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‘80s Design Trends That Are Making a Comeback

JULY 14, 2018
Photo credit: Sasha Bikoff

Statement eyebrows. The color mauve. Shoulder pads. Slowly but surely, trends from the 1980s have quietly gone from laughably outdated to the height of chic thanks to the Instagram generation rediscovering them all with fresh eyes. Though this revival has been most noticeable in beauty and fashion, interiors are now starting to channel the era of excess.

Case in point: The over-the-top stairwell by Sasha Bikoff for the 2018 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Referencing the Memphis Group, the design is a riot of color, patterns, and a little postmodern decor for good measure. It’s a decadent counter to the minimalist trend that’s still going strong. However not every look in ‘80s comeback is this dramatic. Here are 5 ways that the decade is already back.

1. Bold Gold Decor

The 90s signaled the end of shiny gold and brass decor. While these finishes have been brought back into interiors in the form of faucets and hardware, gold furniture still had that ‘80s association until recently. In the apartment of Atelier Savas founder Savannah Yarborough, a gleaming golden bed frame shows how this type of decor can make a powerful statement, especially against dark walls.


2. Red Marble

Summer Thornton’s transformation of a historic home in Wilmette, Illinois integrates elements from the 40s-70s. However, a few of these pieces remained trendy through the ‘80s — like the fully-upholstered velvet chairs in salmon pink, large crystal chandeliers, a chunky lacquered console, and this bold red marble table.


3. Black Marble Countertops

Another marble with ‘80s associations, black has become fresh again (perhaps as a counter to how ubiquitous white marble has become). In the kitchen of a Hollywood Hills home, Black Lacquer Design chose Nero Marquina marble for the countertops. The black color sets off the brass hardware, faucet, and pendants, as well as the hunter green cabinets.  


4. Chunky Lucite Furniture

Clear acrylic spans many eras, but is another material that had felt a bit ‘80s. This is particularly true when used to create bolder silhouettes, like the unique crib used in this nursery by Dina Bandman for SF Showcase 2018. The lush drapes (complete with trim) are another decor element that feel extravagantly ‘80s yet just right for today.


5. Channel Tufting

Thick channel tufting was (and is now) seen on seating, but is currently a hot trend for headboards. It’s an upholstery method that adds a sense of comfort and lushness to an interior, like in this bedroom staged by The New Design Project. For even more of an ‘80s vibe, opt for channel tufting in a mauve, seafoam green, or a neon print upholstery.

Feeling inspired and want to bring some of the 80's back into your home? Start a Decorist design project today

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