The 1980s was a decade of bright colors, unique design, and interesting fun. People tend to think of the era through its fashion and music, but it’s easy to forget how much the home decor of the time set its own creative trends. Many of the iconic pieces of the decade are still popular today, but a quick browse through some of the decade’s unique home decor can transport you back to a time when pixels were the only visual filter and shoulder pads meant style. With a few simple photos and some research, you can easily find throwback home decor that will have you feeling some serious nostalgia.

Types of Home Decor Styles From the 1980s

The 1980s saw the popularization of several distinct home decor styles. From straight-up retro to maximalist to Scandinavian, home decor trends of the 808’s are still popular today. Here is a quick overview of the most popular 1980s home decor styles:

The term “retro” refers to any style inspired by or directly taken from past eras. A classic retro look consists of brightly colored furniture, walls, and fabrics. For example, a typical retro-style couch might be upholstered in a lime green fabric with scattered brightly-colored pillows and a white geometric patterned design.

Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism. It includes bold patterns, bright colors, and eclectic textures. A typical maximalist living room might contain a bright patterned rug, layered artwork on the walls, and various furniture pieces with interesting shapes and textures.

Scandinavian home decor was quite popular during the 1980s. The emphasis is on functionality, simple lines, and a neutral color palette. Furniture is clean-lined and upholstered in neutral colors. Lighting is often simple metal fixtures. Accents may include fleecy rugs, knitted throws, and woven baskets.

Iconic Pieces for a Tasteful Throwback

Whether you choose a particular decor style or incorporate aspects of all three, the following pieces can help you recreate that perfect 1980s throwback look.

Sectional Sofa
Sectional sofas were all the rage in the 1980s, and they’re still making a comeback today. If you’re really trying to go for the retro look, opt for a two- or three-piece sectional upholstered in an eye-catching color or pattern.

Glass Coffee Table
Nothing screams 80s like a glass coffee table. These tables usually consist of a chrome or brass metal frame supporting a glass top. If you’re feeling bold, look for a coffee table with an interesting design such as a geometric shape or a mirrored surface.

Corner Shelf
Corner shelves were a popular way to utilize otherwise unused space, and some styles remain popular with mid-century and retro fans. Look for a model featuring angled or curved supports in brass, chrome, or wood.

Mirrored Walls
Back in the ‘80s, mirrors were an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up a room and make it feel larger. Creating your own mirrored wall is easier than you think. Measure the area you want to cover and buy a few mirror panels to install side-by-side.

Pendant Lights
Pendant lights were a popular lighting choice in the 80s and remain popular today. Look for models with a classic, cone shape for that nostalgic feel. Hang them over a kitchen island, table, or living room area for a modern-meets-retro look.

White Cabinets
The 1980s was the era of white cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. Forget the traditional wood or metal finishes and go for white and glossy. To create the retro feel, add little touches such as faux-wood handles or a glass mosaic backsplash.

Wallpaper Accents
Wallpaper is making a major comeback in 2020, and it was just as popular in the 1980s. To get the look, consider a fun geometric pattern or something with a bright, abstract design. For a unique touch, wallpaper only one wall or consider adding a wallpaper accent wall to a bedroom or living room.

Capturing the 1980s Look in Your Photos

If you’re looking to capture the look of 1980s home decor in your photography, there are some simple steps you can take to achieve the perfect throwback photo.

Choose the Right Lighting
Good lighting can make or break your photos. During the 1980s, natural light was a popular choice, as it easily filled the room with a mellow feel. When shooting indoors, opt for natural light or try adding in a few lamps to give your photos that soft glow.

Go for the Soft Focus Look
Soft focus photography was all the rage during the 80s and it’s a great way to capture the nostalgia in your photos. Soft focus photos are achieved by slightly blurring the focus of the camera lens. It’s a great way to emphasize the details of your accessories, furniture, and overall decor.

Use Colorful Filters
Vibrant filters were another popular choice during the 80s, and you can easily capture the retro look by using a few in your photos. Many photo editing apps, like Instagram, have plenty of options to choose from.

Don’t Forget Those Accessories
Accessorizing your photos can be a great way to truly capture the nostalgia of home decor from the 1980s. Opt for vintage-looking pieces like metallic knick-knacks, stacks of magazines and books, and even neon signs.

Bring the 1980s Back to Life
Bringing back the home decor of the 80s can be an exciting way to rediscover an iconic era. Whether you decide to go full-on retro or opt for a more subtle approach, it’s easy to bring the era back to life with a few photos and some throwback pieces. With a special eye for lighting, soft focus Photography, colorful filters, and the right accessories, you’ll be able to capture the perfect snapshot of what the era’s home decor was all about.