Every decade has unique design characteristics, though they always overlap some. Even if we just trace back color trends alone, we find certain colors are indicative of certain eras:
50’s – aqua blue, candy pink, lime green and other pale colors
60’s – jade, mint green, sunshine yellow, blue and cherry red, orange
70’s – avocado green, harvest gold, burnt orange and brown
What about the 80’s? Do you remember? The most common colors were mauve, forest green, burgundy, salmon, sea foam green, and pinky beige. Eek.
That was a crazy decade. Along with crazy poofy hair, neon colors in clothing, parachute pants, wrap bracelets, high top shoes, and scrunchies, there were also some crazy decor trends.
There is a DIY Network show called “That’s So 80’s” that features pop culture experts who talk about and make fun of design trends that were indicative of that decade.
The show is a short series that covers every room in the home from bathroom and kitchen to bedroom and den.
If you are a fan of looking back over the past, join me today as we look through some of the things that the show touches on.
1. Pastels and floral.
Not that pastels or floral are bad. But, in the 80s they were overdone. Notice the floral balloon valances below, paired with pale laminated oaks.
Floral overload here. Remember how curtains matched matched either chairs, bedspreads and/or pillows? And, many times we paired floral with plaid?
We used pink on everything. Walls, sofas. I think we called it dusty rose back then.
2. Specific Cabinets.
Most cabinets were done in conjunction with laminate countertops and linoleum floors.
The cabinets were usually either pale toned.
Or laminated mod. If there was any space over them and not a soffit, then it was important to have lots of stuff on top of cabinets. I mean lots. I’m not saying to never put anything on top of cabinets, but scale it down to a few purposeful large items or don’t do it at all.
That’s a lot of dusting up there!
Knotty pine was also still around, left over from the 70s.
Remember the geese and other country motifs?
3. Southwestern motif. Done in pastels, of course.
It may also be time to get rid of your knotty pine furniture and/or cabinets.
I do think it’s possible to do minimal accents in southwestern style in a classy way. I mean, if it’s your heritage or something you love, maybe you don’t have to throw it all out.
4. Oversized and overstuffed furniture.
Gone are the La Z Boy sofas that hide drink holders, refrigerators and recliners. Well, they still make them, but they should be gone.
My mom just got rid of hers and has a new leather set now.
5. Faux Finishes.
Not that all faux finishes are bad, but back then it was all about sponge painting. Remember that? We did it at my mom’s house in pink and green. Eek. Would I ever do it again? No.
6. Carpeted bathroom.
This was marketed as luxury. The bathroom floor gets wet, water attracts mold and mildew, carpets suck it all in. Ick.
7. Hunter green and mauve. Another popular color scheme.
This isn’t exactly hunter green carpet, but it’s green. And, well, it reminded me that we once had green carpet.
Note: None of this is meant to be offensive to anyone. It’s just stuff that the show reminded me of… and I thought it’d be fun to discuss.
Oh, I should have put wallpaper borders in the list. What other 80′s design trends do you remember?
If you lived through it, I’m sure you had one or two of these things in your home. What was the worst design you saw or had during that decade?
Have you seen the show? Do you like it?
What trends from the 2010’s do you think we’ll be talking about in a decade or two as being so out of style?