We have some exciting interior design news: The 80s are back! But don’t worry—only the good parts. Think: bold shapes, natural materials, and geometric patterns. (No waterbeds, ruffled bedding, rag-rolled walls, or wall-to-wall carpet in sight!)
When you think of 1980s interior design, your mind might be drawn to walls full of those 80s glass blocks, or perhaps Laura Ashley florals or piles of shabby chic ruffles. Or maybe you think of The Golden Girls and Blanche’s bedroom design in all its Miami Boho glory. Preppy style, pastels, chintz, and geometric designs reigned supreme in the 80s.
Trends come and go in cycles, and 80s-inspired design elements have been slowly coming back in vogue for a while now. And while we’re definitely seeing a love of chintz come back in the Grandmillenial design trend, we’re seeing 80s-inspired interior design trends come to life more in the way of furniture shapes and materials, geometric patterns, and 80s color palettes. And even in some 80s-inspired takes on Art Deco-inspired design elements (a 100-year-old style that made a comeback in the 80s and is back in style again today).
Want to get the 80s look? We tasked our designers to show us how they’re designing with an 80s influence. Keep reading for a few different ways they’ve used 1980s interior design elements to get the look!
With this minimalist take on 1980s interior design, a select few sculptural statement pieces take center stage. This design is more about the shape, material, and texture of the furniture than applied ornament or decor. While there aren’t many pieces in the space, the negative space lets the forms and textures shine—making this look perfect for the Minimalist Maximalists out there. (And you could easily amp up the drama with a bold wall color.)
The terracotta color of the chairs create a statement, while an otherwise black-and-white color palette creates contrast in the space. The chairs’ curved, sculptural design with a velvet finish speak to both the mod and glam elements of 80s design. Marble was very big in the 80s, so the dining table, while sleek and modern in shape, fits in with that 80s vibe.
With a bold color palette, this look gives a nod to the ubiquitous Memphis style of the 80s. The 1980s really influenced the use of shapes in furniture and decor—and this bedroom drives home that idea. Here, we see round bulbs combined with a sculptural nightstand and curved bed. Basically, with less “stuff” in the room, the forms of the furniture and decor are the stars of the show.
The color palette speaks to the bold use of color throughout 1980s interior design, but in a format that was most seen in Memphis design. The art, with its bold colors and layered geometry, drives home that homage to 80s Memphis design.
This living room is a glam, chic take on 80s design. Inspired by 80s beach house contemporary style, this look is all about bold drama through shapes and statement pieces. The “puffy,” rounded furniture has a sculptural quality, with the velvet sofa and chair feeling contemporary but very bold. The polished stone finish of the sculptural coffee table balances out the softness of the sofa and chair, and it also plays off the geometry of the rug and artwork.
The high-contrast palette—with black, white, and blush sitting center stage—has a feminine-inspired feel. But the color palette alongside the furniture forms balances the masculine and feminine sides of Chic 80s style.
This living room, with its eclectic mix of shapes and materials, brings the funkiness of boho style to an 80s aesthetic. Natural materials like cane and rattan were widely used in the 80s—and we’re seeing that natural materials trend come back to life today in a big way. Today’s use, however, is in a lighter, trendier way—but it still gives a big nod to 80s design. The natural materials in this space balance out the bold forms and geometry in the room, making it feel more casual and approachable than some of the other takes on 80s-inspired design. Meanwhile, the low, rounded sofa (which has a very 80s vibe) compliments the natural materials of the cane and rattan.
The bold shapes in the mirror and table lamp are a nod to the forms made popular in the 80s. The wall art also features a bold, geometric design that is reminiscent of the Memphis design patterns of the 80s.
This look brings in some 80s design influences, but in a much “safer” way. It mixes contemporary 80s style with today’s transitional style for a less in-your-face look. With a more subtle approach, it relies on a few pops of bold 80s design elements on a neutral foundation—making it very easy to switch up the look of this space over time.
The 80s-inspired design elements noticeably come through with the bulbous lamp, the Art Deco-inspired mirror, and the glam acrylic vase. The pastel-hued wood console, with its geometric knobs, really speaks to the contemporary 80s vibe. The color scheme, combined with the art sketch, brings to life the soft, feminine side of 80s-inspired design.
Want to bring some 80s-inspired design into your home?