Interior Designers Have Spoken — These '80s Decor Trends Are Officially Back

If the latest collections from high-street home retailers like Anthropologie, CB2, and West Elm are any indication, the '80s are back. Our favorite brands are reimagining '80s-inspired abstract prints in clean, minimal ways, paying homage to the Memphis Group's now-iconic furniture designs, and bringing back bold color trends from the bygone decade. Yes, ready or not, '80s design is currently enjoying a resurgence — and we at Hunker headquarters are here for it.

In order to find out which trends from the decade are actually worth buying into in 2019, we turned to interior designers Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design, Mandy Cheng of Mandy Cheng Design, Liz Lipkin, and Adam Meshberg of Meshberg Group for guidance. Ahead, the designers weigh in on the chic, not at all kitsch, '80s decor trends they're backing. From tubular furniture to gold fixtures to glass blocks, keep scrolling to see and shop their designer-approved picks.

Tubular Furniture

Then:

"The '80s are back, but in a way I am very down for," says Emily Henderson of Emily Henderson Design. "My number one favorite '80s trend is tubular furniture. They are sculptural and add a ton of visual interest to a space."

Now:

"The trick is to make sure the materials feel modern and are more neutral in color," says Henderson. "This way, they will stay out of 1980 and keep chic for many decades to come."

la strizza saddle leather bench with bolster pillows
credit: CB2

Gold Fixtures

Then:

"Gold fixtures were in full force in the '80s and that train has come full circle, albeit in a cleaner, more streamlined way, and I'm on board for all of it," explains Mandy Cheng of Mandy Cheng Design.

Now:

"The comeback started out with bolder, brassier gold fixtures, but I'm seeing the gold hue start to soften and dull a bit, which I love," says Cheng.

Kohler K-T14414-3-BGD Purist Wall Mount Bathroom Faucet
credit: Kohler

Pink Bathrooms

Then:

"Pink bathrooms were a prominent, amazingly weird design trend in the '80s and it's so fun to see the color make a comeback," says Cheng.

Now:

pink tile bathroom
credit: @coco.kelley

"I love seeing this unexpected hue on the currently popular zellige tiles," Cheng tells Hunker. "They make for a bold statement, and the color reflection makes everyone's skin tone look fantastic."

Clé Tile Vintage Rose Mounted Zellige
credit: Clé Tile

Memphis Group-Inspired Furniture

Then:

"At this point, there's no escaping Memphis Group-inspired furniture. And to be honest, for the most part, I prefer the look of 21st-century tribute pieces to the originals," says Liz Lipkin.

Now:

"These chairs from Anthropologie and Vonnegut Kraft eschew Memphis' bold, clashing colors for more subtle ones, while still referencing its juxtaposition of geometric shapes," explains Lipkin. "They feel sleek and modern without being too trendy."

Anthropologie Cyrus Chair
credit: Anthropologie

Glass Blocks

Then:

Glass blocks were used often in the '80s and are currently making a comeback, according to Adam Meshberg of Meshberg Group.

Now:

"In our recent project, 476 Union Ave, we brought glass-block windows back for the design aesthetic and functionality," explains Meshberg. "As the project is close to a highway, glass block windows provide more soundproofing and privacy than regular glass."

Floral Prints

Then:

"Laura Ashley's floral prints had a strong presence in '80s interior design, and again, you see the floral print come back in a more contemporary way," explains Cheng. "It's like the '80s 2.0."

Now:


"The new floral prints have bolder colors, cleaner lines, and the scale of the prints have significantly increased," says Cheng. "I love the new scale where the print takes up the entire paper and the background is less prominent."

Cobalt Blue

Then:

"The other '80s trend that I'm not mad about is the cobalt blue color trend," confesses Henderson.

Now:

"I have recently used it in very small doses (like a vase) and it can really bring a room to life," explains Henderson. "Plus, it's just a happy color and will probably make you feel happy if it's in your home."

west elm tall handled cobalt blue vase
credit: West Elm

Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp

Megan Beauchamp is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in MyDomaine, House Beautiful, Bustle, and Brit + Co., among others.