When I first learned of Jason D. Lesonic’s ’80s-fabulous apartment, I was sure of two things: 1) Rarely does an interior so seamlessly blend authentic bold elements of 1980s style, and 2) I had to feature the apartment on Mirror80!
As I corresponded more and more with Jason, it became clear that there were many details I had to share with Mirror80 readers, from the plethora of ’80s decor items that have been in Jason’s family since the decade of decadence to his amazing thrift store finds (like the shower curtain you’ll see below). By the way, the Art Deco radio above is from the 1930s–it belonged to Jason’s Grandfather! But why would I relay the details? Today we feature Mirror80’s first guest post, written by Jason D. Lesonic himself! Take it away, Jason…
What is it with the 80s? Most people my age (VERY early 30s, and let’s just leave it at that) are all about the 70s because it was so funky, and none of us remembers it. Or the 90s because it was so edgy, and we remember too much of it. But then those same people usually come along and shit all over the 80s. Why? Because it was the decade of decadence? An era of conspicuous consumption? Hmm . . . seems to me like not much has changed except for peoples’ politics these days . . . but I digress. For me, the 80s were my first conscious memories; a really creative time for a lot of people, where imagination was not without taste. My home decor has evolved out of one simple principle: to surround oneself with meaningful objects which tell a story of good times past. Some people do it with photographs and tchotchkes, I just happen do it with furniture and art.
There are two ways I have achieved the ultimate 80s look at home.
The first is to simply use things you already have. A lot of my stuff has been in my family for almost three decades now. If your parents are like mine and never throw anything away, it never hurts to ask. Chances are if you’re a young urban professional (AKA a yuppie, haha) trying to establish yourself in the big city you probably need it more than they do.
Secondly, knowing where to shop.
Let us not forget the almighty thrift store. I currently reside in Norfolk, Virginia, which is a great place for 80s thrifting, believe it or not. The reason is because of the large amount of beach houses in nearby Virginia Beach (as well as the Outer Banks) that were built and furnished in the 80s, and are only now getting a face lift.
Since everybody these days seems to abhor the furnishings and artwork that they themselves purchased 25 years ago, all of these goodies will randomly show up en masse, day after day at the local thrift stores (which is great if you’re going for that Miami Vice / Golden Girls look). Check out www.thriftstoreusa.biz, ranked one of America’s top thrift stores.
Other resources include those retro pop culture emporiums that specialize in vintage gaming consoles and cartridge games, as well as posters, action figures, and other assorted pop culture memorabilia. Check out “Cool Stuff” in Virginia Beach (but I don’t think they have a website).
I also highly recommend IKEA for “foundation” pieces. I’m not suggesting doing the whole home in IKEA, but let’s face it . . . someone else’s thrift store 80s sofa can look pretty gross sometimes. IKEA’s Karlstad sofa frame when paired with the matching arm cushions (sold separately) suddenly takes on the appearance of what is known as a “tuxedo sofa” — the kind where the arms are the same height as the back. I am pretty sure that about 9 out of 10 sofas sold in the 80s had this frame. Toss on a few vintage throw pillows and you’re in business.
For draperies and window treatments, JCPenney can not be beat. Let’s face it, ready-made pinch pleated draperies aregetting increasingly harder to find. JCPenney’s Supreme Antique Satin line of pinch pleated draperies have been manufactured for decades. These come fully lined, pinch pleated, and are available in a wide range of colors with top treatments (think swags and cascades) to match.
Thanks for sharing your ’80s design pointers, Jason! Your apartment is amazing. And in case you didn’t know, folks, Jason has a background in visual merchandising. From fashion windows in New York City to high-end home furnishings, his design experience is one of the many reasons he knows what it takes to create interiors that make a statement. Not to mention, his current work in the realm of antiques has put him face to face with authentic finds from our favorite decade and more.
By the way, all of the images in today’s post are courtesy of Jason D. Lesonic. Hope you enjoyed the tour–Happy Thursday!…