My 80’s Dream Home

First leggings. Then day-glo everything. And recently, each week it seems a different celebrity is ripping off one of Pat Benatar’s hair styles. At this rate it’s only a matter of time before all of our 80’s fashion faux pas are back on trend. While with any luck, the home décor from this decade will stay in the past, once in a while it’s fun to catch a rerun sitcom from this era as a way of remembering how amazing we thought wood paneling was and while simultaneously reaffirming how wrong we were.

Just for fun, imagine we could create an 80’s sitcom house out of rooms from our favorite shows. Go ahead and grab your ray bans and most shoulder padded jacket if that will put you in the right mindset. While you think on it, here’s what rooms made the cut for my 80’s dream house…


We all know that a good family comedy requires a good kitchen. This is where most group scenes went down since, just as in real life, the kitchen is a space that welcomes neighbors, friends from school, extended family, etc… This is also where product placement could run rampant (Coca Cola anyone?) so of course producers wanted to give some serious time to this piece of the set!

It was a tough call but my vote for best 80’s TV kitchen is going to Family Ties!


I give this set design serious points for forward thinking, as evidenced by the combination industrial and casual cottage aesthetic. Stainless steel appliances and dark wood cabinets? It’s like someone had a time machine…

The Keaton kitchen is the perfect setting for crucial coming of age conversations, family meetings, and of course, supervised after school homework dates.


Home Office

Let’s move from pleasure to business and talk home offices! This was an easy decision since I started dreaming about in-home veterinary clinic while most kids were planning to become pirates or princesses. Worth noting that I let this dream die after attempting to give our cat a check up in our basement and coming out with a few new scars. So, without further ado, my dream 80’s home office belongs to….

Cosby 1 Cosby 2

Dr. Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show! I’m pretty sure doubling the living room as a waiting area is grounds for some sort of law suit. Still, this welcoming yet professional space wins me over. And I’ll note that as a working parent I’m pretty impressed that with all of those kids Dr. Huxtable’s walls are not completely plastered with various elementary “art” projects.


Onward and quite literally upward to the bedroom! Again, this one’s a given because if you were a female under the age of twelve during the 80’s and didn’t go crazy over Punky Brewster’s wagon bed…well, I just don’t even know how to end that sentence. That’s how impossible that situation is!


To try and be serious, the real benefit of this kind of room is that the kid has a designated space that she feels is her own (putting aside for a minute that Punky also had a crazy tree house…) So who knows, maybe a room like this will keep your kid from drawing all over the living room walls.

I remember seeing this room and thinking “I would never leave!!” though now, I feel for all the parents who had to completely renovate their daughters’ bedrooms once PB hit the air.

Living Room

Last but not least, let us retire to the Tanner’s living room, where anything could happen!

Full House

This room in the San Francisco row home was quite a change from the usual main street colonial we were used to seeing.

And with so much open space here, the possibilities for family-friendly drama were endless! What with several entrance or quick exit points, a library nook to hide in, and an open view from the top hallway? Just add 7-10 regular cast members and you’ve got at least five seasons worth of material that will practically write itself!

So there are my choices! What have I forgotten? What show would you add? Any 80’s decor you think was totally misunderstood? Just as importantly, what trend from past decades are you hoping won’t be resurrected?


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