Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Recall: The 1980's

The following is number four in the series called color recall written by my mother...
As usual, our family spent most of the 1980s abroad.  

Image via Picasa

I do recall mauve and a grayed blue (what we still thought of as Williamsburg blue) were extremely popular at the time.  
With deep regret I recall an interior decorating project with my sister during the early 80’s.  She had recently moved back into the house we grew up in.  A pre-civil war dwelling, it was one of the oldest houses in our small northern town.  Because of the previously mentioned design trend, we got into our heads that the wainscoting in what had been our family dining room should be updated.  What we failed to take into consideration was that our plan involved tampering with an original (historic) cherry finish.  This is a task only the seriously deranged would undertake.   With scrapers and paint remover in hand, we painstakingly removed all the original finish and then painted the wainscoting off-white.  This color, coordinated (in our minds) much better with the new highly sought after mauve-blue decorating scheme of the rest of the house.  Our mother, who had passed away many years before, would have never forgiven us—and adding insult to injury she HATED blue…and I wonder why so many years later we even considered doing such a thing as we  both value “old things”.  My house is full of vintage furniture and hers is bursting at the seams with country memorabilia .    But none the less, we bowed to a theme that never really appealed to me -- I am not much for pastel colors and neither is she—but one that seemed feminine and ultra modern.   

My sister and I have grown older and wiser, but we will never forget growing up in a home, reputed to be a rest home for soldiers returning from the Civil War,  and both of us still make our living space part of ourselves.  The comparison between the city mouse (me) and country mouse (her) is the subject of a separate posting.  I’ll also tell you more about our old house--that is if Fresh Quince will give her mother another opportunity to revisit the past.


Thanks once again mom! What do you all recall about the 80's? As for myself I have a distaste for light grey, pale blue and pink together but I've found a few images that make the color combinations a little more palatable to my modern aesthetic...

Bremmerman Image via Little Green Notebook

Image via Bijou et Boheme

Image via unknown source

Hal Williamson via House Beautiful

Hillary Thomas via Lonny

Gil Shafer

Have a wonderful Monday! xx Danielle


  1. How fun! I do think people are re-inventing the light gray, pale blue & pink combinations well right now! Take care, Caroline

  2. i agree that the combos are being reinvented in a much better way... but i cringe when i think about 80's style in design and fashion!!! i never want to see another shoulder pad as long as i live!

  3. fun post! i always say there are no bad colors, just bad color combinations :) and sometimes just a little tweeking is all it takes to make an "dated" color look fresh again.

  4. Great post by your Mom. The 80's were a bit rough in terms of color combinations and those over-the-top curtains and balloon shades.

    Funny though, I had an absolute blast in the 80's. My 17 yr old just went to an 80's party this past weekend - my hey day of youth!

  5. Great quote true! And yes the 80's were fun, but I tend to like the bright electric side of the 80's than the muted tones. And there is nothing more fun than an 80's themed easy to pick an outfit and tease the heck out of your hair.

    Thanks everyone for stopping by!

  6. How fun! I love looking back at the 80's(check out my most popular post-Looking back). I was a child during the mid 80's but can still feel very drawn to certains look from this time. I think a lot of my passion for design and art was born during this time and it´ll always have a very special place in my heart!
    Thank you for sharing another one of these great posts. Your mom has done a really great job on each and everyone of them!

  7. oh gosh, it is so funny how an interior style can take you back in time!