In our last post, expert vendor Bill Goodpasture from Austin’s Room Service Vintage helped us wade through some obstacles facing collectors of ‘80s furniture and home décor items.
While some 1980s pieces are made of less than sturdy material and feature color combinations that people either love or hate, the relatively short time span separating the ‘80s from today may also be responsible for the fact that we are still hard-pressed to find many houses decked out wall to wall in 1980s décor.
But there are some pieces that seem to be consistently popular and ripe for a comeback…
Hot ’80s Interior Design Items
- LACQUER FURNITURE – “That is the one thing that we can sell,” Goodpasture says, noting that young adults buy and mix it with industrial furniture. For example, he adds, people may mix a white lacquer sofa and end tables with an IKEA couch.
- WALL ART – There’s some funky stuff out there! Goodpasture recalls selling a big piece of wall art that involved grids, geometric shapes, and of course, the colors purple and pink. People are willing to buy these items for nostalgia’s sake, but also to add a little humor and fun! And of course, let’s not forget the art that has already risen to “collectible” status, such as the the pieces of artists Ed Mell and Patrick Nagel.
- LIGHTING – Goodpasture claims, “One thing that does survive…is the lighting.” There are some strikingly modern fixtures and lamps that have weathered their aging well. However, Goodpasture says that lighting items crafted of certain materials, such as brass, are not highly sought after.
- HIGH END PIECES – Some designer furniture has held up very well, such as pieces created by the Italian designers of The Memphis Group, known for their bold color and style choices (look for a future Memphis Group blog post). Pieces can be costly, but there are also less expensive items (big and small) modeled after the edgy style of The Memphis Group, as well as other noteworthy designers.
’80s Interior Design Tips
Another special thank you to Bill Goodpasture—it’s good to know what’s going on in the world of ‘80s vintage! A few style tips he clued me in to:
- ’80s pieces can work in today’s home when mixed with modern furniture, such as items from IKEA or pieces with an industrial look.
- Group items by color, using hue as a unifier to blend different design styles.
- ‘80s items are often purchased for nostalgia’s sake or to add a bit of kitsch to a space. In other words, have a sense of humor, and enjoy that fact that a piece makes a bold ‘80s statement or reminds you of your childhood.
Here’s to totally awesome decorating!
It's taking a long time to revive the good bits of the 80s because the bad bits took such a long time to die! I'm thinking of the ochre/navy/jade colour schemes, the diagonal pink splashes, the garish sulfur yellow tulips prints… and the flowery interiors (furniture, curtains, wallpaper, dado, frieze) with a pink/jade/maroon theme.