Whether you love it or hate it, 1980s style is back in fashion, inspiring a new generation of designers to create updated riffs on the decade that incorporate some of its most memorable trends. A polarizing decade in terms of fashion and interior design, the '80s was a decadent era where the very notion of good taste was openly flouted and clashing influences were used in loud and often excessive ways that reflected the times (and eventually ushered in '90s minimalism).
Defined as much by yuppie style as punk rock and postmodernism, '80s interiors were dominated by such disparate trends as chintz; Laura Ashley floral prints; Pop Art; neon colors and lighting; asymmetry; color palettes that ranged from red-and-black to pink and green to peach or mauve everything. Marble was everywhere from furniture to accessories to paint effect wall treatments. On-trend interiors could have been alternately shabby chic, decorated with Art Deco-inspired geometric forms and rounded edges, Southerwestern influences, or postmodern style from the celebrated Memphis Design movement founded by legendary Italian designer Ettore Sottsass.
While there is a lot to answer for in this smorgasbord of design trends, today’s designers have been mining the decade’s high points and nostalgic appeal, incorporating elements of '80s style in contemporary ways that look fresh and offer a contrast to the linear, organic mid-century modern aesthetic that has dominated interior design in recent years. Check out these bedroom ideas that reference '80s vintage style in contemporary ways for some inspiration that still feels at home in a 21st-century interior.
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Hannah Park of HIDA Modern decorated her '80s-inspired Los Angeles studio with vintage and flea market finds that reference Miami, postmodernism, and the decade’s pop culture. Park focused her bedroom design around rounded forms, ubiquitous light-reflecting mirrors, tropical plants, and the bright neon colors that marked the era. The bright and airy room painted white with pale-toned hardwood flooring keeps it all feeling current without dipping too far into museum display territory.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Graphic Black and White
This graphic black-and-white bedroom from Mary Patton Design has bold bronze accents that recall the signature gold-toned metallics of the decade that have made a comeback in recent years. “The inspiration was actually my childhood best friend’s room in the '80s,” Patton says. “I remember it being so magical and wanted to create a similar environment for my daughter. The mix of the canopy and Fortuny used in an '80s Laura Ashley way is a fun twist on something from my childhood.”Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Pink and Green
This bedroom from Mary Patton Design embraces the '80s penchant for pink and green and floral prints in a room with vintage bona fides. “The bed is actually from the client’s parents' house from the late '80s,” says Patton. “We updated it with modern bedding, lamps, and end tables, but I love the mix of old and new.”Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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In this converted '80s dance club loft in Los Angeles, Caitlin Jones and Chris Willcox of vintage retailers Asparagus turned the separate bedroom into its own pop homage to Southerwestern design, another popular trend from the 1980s. They sourced the colorful rugs and bedding from a road trip through the American West.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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This bedroom from Gunnar Larson has '80s spirit but feels current, with its bold use of clashing patterns and color. According to Larson, making '80s design work for today “is all about stripping away the bulk and mixing comfort with sleek modern lines.” He says he particularly likes how furniture designers are updating overstuffed '80s furniture, say, by incorporating sleek metal framing to create a current take on an old style. “It is fun to see how '80s design is getting deconstructed and reinvented for our design-forward trends yet having our bodies' comfort in mind,” Larson says.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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This bedroom from Sarah Barnard Design is a modern take on '80s style with its bold plum and lavender color-blocked walls, curvilinear black walnut Autoban bed frame lined with purple velvet, red upholstered ottoman, plush black carpeting, and a neon sign that spells out “phantasmagoria” above the bed that channels the vogue for everything neon during that decade.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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This sleek '80s-inspired bedroom designed by Kara Mann as part of a furniture collaboration with CB2 is a fresh, polished, and contemporary take on the decade. The bedroom is a confident mix of high-contrast warm whites and muted blacks, with a mauve-colored velvet ottoman and bold geometric shapes that recall the best that the decade had to offer.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Architect Pauline Borgia of Atelier Steve designed this renovated apartment in Paris with bold contemporary moves that could have been inspired by the ghosts of '80s interior design, including an updated color-blocked take on the era’s signature pastel pinks and greens, here in a saturated forest green and deep salmon color palette. Bold mismatched bedding recalls the era’s penchant for clashing fabrics in everything from home design to fashion.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Not Too Shabby
The '80s was also the time when the cottage and English/French country-inspired trend rebrand known as shabby chic exploded, with slip-covered sofas and ruffled all-white bed linens ruling the day. While shabby chic might have fallen out of favor as a term, the penchant for cozy, feminine bedding in light neutrals is a classic that keeps reinventing itself, such as in this bedroom designed by Maison de Vacances with its comfy bed linens mixed with eclectic mid-century and rustic accessories to give it a more timeless contemporary feel.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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A Graphic Touch
In this room at the Hotel Henriette in Paris, interior designer Vanessa Scoffier used graphic wall stripes of neon pink in a slightly off-kilter pattern to loosely define the bed era and introduce some punchy '80s vibes into an otherwise neutral bedroom. Using a touch of neon, whether on the walls, or in linens, art, or decorative objects is an easy, low cost way to give your design a jolt of personality that can be changed out easily.