The 1980s were a memorable decade known for big hair, neon colors, shoulder pads, and synth pop music. But the ’80s were also an iconic time for home decor. Many interior design trends from the 1980s are making a major comeback today. Let’s take a nostalgic look back at 12 home trends from the ’80s that are popular once again.
Shabby chic decor featuring distressed wood furniture and vintage fabrics was hugely popular in the 1980s. This romantic, feminine style is back in a big way. White and pastel furniture with chips and scratches paired with lace and florals creates a soft, lived-in look. Mixing elegant antiques with more casual distressed pieces makes shabby chic style achievable.
Wallpaper fell out of favor in the 1990s and 2000s due to its association with busy, headache-inducing prints. But bold and vibrant wallpaper made a statement in 1980s home decor. From tropical prints to abstract geometrics, statement wallpaper is back in style. Use it sparingly on a single accent wall or go bold with wallpaper on multiple walls.
Rattan and Wicker Furniture
Natural fibers like rattan and wicker were everywhere in the ’80s. These materials made a breezy, beachy statement in that decade’s decor. Rattan and wicker furnishings are popular again for their casual, airy look. Use them inside and out to give spaces a relaxed, tropical vibe.
Few materials say 1980s style better than shiny brass. Brass fixtures, hardware, and accents added metallic glam to 1980s interiors. Brass is back in a big way, with brass light fixtures, door knobs, and home accessories lending a hint of luxury. A little bit of brass goes a long way, so use it sparingly.
Teal and Turquoise
Bold teal and turquoise colors were found everywhere from furniture to appliances in the 1980s. Today, these retro shades are making a comeback in decor. Use turquoise and teal to add vibrant personality on accent walls or furniture pieces. These lively hues stand out yet work with most color palettes.
Terrazzo tiles were popular in the 1980s for their speckled, artsy look. Made from concrete embedded with stones or glass, terrazzo is back in style for surfaces like floors, countertops, and tabletops. It offers the visual appeal of natural stone for less cost. Terrazzo makes a colorful, durable choice.
Black and white checkerboard tile floors were a defining look of 1980s kitchens and bathrooms. This retro geometric floor pattern is reemerging in modern interiors. Paired with white cabinets and brass hardware, checkerboard floors create fun, nostalgic appeal. Use checkerboard tile sparingly on a backsplash or powder room floor.
Urban lofts revealing old brick walls and architectural details became trendy dwellings in the 1980s. Exposed brick remains a popular feature in contemporary homes. Let aged brick serve as an accent wall, fireplace surround, or kitchen backsplash to add weathered texture.
Track lighting was an innovative addition in 1980s homes, allowing customized placement of lights on ceiling tracks. Track lighting remains a sleek, versatile lighting option. Use it to spotlight artwork, shine down on kitchen counters, or illuminate other spaces. Rotate and reposition lights as needed.
See-through Lucite furniture including tables, chairs, and shelves added modern flair to 1980s decor. Lucite maintains popularity for its light, airy aesthetic. Small Lucite accent tables and chairs lend rooms an open, minimalist look. Use sparingly mixed with more substantial furniture.
Electric neon pink, green, orange and other bold shades were big in the 1980s. These bright hues are back in fashion for accents and accessories. Use neon colors in small doses through pillows, art, or kitchenware to energize a space without overpowering it.
The 1980s Memphis design movement featured vibrant colors, graphic prints, and postmodern shapes. This over-the-top style is finding renewed interest among hip crowds. Memphis patterns and shapes can lend a retro, artsy pop to modern rooms in small doses.
The maximalist 1980s produced many eclectic home fashions that fell out of favor – until now. From bold geometrics to natural textures, several trends from the ’80s are hot again in 21st century interiors. Bring back the fun of the 1980s without going overboard. Mix these nostalgic trends sparingly alongside more modern and minimalist elements for a stylish, updated home. With the right balance, 1980s chic can feel fresh, current and full of personality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What defined the home decor of the 1980s?
A: Big, bold colors, prints and shapes defined 1980s home decor. Trends included neon hues, Memphis graphic patterns, terrazzo floors, exposed brick, wallpaper and Lucite furniture. The ’80s had an eclectic, maximalist and retro feel.
Q: What made interior design in the 80s unique?
A: 1980s decor stood out for its whimsical, bold mix of styles and embrace of new materials like Lucite. Vibrant colors, experimental shapes and postmodern Memphis design got creative. The ’80s shunned minimalism in favor of eclectic decor.
Q: Which home trends from the 80s are coming back?
A: Several 1980s home trends are popular again today, including wallpaper, checkerboard floors, rattan/wicker furniture, brass accents, neon colors and terrazzo surfaces. Exposed brick and track lighting also remain stylish.
Q: How can I use 80s home decor trends in a modern way?
A: Incorporate 1980s trends sparingly alongside more modern elements to keep things fresh. Use bold wallpaper or neon colors on an accent wall, add a few brass accents, or mix in a couple pieces of rattan seating.
Q: What should I avoid when trying to recreate 80s style today?
A: Avoid going overboard with too many loud ’80s trends at once. Steer clear of outdated color combinations and very busy patterns. Not all ’80s fashions transition seamlessly, so be selective when choosing accent pieces.
Q: Were there any home gadgets trendy in the 80s?
A: Track lighting, Lucite furniture, and brass fixtures were popular ’80s home gadgets. Boldly colored appliances and early versions of the microcomputer also made waves. Overall the ’80s embraced futuristic and statement-making home tech.
The maximalist interior design of the 1980s included many statement-making looks that fell out of favor over time. But in recent years, several ’80s home trends have regained popularity. When used thoughtfully, a hint of 1980s style can make interiors feel nostalgic yet fresh. From graphic prints to natural textures, today’s homes are time traveling back to the eclectic 1980s for whimsical inspiration with staying power. Incorporating touches of shabby chic, terrazzo, brass, and other ‘80s chic elements allows contemporary spaces to stand out with bold retro flair.