Every era has its design trends that leave us wondering, “What were they thinking?” Even if the “they” was sometimes us. We laugh at the sunken living rooms of the 60s or scoff at the faux painted walls of the 90s. These are just a few of the design trends that leave us wondering, why in the world?
And while some fashion trends we thought we’d never see again do come back in style (I’m looking at you, legwarmers and leggings worn as pants.) there are some interior décor trends we truly never want to see again. Below, in no particular order, is my list of hideous 80s design trends we’re happy to see go away.
Heavy Glass Table Tops That Weigh Down the Room
Dining tables and coffee tables made with shiny chrome or brass bases and heavy glass panes just scream 80s. They suited the times, with big, brassy bases and shine everywhere. They were all the rage back then, but keeping them clean was a bear.
That doesn’t mean glass-topped tables are a thing of the past. They’ve just been updated, like the glass-topped table above. The wooden base and brass trim bring this look back to the future. You can also find glass-topped tables with lighter, less bulky metal bases in brushed or matte finishes. Either of these options are great ways to update this 80s trend.
Frilly, Fringy, Florally Overdone Window Treatments
What. Were. They. Thinking. I mean, really. I don’t have the words. The trend of overdone, over fringed, over everything window treatments is one that we, and I feel very comfortable saying we, never want to see again.
Rather than throw everything you can — sheers, valances, swags, drapes, cornices, and cascades — at a window, just choose one or two. Sleek, barely there window treatments let in plenty of sunlight during the day and can be closed or lowered for privacy after dark.
It May Have Been Shabby, but It Wasn’t So Chic
Shabby Chic arrived in the early 80s, when everything old was new again. It refers to mixing thrift store and flea market finds with contemporary pieces to create a curated mix of old and new styles. And just about anything that didn’t move was covered in white chalk paint and distressed. Really, the whole deal was distressing.
Although not exactly gone, the shabby chic aesthetic has evolved. It’s a little less sloppy, a little less floral, and a little less precious. The palette is the same, and florals have their place, but overall it’s just a little more streamlined and less cluttered. Kind of like the way our lives have evolved.
Shag Carpeting and Beaded Curtains
Sure, I was jealous of the shag carpeting and beaded curtain held over from the 70s (à la Greg Brady) in my sister’s bedroom. These days, I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. Hardwood floors and area rugs have replaced this style, and we are all the better for it. However, if you want to add a little funkiness to your décor, you can add a shag area rug.
Of course, hating the 80s is so on trend right now. But then so is loving them, so go figure. If time has taught us anything, it’s that what goes around comes around. My only warning to you is to use it wisely and thoughtfully, maybe even a little ironically in your décor.