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Featured Article

Retro Rooms Part Deux

By: vkimo
If you're here, then I can safely assume you enjoy reminiscing about days gone by just as much as me. One of the ways a lot of us escape to yesteryear is through television shows and movies. Why? Because those movies and shows perfectly captured the era because they were taken during that era. Well when you watch your favorite movies as much I do, you start to pay attention to other things besides the stories and actors, in my case I like to focus on the setting, the rooms and the decor. It's the little touches that, when you notice them, really open the flood gates of memory lane. I did an article on this subject before, but wanted to limit it this time to images taken from movies and shows. Enjoy!

Here we have a shot from the TV show Married with Children. A big motif of the late 80s was indoor plants. Here we have 2 pretty large potted plants running up to the ceiling it seems! I remember as a kid we had a large weeping fig in the house. I loved using it as a jungle setting for my GI Joes and would build bases in the limbs using Legos. Notice the gold trim and molding that harken back to an even earlier era. And those couches, you just can't get your hands on prints like that today. Oh, and yes the show is ALF, I was just making sure you were reading, now let's move on.

Gremlins was a great showcase of 80s pop culture. The room here just has so much going on. It seems a lot of kids had this attic type room. I love the brick walls and unfinished wood floors. I always thought it was weird when they showed all this equipment in the room that just doesn't seem to match the characters. In this case the skis in the corner. A lot of these movies have instruments, tools and whatever else in the shot suggesting these kids have expansive hobbies. Take a peak at the back and we have a makeshift closet and possibly a pin up poster.

Elliot's room from ET was seen a lot during the movie. His room seemed to connect with his sisters via the closet. He's got the classic bunk bed, multiple lamps and a sheet of plywood held up by saw horses. The room is cluttered and I know they just got through a divorce but I think the family stayed so those aren't moving boxes. Notice the precariously placed fishing bowl and classic orange juice produce box. We actually had that same throw rug in our room, just a lot smaller. The first floor in the house is also very neat with the parlor seating area and massive living room.

Although this wasn't Kevin's designated room, I guess the family kept a spare room for visitors. But this reinforces my earlier statement about kids and attic bedrooms. We see the same brick work as in the Gremlins room. I love how the room looks homey and unfinished at the same time. Kevin's bedsheets were a popular design at the time with the geometric shapes. I find the corkboard above the furnace to be kind of a weird adornment and even more so is the little nook in the back with the photos. Surely adults put those up but must never have used the room themselves. I really can't think of any later 90s movies that featured attic rooms.

Merlin's Shop Of Mystical Wonders was a pretty bad movie, but I really dug the living room. Creme white couches and copious amounts of houseplants really set the early 90s vibe. We have the wood grain TV set with VCR on top nestled cozily by the roaring fireplace. I really like the large window to the back as well. This looks like a perfect room to watch a cheesy movie in. And look at those lamps! You can't find babies like those today unless it's at your local thrift store.

I wish I could find a better picture, but the neighbors from Christmas Vacation had a classic early 90s chic to it. With the green lit glass shelves and soft pink walls. It's really worth it to go through the movie and just hit the pause when they show their room with the old Beocord sound system. This represented that transitional 80s/90s cutting edge interior design pretty well.

This shot from Pretty in Pink is so awesome. I mean, I'm a dude and I can appreciate a setup like that. She's got lace curtains and pink patterned wallpaper. That alcove looks great for reading romance novels and there's even the excessive amount of magazine clippings on the wall that every 80s teenager was guilty of. You can tell this is an older home though, look at the built in dresser to Molly's right, they sure don't do that anymore.

This is the parents room from Poltergeist. I think it's great in that nothing particularly stands out, yet you can easily pinpoint the era. 1982, so we're still recovering from the 70s, which I think is easily the worst period in time for interior design. Check out the dresser decked out with gold accents. There's a nice faux plant on top of the TV. Weird seeing black and white movies playing, but when you think about it, seeing a movie from the 50s in 82 was like seeing a movie from 82 on the TV now! Marinade on that! I remember the parents were smoking in that room, so I can just imagine the lovely yellow spots on the ceiling and the acrid smelling rug. 

Freddy Savage starred in multiple movies where his rooms were just plain cool. In Princess Bride his room is no different. I think the wireless joystick is a bit of a stretch but her's hot plenty of posters and pennants on the walls. He has those collapsible slatted closet doors too that are a hallmark of yesterday. In the shots from his bed you're also treated to Masters of the Universe action figures and an old bag of fritos.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed and next time you're watching your favorite old school flick, pay a little more attention to the props and set design that make these movies so endearing. Thanks for reading!

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Probable Muppet Posted on Jun 03, 2015 at 07:08 PM

Don't forget the bedrooms from The Gate. Both the main character's and the best friends.=)

OldSchool80s Posted on Mar 27, 2015 at 03:04 AM

Branded in the 80s site does some great recaps of 80s rooms from movies. You should check it out, I bet you'd really enjoy those posts detailing the contents.

echidna64 Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 11:57 PM

Also Earnest Scared Stupid, minus the troll the problem

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 09:29 PM

Adam's treehouse in The Goldbergs and Punky Brewster's are also good.

vkimo Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 09:27 PM

Treehouses would be great. Monster Squad and Stand by Me come to mind right away.

echidna64 Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 08:48 PM

I love these rooms! Treehouses next??

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 08:32 PM

He was serious about knocking himself from the third win in a row.

Ruespieler Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 08:06 PM

Holy cow you wrote 3? Well done! My favorite shows and movies are always ones in which the locations become a silent character. You can't always go back to the bedroom you had when you were 6, but you can always go back to your old friend', locked away in their celluloid immorality.

Vaporman87 Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 07:37 PM

So much architectural and design goodness here. I especially am drawn to the set of Merlin's Shop of MST3K Laughs and the house of the Griswold's neighbors. That living room that Ernest Borgnine is sticking up with his BenGay is just like EVERY condo living room I ever stayed in as a kid. That "Oh look how pastel, white, and modern we are!" Everything is way too big, way too light, and everything is trimmed in brass colored plastic. Makes me feel like I'm in Florida at Orange Lake Resort 30 years ago. Sweet.

massreality Posted on Mar 25, 2015 at 07:35 PM

I always loved Elliot's room in ET, but that attic bedroom in Home Alone was what I've always wanted. Even now as a 31 year old, I still want that room.

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