1980s Interior Design Trends: A Stylish Comeback

Just like fashion trends, interior design trends from the 1980s are making a big comeback. From oversized silhouettes to vibrant pastels, the iconic elements of 80s decor are being reinterpreted in a chic and modern...

Just like fashion trends, interior design trends from the 1980s are making a big comeback. From oversized silhouettes to vibrant pastels, the iconic elements of 80s decor are being reinterpreted in a chic and modern way. In this article, we will explore nine 1980s interior design trends that are resurfacing, along with tips on how to incorporate them into your space for a fresh and stylish look.

Design by Angie Hranowsky / Photo by Annie Schlechter Design by Angie Hranowsky / Photo by Annie Schlechter

What did 1980s Interior Design Style look Like?

The interior design style of the 1980s drew inspiration from the previous decade, particularly the counterculture movement of the 1970s. The influence of designs like the Togo Sofa and the Mah Jong sofa can be seen in the oversized and low-sitting furniture of the 80s. The 1980s also saw a revival of Art Deco style, with designers incorporating rounded corners and pyramid shapes into their creations. Additionally, the 80s embraced the vibrant colors and abstract shapes of the Memphis movement, resulting in bold and eye-catching designs.

Design by Black Lacquer Design / Photo by Eron Rauch Design by Black Lacquer Design / Photo by Eron Rauch

Pastels: Soft and Whimsical

One of the defining features of 1980s decor was the extensive use of pastel colors. Mauve and teal were particularly popular during that time. To bring this trend into the 21st century, incorporate patterns and textures to add depth and variety to the soft pastel palette.

Travertine: Minimalist Elegance

Travertine, with its minimalist markings and blocky silhouettes, was a favorite material for 1980s furniture. To give it a modern twist, mix it with seating from different eras and experiment with vibrant color palettes. This will help to avoid the washed-out look associated with authentic 80s decor.

Photo by Laurey Glenn Photo by Laurey Glenn

Memphis: Bold and Geometric

The Memphis design movement, known for its bold use of color and abstract shapes, can be intimidating to incorporate into modern spaces. However, by washing the geometric shapes in neutral and monochromatic hues like ecru or blush, you can create a more contemporary and sophisticated look.

Overstuffed Silhouettes: Go Big, But Not Too Big

In the 1980s, furniture silhouettes were supersized. To avoid a room looking overwhelming, try varying the scale of furniture by mixing oversized pieces with smaller, delicate ones. This contrast will prevent the room from looking too matchy-matchy and add visual interest.

Design by Angie Hranowsky Design by Angie Hranowsky

Bamboo: Exotic Charm

Bamboo furniture, especially modular designs with split reed paneling, was synonymous with 1980s decor. To update this look, pair bamboo sofas and chairs with neutral prints or solids instead of theme-y palm-flocked cushions. However, don't shy away from incorporating signature 80s tones like mauve and teal for a touch of nostalgia.

Large Lamps: Making a Statement

In authentic 80s interiors, decor was minimalistic, so large table lamps were used to fill the void. These lamps often featured orb-shaped designs with ribbon or sash embellishments. To bring these lamps into the 21st century, use a pair of them to create cohesiveness between mismatched sofa end tables.

Design by Angie Hranowsky Design by Angie Hranowsky

Plaster: Sculptural Simplicity

To avoid the heaviness of brown wood furniture and heavy metals, designers in the 80s turned to plaster for its matte white finish and sculptural quality. To incorporate plaster into a modern space, use it in small doses. A single statement plaster pendant or a pair of plaster lamps can add an elegant touch to any room.

Art Deco: Timeless Glamour

Art Deco made a big comeback in the 1980s, with larger proportions and simplified forms compared to its 1920s counterpart. To give a fresh take on 1980s Art Deco revival styles, pair them with the original Art Deco era's rich and saturated color palette.

Photo by Sarah Natsumi Moore Photo by Sarah Natsumi Moore

Famous 1980s Furniture Makers

  • Milo Baughman
  • Jan des Bouvrie
  • Thayer Coggin
  • Gabriella Crespi
  • Louis Durot
  • Directional
  • Paul Frankl
  • Vladimir Kagan
  • Maitland-Smith
  • Pierre Paulin
  • Serge Roche
  • Saporiti
  • Karl Springer
  • Michael Taylor

Get inspired by the iconic designs of these furniture makers and incorporate their pieces into your 1980s-inspired decor.

Conclusion

The 1980s interior design trends are experiencing a revival in a fresh and stylish way. By borrowing elements from the past and adding a modern twist, you can create a space that pays homage to the iconic decade while embracing contemporary aesthetics. So don't be afraid to bring a touch of 80s nostalgia into your home and enjoy the bold and vibrant style that defined the era.

Lead photo design by Sarah Vaile / Photo by Aimee Mazzenga

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