Get out your leg-warmers because this unexpected decade is back in a BIG way. The 80s are big, bold, and they’re back in style! 2021 is all about taking chances with your interior, and no decade exemplifies daring décor better than the neon 1980s. While this design period was seen as gaudy and over-the-top, expert designers have revealed the perfect way to balance the striking style with sophistication. This modern take on 1980s décor is the best of both worlds. Follow our professional tips on how to incorporate retro wall art into a current-day interior.

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Geometric Glam

Tropical Trends

Neon & Dreamy

Radical & Retro

Nostalgic Style

Beyond 80s Interior Design

Geometric Glam

Geometric shapes and patterns were a popular trend in the 80s, and they’re hot once again! Hang a piece of wall art that uses vivid color-blocking to hint at this iconic era. Pair your funky print with some classic 80s textiles like mauve velvet and tufted details. Rather than using a bright white wall paint, choose a heather grey or ivory for another vintage touch. Keep your décor fairly sparse to avoid a flashy faux-pas. Being highly selective with your statement pieces will allow you to include fun, 80s-inspired pieces while still keeping it classy.

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retro wall art

Tropical Trends

Add a touch of eternal summer to your living space with a retro sunset print. Coastal vibes never go out of style, especially when the color palette is this delicious! Take some inspiration from the iconic Black Mirror episode, “San Junipero.” This neon-drenched dreamscape is the perfect statement piece for your main living space. Instantly transport your guests to a sunny evening by the sea, and don’t shy away from ultra-bright shades.

Neon with Dusty Rose

Dusty rose is a quintessentially 80s hue, and it’s an unexpected color to pair with neon sunset shades. This color is also having a noticeable resurgence this year, so it’s the perfect time to add lots of rosy textiles and accessories. View our article on all the stunning ways to add dusty rose to your living space.

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retro wall art ideas

Neon & Dreamy

Hang an abstract print with neon tones for a truly 80s look. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors, as the 80s is all about quirky combos. A piece that plays with perspective will add a contemporary twist to the 80s color palette. Neon will always hint at the 1980s, so you don’t have to do much with your surrounding décor to solidify the theme. Both primary and secondary colors had a moment in the 80s, so you don’t have to stick to one group or the other.

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retro interior design


Radical & Retro

A photorealistic print can hint at the 80s in a modern way. Add a photo print of an iconic 80s accessory, like a classic boom box or retro roller skates. The high-red photo quality will keep your space looking contemporary, and the subject matter will act as your portal to the past. Choose a vibrant pop of color like bright red or yellow to contrast a neutral color palette. Grey and yellow happen to be Pantone’s picks for the top shades of 2021, which makes them an ideal pairing if you want to blend trends with tradition.

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80s interior design

Nostalgic Style

If you want to incorporate a more obvious 80s flashback, hang a print that celebrates the top trends of the decade. Add a poster with cheeky callbacks to the 1980s for a lighthearted décor option. Because the artwork showcases 80s nostalgia in such a literal way, you can get away with using predominantly modern furniture. This is the perfect way to incorporate the best of the 80s into a contemporary atmosphere.

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retro wall decor

Beyond 80s Interior Design

Love the idea of retro interior design? We have décor guides that go beyond the neon 1980s. Check out our article on the comeback of 1970s design concepts. Throw it back even further to the Mid-century with these tips and tricks. Whether you love the 1980s Hollywood regency vibe, or you just want to commit to your neon-drenched fantasies, there are plenty of ways to honor the décor of past.

View our top modern and retro wall art picks >>



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Annette Schmucker