Blue couch chair with throw pillows and coffee table

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

1980s Home Renovation and Design Ideas For a Nostalgic Makeover

by Jane Duncan, freelance writer

Nov 7 2021

About 3 in 5 homeowners, or 61%, have done home improvement projects since March 1st, 2020, according to the August NerdWallet survey. However, when it comes to integrating a 1980s nostalgic look, there are a lot of popular renovation and design trends to draw inspiration from. Whether you’ve just moved or you’re looking to renovate a home you’ve lived in for years, here are just a few trends worth bringing back

Glass walls, windows, and more

While the popular glass brick walls of the 80s aren’t often seen today, there are ways that you can incorporate such a design into your own home. For example, floor to ceiling windows or glass walls are a great way to not only bring back the same style in a more modern and contemporary way, but they can really open up a space in your home while bringing in a lot of natural lighting, too.

To make things even more reminiscent of the 80s, bringing the once famed tropical designs back to life through houseplants is an excellent way to put a modern twist on the 80s classic, as can bringing back Lucite.
If you’re looking to incorporate 80s design trends without creating floor to ceiling windows or see through walls, you can bring back another prominent trend of the decade; aka Lucite. A clear, acrylic plastic resin, Lucite was often seen in home decor of the 80s, and can still look just as good when put on display in today’s homes. Whether you choose to do so via a Lucite coffee table, desk, or shelving, there’s no question that it’ll remind you of the decade in which it gained popularity each time you look at it.

Memphis Design — a trend for the whole family

Created back in 1981 by an Italian design group, Memphis Design is a standard classic of the 80s, and was seen in a variety of different settings. With iconic examples seen in Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the classic MTV logo, and the intro of Saved by the Bell, there’s no question that the bright, clashing colours and geometric shapes bring back memories of the decade. 

When it comes to incorporating the design trend into a home renovation, however, there are many options worth considering. Patterned throw pillows or blankets are just one way that you can bring a bit of the style into your home, while options for a broader depiction of the style can include abstract art pieces or brightly painted walls with clashing colours.

If you happen to be moving to a new home with your family, you can certainly make redecorating the place a fun event for everyone, especially since moving can be particularly difficult for children. In fact, kids who move many times during childhood are more likely to experience mental health problems, according to a study of 50,000 children carried out by researchers at Queens University Belfast.

However, you can easily support your children through the change by helping them stay connected with their friends (if you’re moving to a new city) as well as by getting them involved with the home design process. By allowing them to pick out their favourite Memphis Design ideas or pieces of art, you can keep them actively and positively involved with every step of the way.

A touch of the 80s via cabinetry

If you’ve set foot into a kitchen in the 80s, you’re sure to recall honey oak cabinets. A warm, orange toned wooden look, these cabinets were an iconic staple in 80s home design, and can easily be brought back if you’re looking to renovate your kitchen. In fact, HGTV star Tyler Wisler recalls such cabinetry, stating “They just reek of acid-washed jeans, big perms, and Sweatin’ to the Oldies,” highlighting just how prominent of a role this style of cabinetry played. While styles of today lean more towards white or black coloured cabinetry, the golden toned honey oak style can still look good in anyone’s kitchen who wishes to implement a nostalgic twist.

There’s no doubt that there are many interior design trends that are worth bringing back to today’s homes. If you’re planning on renovating, considering those like Memphis Design, Lucite, or even the installation of honey oak cabinets are all worthwhile considerations that are sure to remind you of the 80s.

1980s Sunset and Palms Poster