How to Redecorate a 1980s House


Homes built in the 1980s were often filled with gold appliances, shag carpeting and dark wood-paneled walls. Many homes have not been updated and still feature these styles. Bringing these features up to a more modern style can be accomplished with planning, creativity and paint. Full replacement of cosmetic features such as carpeting and woodwork is expensive and time-consuming. Some planned bargain hunting can help make your redecorating efforts less daunting.

Things You'll Need

  • Scoring tool
  • Wallpaper stripper
  • Dry wall knife
  • Wood filler
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Painters tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Area rugs
  • Light window treatments
  • Door and drawer hardware
  • Kitchen and bath faucets
  • Remove dated wallpaper. Use a scoring tool to score the wallpaper. Apply wallpaper stripper according to the label instructions. Use a dry wall knife to remove the remaining wallpaper. Paint the wall surface in a modern hue of your choice.

  • Fill nicks and scratches in wood-paneled walls with wood putty and prime the wood prior to painting. Avoid too much paint mess by taping off trim and protecting flooring with plastic tarps. Paint worn, dark wood-paneled walls and trim in a contemporary shade.

  • Replace carpeting or add area rugs. New carpeting can be very expensive. Add a modern area rug to break up a dated carpet. Once you have added your furniture and other modern details, carpet will be less of a focal point.

  • Add light window treatments. Dark, heavy window coverings can make a space feel dingy. Update the look of windows with fresh, lightweight draperies.

  • Replace door knobs and drawer pulls. Choose a fresh style to match your taste. This simple change will impact your 1980s home immediately.

  • Install new bath and kitchen faucets. The design of bathroom and kitchen faucets has changed greatly since the 1980s. Faucets are a focal point in bathroom and kitchen design.

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  • Photo Credit paint image by Chad McDermott from
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