmark of 90s decor, instantly adding warmth and nostalgia to your surroundings. The touch of these textiles underfoot becomes a sensory journey back in time, invoking the comfort and familiarity of the homes that shaped your formative years. Bonus points if you add zebra print into the mix!

Photo: Vogue

Wall Art

Channel your inner artist and create a gallery of DIY wall art inspired by the eclectic aesthetics of the 90s. Picture handmade posters, collages, or framed pages from old magazines that capture the essence of the decade’s trends. This DIY wall art not only serves as a personalized expression of your creativity but also as a visual time capsule, capturing the eclectic and vibrant spirit of your childhood that once adorned bedroom walls and common areas.

Photo: Etsy

Scented Candles or Potpourri

Scent plays a huge part in our memories. Engage your olfactory senses in a journey through time by selecting scented candles or potpourri that encapsulate the fragrances your family used as a kid. Imagine the comforting aroma of vanilla, the spicy notes of cinnamon, or even the subtle scent of old books. These scents go beyond mere ambiance; they become a fragrant portal to the past, infusing your home with the comforting and familiar smells of the 90s. The simple act of lighting a candle becomes a sensory experience that transcends time.

Photo: Dengarden

Plants and Greenery

Infuse your living space with a breath of fresh air and a touch of nostalgia by incorporating indoor plants reminiscent of your childhood home. Choose low-maintenance varieties like spider plants or snake plants, popular choices during the era. These green companions not only bring nature indoors but also serve as living echoes of the houseplants that adorned homes in the 90s. The sight of their vibrant leaves becomes a visual ode to the simple joys of tending to greenery and the tranquil ambiance of a well-loved 90s abode.

Photo: IKEA Hackers

Memory Jar or Box

Create a tangible repository of cherished moments by crafting a memory jar or box, a sentimental vessel for small tokens and notes that hold profound meaning. Perhaps you already have one! Picture handwritten letters, small trinkets, or notes from friends carefully stored within. Each addition becomes a snapshot of a memory, a tactile reminder of the connections and experiences that shaped your 90s narrative. Displayed prominently, the memory jar or box becomes not just a decorative element but a heartfelt journey through the past, inviting reflection and evoking the warmth of shared moments.

Photo: Ebay

Vintage Clocks

Vintage clocks – alarm or wall-mounted – create a journey back in time! Enhance the functional and aesthetic aspects of your home by incorporating vintage clocks with a distinct 90s aesthetic. Strategically place them around your living space, each tick and tock resonating with the familiar sounds of the past. The presence of these timepieces not only adds a practical element but also elevates the overall vintage vibe, evoking memories of a time when such clocks adorned the walls of family kitchens or living rooms, their rhythmic sounds a comforting backdrop to daily life.

Photo: ELLE Decor

Mismatched Furniture

Embrace the eclectic charm of your childhood home by intentionally incorporating mismatched furniture pieces into your decor. Picture an assortment of chairs, tables, or even a mix of vintage and modern furniture, each piece telling its own story. This intentional mismatch becomes a nod to the diverse design trends that characterized the 90s, where individuality and self-expression took center stage. The result is a personalized and inviting space that mirrors the dynamic and creative spirit of the era.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Hang a Beaded Curtain

The 70s beaded curtain experienced a resurgence in the 90s. So, transport your living space back to the playful and carefree days of the 90s by installing a beaded curtain in doorways or as a room divider. This once-popular decor item instantly adds a whimsical and retro element to your home. As the beads sway with movement, they create a tactile and visual experience reminiscent of the vibrant and spirited ambiance that defined the era. The beaded curtain serves not just as a decorative element but as a dynamic piece of nostalgia that enlivens your living space with a touch of youthful exuberance.

Photo: Foter Magazine

Board Game Wall Art

Transform your walls into a playful tribute to your love for classic games by repurposing old board games as unique pieces of wall art. Picture mounting game boards in frames or arranging them creatively to form a distinctive display. The colorful boards and nostalgic game pieces become not just decorative elements but also a visual celebration of the joy and camaraderie that board games brought to your childhood home. This creative wall art is a testament to the timeless appeal of these games, inviting both fond memories and a sense of whimsy into your living space.

Photo: Decor Matters

Memory Lane Corner

Having a dedicated space to remember your past could help make your present better. Create a dedicated sanctuary within your home, a “memory lane” corner that encapsulates the essence of your personal journey through your youth. Arrange photo albums, yearbooks, or old diaries in this nostalgic space, weaving a visual tapestry that tells the story of you. Each glance at this curated corner becomes a journey through the moments that shaped you, a reminder of the friendships, challenges, and triumphs that defined your 90s experience. This intentional corner becomes a tranquil refuge for reflection and a cherished tribute to the richness of your personal history.

Photo: Buzzfeed

Fuzzy and Fun Fabrics

We mentioned using 90s rugs in your space, but don’t forget furniture and accessories! Infuse your living space with tactile nostalgic feel by integrating fuzzy or velvety fabrics in the form of cushions, blankets, or upholstery. Envision sinking into a plush sofa adorned with these textures, instantly transported to the cozy and inviting atmosphere of decor. Think about animal print or tie-dye, ruffled pillows, and perhaps some floral elements. The touch of these fabrics becomes a comforting embrace.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Nostalgic Memory Wall Collage

Curate a dedicated wall collage that serves as a visual love letter to your favorite memories from the 90s. Picture arranging printed photos, ticket stubs, and memorabilia in a visually appealing display. This collage becomes a living timeline, capturing the essence of your most cherished moments. Each component, from faded concert tickets to candid snapshots, contributes to the narrative of your childhood. The memory wall collage is not just a display, however. It’s a testament to the rich experiences that shaped your identity and continue to resonate in your heart. Pro-tip: Modge Podge preserves memories collaged on wood very well!

Photo: Net-a-Porter

Nostalgic Bedding

Elevate your bedroom into a sanctuary of 90s nostalgia by carefully selecting bedding that transports you back to the era. Picture bedspreads or sheets adorned with patterns and designs featuring characters from your favorite cartoons or movies of that time. Dinosaurs and florals are also a great idea! The act of slipping under the covers becomes a journey into the past, surrounded by the familiar faces and vibrant colors that once adorned your childhood. This nostalgic bedding not only adds visual interest to your space but also envelopes you in the comforting embrace of cherished memories, creating a sleep environment that resonates with the warmth of bygone days.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Vintage Wall Phones

Introduce a touch of retro charm into your home by installing vintage wall phones in key areas. Even if they serve no practical purpose, these decorative relics harken back to an era when landline phones were an integral part of daily life. The sight of these vintage phones hanging on the wall becomes more than just decor; it’s a visual reminder of a time when communication was deliberate and tangible. The aesthetic appeal of these non-functional artifacts contributes to the overall vintage ambiance, creating a homey atmosphere reminiscent of the simple joys of the 90s.

Photo: Zach Whalen

Classic Video Game Art

Transform your walls into a nostalgic canvas that pays homage to the golden age of video gaming with classic video game art. Imagine pixel art prints or posters featuring iconic characters from games that defined the 90s. Each visual element becomes a vibrant celebration of the digital landscapes that captured your imagination during that era. The presence of this classic video game art not only adds a playful and nostalgic aesthetic to your home but also serves as a conversation starter, inviting friends and family to share their own memories of gaming adventures from your childhood.

Photo: The Spruce

Chalkboard Wall or Door

Chalkboard paint trended strongly in the 90s. Bring it into now by personalizing your space with a touch of interactive nostalgia. Picture using this space to write nostalgic quotes, doodle, or create your own temporary art. This dynamic chalkboard surface becomes a visual playground, a canvas where memories, quotes, and doodles collide. The ever-changing nature of this feature adds a playful and nostalgic element to your home, inviting you to express yourself and fostering a sense of whimsy reminiscent of the carefree spirit of childhood.

Photo: Jenny Lemons

DIY Macramé Plant Hangers

We can’t forget about the bohemian influences of the 90s! Infuse your living space with a touch of the laid-back vibes of your childhood by including intricate macramé plant hangers. Imagine these intricately knotted creations suspended near windows or in corners, supporting vibrant greenery and bringing the outdoors in. These DIY macramé plant hangers add a touch of greenery, too. The play of textures and the presence of living plants contribute to a serene and nostalgic ambiance, creating a cozy haven that echoes the carefree spirit of the past.

Photo: This Lil Piglet

Customized Corkboard

Infuse functionality with a personalized touch by designing a corkboard with a 90s theme. Picture pinning up notes, photos, and small items that hold sentimental value, creating a dynamic and ever-changing display. This nostalgic corkboard becomes a practical and visually engaging focal point. It’s a place to showcase memories and mementos from the past. In essence, each pinned item contributes to a visual narrative that tells the story of your 90s journey, fostering a sense of connection within your living space.

Photo: Amino Apps

Vintage Board Game Night

Elevate your home into a whimsical time capsule of 90s nostalgia by hosting a vintage board game night. Unleashing the magic of classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, or The Game of Life transforms your living space into a playful haven. Specifically, picture strategically placing board games on display shelves, creating an inviting atmosphere. The vibrant boxes and intricate game boards become decorative elements. Then, think of the thrill of rolling dice and the friendly competition that characterized the evenings of your youth. As you gather around the table for a spirited round of your favorite games, remember that the clatter of dice and the rustle of cards. The sounds are echoes of carefree joy, turning your home into a cozy retreat.

Photo: Sugar Bee Crafts

DIY Photo Booth Corner Is A Nostalgic Tear-Jerker

Add a playful and interactive element to your home by setting up a DIY photo booth corner with props and backdrops inspired by the 90s aesthetic. Use a Polariod camera (or new version of the classic). Perhaps put up a photo display in the area to let guests add their smiling faces to your room! Picture capturing new memories with friends and family against a backdrop of the visual trends of your childhood. In essence, this whimsical corner becomes a space for laughter and spontaneous photo sessions, capturing a carefree joy. The DIY photo booth corner documents new memories and also serves as a fun and nostalgic feature. It brings a touch of playfulness to your living space.

Photo: Bean Products

Bean Bag Chairs

Is there a more 90s nostalgic furniture choice than a bean bag chair? The unmistakable charm of 90s nostalgia becomes effortlessly tangible with the addition of bean bag chairs. Obviously, these plush and casually oversized seats aren’t just pieces of furniture. They are portals to an era when comfort and casual style defined every corner of the home. Placing bean bag chairs strategically in your living room instantly transports you to the carefree afternoons of childhood. It’s where sprawling across these soft cushions was a daily ritual. The tactile sensation of sinking into the cushioned embrace evokes memories of movie marathons, video game showdowns, and late-night chats with friends.

Photo: The Hollywood Reporter

Nostalgic Classic TV Shows

Imagine creating a dedicated space where the laughter of beloved sitcoms and the suspense of iconic dramas resonates. Displaying posters featuring the cast of your favorite shows transports you back to evenings spent awaiting the next episode. Whether it’s the iconic coffee shop setting of Friends or the quirky charm of Saved by the Bell or the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, infusing your living space with these visual reminders doesn’t just add decor; it weaves a tapestry of memories. As you binge-watch episodes or simply relish the sight of familiar characters on your walls, your home becomes a time capsule. It’s a cozy sanctuary where the laughter and drama of 90s television echo through every corner.

As we come to the end, remember that it’s not just about decor. It’s about infusing your living space with the spirit of your own narrative. From the carefully selected color schemes that transport you to the comforting hues of the past to the playful DIY crafts that echo the creativity of bygone days, your home is a canvas where memories come alive. Picture the subtle glow of string lights. Imagine the scent of familiar candles. The personalized touches scattered throughout all serve as reminders of the moments that shaped you. Remember, the key is to blend these elements in a way that feels authentic to your own memories of the 90s. Let it be a testament to your history—a home that not only shelters but warmly cradles your past.