80s Decor in the Modern Age

Decorating our modern, high-tech homes with 80s decor does not have to be an eyesore, instead we can create crafty and unique ensembles with little expense and without distraction.

Although the market is saturated with retro themed merchandise from themed wallpaper, tabletop accents, to photographs and custom electronics, we possess the ability to decorate our homes through thrifty scavenger hunts within our parent’s homes or in the local thrift, second-hand, and even used furniture stores.  A large market is also readily available as well

A fair amount of GenX'rs who lived through our era, tend to think of auburn and brown hued furniture, walls, and flooring. Wicker furniture, television carts, brass and glass shelving also tend to mentally surface in the living room while our kitchens yielded multiple colors of countertops, appliances, and table sets sometimes non-matching.  However, 80s decor in the 21st century doesn't have to be distracting, rather it can accent your lifestyle and your abode.  One of the simplest ideas can be old dressers and converting them into entertainment centers that can either seclude the multiple systems and cables, using the drawer space and converting the front panel to hinged panels instead of pull drawers, or proudly display the various gaming systems and welcome your gaming family and friends by removing the drawers altogether; simply sand and paint to your room's taste.  2 tier and octagonal end tables were plentiful and can be modernized with a bit of sanding and fresh paint to utilize them in the home office as a way to organize your smartphone and accessories, display books, or as intended to add tabletop lights or potted plants.

Kitchen tables and chairs can be turned into wall side seating or tabletop gaming centers and even cleverly disguised with tablecloths.  Wicker furniture and floral cushions need not be distracting, rather complimenting with brighter flooring.  Classic furniture can still flatter your dwelling either as it is, slipping a new cover over top, or reupholstering with newer fabrics to enhance your space.  Older appliances can be modernized with a little effort by taking the time to sand the outer shell and painting it with appliance paint or have fun and paint it with chalkboard paint so that your children, or your inner child, can write and decorate it yourself.

Be crafty and inventive with your ideas as well.  Use old, well-read comic books or even the newspaper comics to create a unique decoupage tabletop or inner lining display to your furniture, much like Jason's earlier DIY article.  Add texture using plastic wrap and paint, giving your furniture a leather look.  Change out the pull handle hardware with 1980s merchandise, such as mini-Rubik’s cubes, mini-game controllers, army men, etc., either by drilling out the item and adding threads or gluing the item atop of the pull handle.  If your home has a game room, spare set up time while incorporating the games as décor atop of an old kitchen table.  Use your favorite board games (e.g. PayDay, Monopoly, Sorry, Chutes and Ladders, etc) and lay them all on top of the table and add a glass top overlay

If new is more your style, several products are readily available to customize your modern living.  Retro patterned cushions and furniture, neon signs, prints, stickers, retro toy collectibles (e.g. updated figures, toys, etc.) and even selecting wall colors that accentuate your home with reflections of the 1980s yet not overwhelming to the eye.  Your mind is the only limitation when it comes to incorporating the retro decor in your 21st century home.

For more ideas or additional information, please consider reading this article Bringing the ‘80s Back to the Future: 9 Modern ‘80s Design Tips from the Pros

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