Do you remember overstuffed chintz couches, pastel ruffles, and graphic pop art décor? Today, the 80s don’t have a great reputation for home design, and many of the trends from that decade feel more than a little dated. But 80s fashion is coming back in a major way among clothing designers, and as a result, interior designers are beginning to pull inspiration from 80s home trends.
80s style definitely stands out from that of previous decades, but you don’t need to go full-on pink floral with fern accents to create an interior that’s both fun and practical. By pulling from just a few 80s design trends, you’ll add a unique vintage touch to your home.
If you’re feeling the major 80s nostalgia, this list is for you.
Geometric patterns were bold, trendy, and poppy in the 80s. Use these colorful designs to accent neutrals on furniture and walls – but keep it to one or two bright pieces to avoid feeling like you live in a Katy Perry video. One great example is designer Camille Walala’s home designs inspired by the Memphis Group, with unique items like shelves and planters.
Kitchen islands were definitely a trend that had staying power. After all, many kitchens today still have them – often in lieu of space for a kitchen table. In the 80s, islands were smaller and had pieces like butcher blocks that home cooks could slide in and out; later designs have taken a more utilitarian approach, with drawers, dishwashers, and other major appliances. This is a perfect example of a trend that has been upgraded for the modern homeowner.
The 80s in Manhattan were extremely chic and stylish for their time – and the resurgence of art by Warhol and other pop artists, as well as the insurgence of neo-expressionism, had a lot to do with this. If this is your aesthetic of choice, consider hanging a bright, bold Warhol print or diptych to liven up a dull room. But if you incorporate pop art, make sure you keep other tones in the room muted to avoid overwhelming the viewer.
In the 80s, Southwestern style was hugely popular – but it was also a little kitschy. The three staples were apricot-colored walls, Navajo blanket patterns, and an animal skull or two. Today’s Southwestern style draws inspiration from the era but uses subtler colors and less obvious interpretations of Spanish colonial style. If you want to try decorating this way, keep the leather to a minimum and try layering textures and patterns for variety.
It wouldn’t be the 80s without dainty florals and dusty rose pinks. If you want to incorporate this frilly, girly look, keep it subtle. One or two accents in the form of throw pillows or lampshades will go a long way, and they won’t overwhelm a room the way full wall-to-wall florals would.
Final Thoughts: Keep It Simple
The 80s have been called the “ugliest decade” in terms of design. In large part, the problem wasn’t that the decade had bad ideas; the style was just overdone. Incorporating 80s style can give your home a unique and exciting look, but it’s best to keep it to a few accents and decorative touches to remain tasteful.