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The Once-Hated 80s & 90s Trends That We Actually Want to Come Back

By: Sarah Beaumont

September 8, 2017

Image via Luxe Source

Interior design from the 80s and 90s is kind of like a bad yearbook picture — we would rather pretend it never happened. But considering the recent return of fashion trends from both eras, is it so impossible that those decades have no decor worth revisiting? We’ve recently taken a second look at the 90s and now we’re turning back the clock even further to examine the best and worst of the design period that came right before it. From primary colors to all-over rustic wood, there are some trends from the past we wouldn’t mind seeing again.

Wall-to-Wall Florals

Photo by Dustin Walker

A far cry from ’90s chintz, today’s florals are bigger and bolder than their dainty predecessors. We love incorporating the look of floral foliage with an accent wallpaper (self-adhesive and easily removable of course).

Overstuffed Sofas

Sleek and structured mid-century modern sofas may look nice, but what we really want is a sofa we can sink right into. The plush, overstuffed bodies of 1980s and 90s style couches are just the kind of curvaceous surfaces we’re eager to plop onto after a long day.

Coordinated Bedding

Remember when it was a thing to coordinate your bedding with the rest of your room. Well frankly, we can’t get enough of this Matisse-inspired space and wouldn’t mind seeing some prints like this make their return. (Just maybe with a tad less neon this time.)

Fake Plants & Flowers

Silk fleurs were a major thing in the 90s and we totally get it — it makes life easier. But we’re 50/50 on this one. Although we’re very much about having real live plants in our homes, some people just can’t seem to get the hang of caring for them. The beauty of fake botanicals? They never die and you can put them anywhere. There are lots of obviously artificial options out there, but monstera leaves, succulents, and artificial fiddle leaf figs usually do a pretty good job when it comes to fauxliage.

Abstract Pastels + Memphis Design
Memphis design is making a comeback in our interiors. The contemporary geometric shapes and patterns in these spaces brighten up the mood and exude playfulness.

Then: via Trendspanarna / Now: Pitter Pattern

Love it or hate it, this trend has been on its way in for the past year or two. The bold geometrics that stem from the Memphis Design movement of the 1980s can be found gracing fabrics, furniture, and art prints. If you want simple, opt for a pillow covered in playful patterns. Or go all the way there with a funky wallpaper or large scale piece of art.

Faux Finishes

Break out your sand paper and sponges because we’re calling it now — faux finishes are about to come back in a big way. The faux Venetian plaster look was huge in the 90s. And with the terracotta trend taking off, we’re looking at worn, Old World-style walls to bring a little extra texture into our spaces.

Rustic Wood Kitchens

Farmhouse kitchens with matching wood grains and country accents are basically the epitome of 90s design. And they’re most definitely having a modern renaissance. From the cabinets to the kitchen island, this space does the matchy-matchy look of the 90s, right.

Primary Colors
Let’s go back to the basics. Primary colors like red, green, and yellow make a space look vibrant and fun.

Then: via Mirror 80 / Now: Miluccia

Primary colors usually bring to mind childlike rooms that resemble a life-sized lego set. But when used sparingly, these bright primary hues can actually have a shockingly nice effect on a space.

Puddled Drapes

Apparently, tape measurers weren’t a thing in the 90s because everyone let their drapes fall in a puddled mass on the floor. But the weird part is, drapery was usually fancy and done up everywhere else with tie-backs, valances, and all. Though it may get a little dirty, we’re into this puddled appearance as long as it looks effortlessly undone.


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