The phrase “’80s bathroom” may conjure a bit of a shudder — along with images of cracked square tile and particle-board vanities. But right now we’re feeling inspired by an entirely different kind of ’80s bathroom, one not necessarily built in the ’80s but definitely inspired by the decade.
Lately, the influence of Memphis — the postmodern collective that defined avant-garde design during that time — is everywhere, so it seems inevitable that those bright colors, speckled finishes, and playful geometric shapes would eventually make their way to the bathroom. The resulting spaces might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to agree that they’re anything but boring.
The marbleized material on the vanity in this bathroom from 2 Lovely Gays is very Memphis, as is the use of simple geometric shapes. The color scheme, in a departure from the Memphis Group’s typical brights, recalls Art Deco Miami.
That the rise of terrazzo and Memphis would go hand in hand is no surprise, since terrazzo recalls the squiggled, speckled patterns that appear on many of their designs (and in a lot of design from the ’80s in general). This bathroom from Trendland sets a black-and-white utility sink and an oval mirror against a terrazzo backdrop.
This bathroom from Rebecca Judd Loves is a bit more subtle than some of the other designs in this post, but the grid of tiny wall tiles definitely recalls ’80s design — and provides a delightful counterpoint to the luxe marble of the adjoining wall.
Playful geometric shapes in playful primary colors float through the shower tiles of this bathroom spotted on Dezeen.
Above: It’s hard for salmon-colored square wall tile to not feel dated, but this bathroom, part of a hotel designed by Patricia Urquiola and spotted on Interior Design, pulls it off. The space is an intriguing mixture of luxurious materials, unexpected colors, and simple geometric shapes.
This bathroom, in a Paris home spotted on The Socialite Family, features a Memphis-inspired sculpture, complemented by geometric wall tile.
The playful shapes of this unusual sink by Inbani recall the flat, freefloating geometric shapes that were a huge part of design in the 80s.
This bathroom, spotted on Yatzer, is like Memphis with an Italian twist. The simple, postmodern geometries are there, rendered in desaturated colors and luxe materials.
This space by Iya Turabelidze, via Behance, pairs speckled floor and wall tile with a bright cobalt-blue vanity and mirror.
This colors in this bathroom from the Henrietta Hotel (via In/Out Design Blog) might be a bit more subdued, but you can trace its lineage to the Memphis group via the playful shape of the backsplash, mirror, and countertop. Also lead image above.
What do you think? Are you loving this look? Or when it comes to bathrooms, do you prefer to stick with the classics?