'80s Interiors So Bad They're Good (or Maybe Just Bad)

'80s Interiors So Bad They're Good (or Maybe Just Bad)

Nancy Mitchell
Jan 7, 2016
(Image credit: AnOther Mag)

Like a lot of people, I tend to remember the '80s as an era of disgusting excess. But with '80s influences creeping back into fashion and Ettore Sottsass and his Memphis Design Group on everybody's tongue, it seemed like a good time to revisit the design of this much-maligned decade. What surprised me, when I really began to dig into 80s interiors, was how many of them seemed quite innocuous. And then ones that weren't... well, the ones that weren't were over the top in the best possible way.

Like this space from AnOther Mag. The shapes are a bit of a holdover from the 70s, but the colors are distinctly 80s. This is a space that is unapologetically purple. There's dark purple, and medium purple, and light purple, and maybe a little blue for variety. And really, what's wrong with that? Moderation is overrated.

Speaking of color, let's take a moment to talk about these colors. We've got... maroon? Paired with lavender? And dark grey? That is bold. Really bold. It's the sort of thing that would only happen in the 80s, and I, for one, am a little bit in awe. Although that lamp in the corner scares me.

(Image credit: Evidently 80s)

What's more 80s than glass block? Glass block with a neon blue light glowing benevolently from behind it, like in this kitchen spotted on Evidently 80s.

I don't hate this. In fact, I would put every single thing in this photo in my apartment, right now.

It's a bathtub that looks like an egg! Or maybe an amoeba. All I know is that if I had a tub this magnificent I would never get out of it.

I hope that somewhere in the world, this kitchen still exists. I want to live in a universe that contains this kitchen.

I really want this bathroom.

Henri Matisse exploded in here, but in a good way.

This bathroom has a fireplace and is bigger than my entire apartment, which is appropriate for a decade that was all about big hair and big business and big egos and big everything. Really, this room is, in a way, a perfect emodiement of the spirit of the decade: crazy excess, wacky color schemes, carpet in the bathroom.

P.S.: The source for many of these photos is Supreme Interiors, a delightful collection of wacky and wonderful interiors from decades past. Check 'em out.

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