When someone says the eighties what comes to mind? Easy: shoulder pads and big hair! The nineties? Dr. Martens and denim jackets. The noughties? A bit trickier: low-rise jeans and aviator glasses!
Every decade has a particular flavour that is iconic and unmistakeable both for people who lived through it and for those who only know it through films and TV series. So we had an idea: why not recreate that very atmosphere in your home?
Today we’re giving you some pointers on how to decorate a room in vintage style. We’ll take you on a trip back in time to rediscover some of the icons and fashions of these three decades — the eighties, nineties, and noughties — from a unique angle: bedroom decoration! It’s here that we can really find a magical collage of the decade’s fashions, carefully put together by the youth of the day.
From unforgettable items — like the Atari and Polly Pockets — to printed products, get ready to shed a few nostalgic tears and say “I had that too!”.
The eighties bedroom: Ataris, posters and synthesisers
Let’s start with one of the most iconic and indelible decades in the collective imagination: the legendary eighties. Think fluorescent colours, synthesisers and a certain carefree innocence… OK, you’re in the right decade.
Remember what a typical bedroom looked like in the eighties? Think of the bedroom in the Goonies or young Sarah’s room in Labyrinth. The eighties bedroom must have a portable stereo that you can play your tapes in (you’ll also find a Walkman shoved under the bed), a skateboard, a model of the X-Wing that Luke Skywalker flew, and a small TV with a black box attached to it: the legendary Atari 2600, the pioneering American games console that brought masterpieces like Pong and Asteroids into every home.
But the real giveaway of an eighties room is the walls: posters, posters and more posters. The craze for posters of hollywood actors and music stars began in this decade! Remember the posters of Madonna in her eighties style? Crucefix, long tights, big earrings, garish makeup and lollipop. Then there are the unforgettable posters from David Bowie, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet. And let’s not forget films: Al Pacino as Tony Montana, the Back to the Future poster and Harrison Ford with his whip and explorer’s hat.
One idea for easily recreating the carefree atmosphere of the era would be to reprint some of these iconic posters!
The nineties bedroom: calendars and lots of things that glow in the dark
Now we jump forward a decade and land in the nineties bedroom. Pop idols — the Spice Girls, Take That and Backstreet Boys — have found a new home in our bedrooms: on calendars! Whether shop-bought or homemade, calendars were a must-have item for showing love for our heroes!
The Atari makes way for the Super Nintendo, while in some bedrooms the first personal computers appeared. On the telly was MTV and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And in our pockets were Tamagotchi: the electronic gadgets that let you raise a virtual pet!
The stereo remains a fixture, but as well as tapes, it can play CDs: and music collections are now stored in CD towers!
It’s also the decade where lamps don’t go unnoticed: remember lava lamps and fibre optic lamps? When you turn off the light, you’ll then see there are luminous stars stuck all over the walls… and they’re not the only things glowing in the dark! Graffiti written with gel pens covers the walls while a look around the room reveals other items that seem to be from another dimension: a dreamcatcher, an electronic organiser, tiny Polly Pockets and a Slinky!
To recreate a nineties atmosphere, we recommend getting hold of one of these old items (in resolutely fluorescent colours) and printing a calendar with images of your favourite boyband !
The noughties: cork boards, stickers and wave mirrors
We’ve arrived in the noughties! Perhaps because they are closer to us, they can seem less iconic… but with just a little effort, fashion and other must-have items soon spring to mind. These are the years of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, of sportswear as fashion and mirrored sunglasses!
The O.C. and How I met your mother are on TV, while new items are appearing in bedrooms. An example? The still much-loved Nokia 3310, one of the first mass-market mobile phones: mainly used for sending text messages and playing Snake.
Beds are now raised off the ground with space beneath them for desks or sofas on which to watch films: Spirited Away by Miyazaki, Amélie and Matrix: Reloaded. Around us are objects like the wave mirror from Ikea and mesh hanging storage: both completely impractical for their respective uses.
Then there is the cork board on the wall. Pinned to these, in no particular order, are: concert tickets, stupid photos with friends (selfies still didn’t exist) and motivational phrases written by our best friends. Dotted around the room are all sorts of stickers: stuck to lamps, the desk, musical instruments and stereo equipment! For younger kids, there were also the luminous stickers that came with Goosebumps, the series of horror books for kids.
So, to recreate a bedroom from the noughties, follow these two tips: get hold of a wave mirror and print some stickers in bright colours featuring your favourite noughties legends!
What’s your favourite retro room?