Totally Rad ’80s-Inspired Home Decor
Decadence, opulence, maximalism: '80s home décor was anything but shy. With popular shows such as Dallas, Falcon Crest and Dynasty as sources of inspiration, could you blame us? Many of the decade's trends are back now, and, much like mall bangs, they're big. Here are 15 ways you can add some '80s style into your home.
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Chill Out, Dude
This Igloo cooler is so cute you could make it a conversation piece (and spot to contain clutter) in a basement hangout or porch. Plus, then you’ve got a place to put your Sunny D when you head to the beach in your Vuarnets.
On the Grid
OK, but doesn’t this Simested IKEA rug seem like it would be right at home in Alex P. Keaton‘s bedroom? True red was a decorating staple in the ’80s, and hot in fashion, too—hi, Sally Jessy Raphael‘s iconic glasses—and windowpane patterns leapt off notebooks and onto walls and floors. And don’t let this geometric style hem in your accents: Experiment with mixing patterns for a fun twist.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Something about these bookends feels very conspicuously status-symbol, which, of course, was pretty much the goal in the ’80s. Melding together corporate-office élan with the natural world, these marble bookends would be perfect for an ’80s inspired study.
Artist Ashley Mary has made a name for herself by installing postmodern-y murals with exuberant color palettes and movement. Choosing among her many delightful paintings or prints is a tough task. Our pick? Her works painted onto the King of ’80s Transportation—skateboards.
Drew Barrymore’s Flower Home line for Walmart has a lot of ’80s home décor gems, including this cute set of three abstract sunset paintings. Personally, we’d pair them with these brass-finish seashell bookends in a little reading nook for a dose of ’80s sunshine. Just add Sun-In and tanning oil.
$54, set of three, walmart.com
It’s easy to build the playful exuberance of the ’80s into a kids’ room. This whole scene from Target is spot on, from the rainbow brights to the neon lights. And the table lamp? The base lights up, as well as the bulb under the shade. Radical!
If there’s one thing that people who lived through the ’80s and people who are just starting to decorate their homes now can agree upon, it’s a love of plants. And rattan. This little rattan stool is a workhorse—it would make a perfect side table, plant stand or perch for extra company, in a pinch. If you’re just getting started you may want to know 10 indoor plants you (probably) can’t kill.
Hooked on a Feeling
Some traces of the ’70s hadn’t left homes by the ’80s, plus beach culture was huge, so crafty finishes like macramé, hooked rugs, and the like hung around. The cheeky colors and the bold statement on this pillow from Oh Joy feels reminiscent the French fashion brand that dominated ’80s sweatshirts and bookbags: Esprit.
Because Barrymore’s home collection can’t be beat, here’s one—err, four—more: Four metal serving trays that can be moved around like a snack-bearing sculpture.The geometric design and desert-inspired color combo feel like a polished ’80s home décor update. Check out how to make an industrial serving tray.
Forget camera phones or flip phones: Corded novelty phones were IN, and all you could do on them was the one thing we so rarely do with today’s smartphones: Talk. The Swatch twin phone, the see-through phone, the giant pair of red lips—the bigger, the weirder, the better. If one ’80s relic you’ve hung onto is your landline, dial up the absurd with this two-all-beef-patty-special-sauce inspired cheeseburger phone.
Off the Wall
Wallpaper was big then, and it’s big now, too. Fearless, bold prints and tropical themes (think Golden Girls and Miami Vice) again dominate. Here’s how to install wallpaper. This Paradisa wallpaper from Anthropologie is a splurge, but pitch-perfect inspiration for an update on ’80s motifs. Paired with pink and brass accents? Awesome! Totally.
For those who read “bold” as “embarrassingly over the top,” these subtle handtowels might do just the trick to meld trendy ’80s home décor into their current setup. Graphic black-and-white with just the tiniest geometric detail are the merest nod to a maximalist, new wave decade. For more ideas, take a look at 15 vintage home trends that are making a comeback.
The slightly bubbly shape and lacquer finish over the linen texture make this horseshoe-shaped coffee table a shoe-in for a splurgy ’80s home décor conversation piece. But in context of this room, it really is perfection: Pairing the warm luggage-leather side chair with the purple couch and geometric lampshade is an object lesson on how to bring back ’80s home décor without looking like you rescued it from someone’s basement.
Bed for Benji
Don’t forget your four-legged friend—pet gear can be well designed, too. Your pets will love these 14 adorable DIY dog beds. Plaid was rad, from East Coast WASP to rustic woodsy patterns. This squared-off pet bed by Hearth & Hand by Magnolia at Target somehow manages to bridge that gap.
Need more ’80s inspiration? Check out Gladys Tay‘s Instagram account, where she shows off her knack for rescuing and re-styling ’80s home décor, from art and objects to flat-out fabulous furniture. Here, oversized primary-color geometric chairs and a postmodern marble coffee table are seriously stylish, without taking the trend too seriously.