’80s decor trends haven’t left us just yet! Think shiny brass metals, pastels, oversized tropical prints, and Southwestern themes. Though our client’s home didn’t showcase these classic 1980’s elements (just yet), we immediately saw its potential. Here’s how we completed her house remodel!

This 1980’s home had simple lines and thoughtfully crafted details.

BUT, we couldn’t see its vintage charm without lifting a few hammers.

Its dark wooden walls and rusty light fixtures left our client feeling hopeless. How could she transform her home into a living space that functioned well for her family? AND matched her cheery personality?

That’s where we came in!

She wanted a modern, timeless style with fun, confetti hues, and prints. We couldn’t say no to that! Here’s how we hand turned her house remodel into modern vintage charm:

dining room wall down

When our client approached us about her project, she was going through a tough time in her life. She lost a family member. She was working crazy amounts of overtime at her healthcare job and felt burnout. We wanted to be mindful of that.

Design is much more than making things “look pretty.”

It can be a fresh start for someone or a way to cope with stressful times.

If your spaces resonate with your personality, you’ll have a place to unwind. Nothing can quite relax you from a lousy day like coming home to your restful retreat. Yes, your home should make you FEEL GOOD—no ifs, ands, or buts.

So, we sledge-hammered closed-off rooms and refreshed dark stained wood trims. Our goal? Transform this space from sad to OPEN and bright.

It was time for a fresh start. We were thrilled our client allowed us to create a blissful home for her.

Demo during house remodel

We first broke down the wall between the living room and breakfast nook to take away that drabby feeling. When that wall came down, the light streamed into the whole space!

bright eclectic breakfast room

This new look has a fresh feel. Since most of us start our days in the kitchen, this now functions as a cozy morning cocoon. To keep the happy vibes going, we choose a light neutral paint. 

We also hand-picked a vintage glam chandelier to hover over a pretty farmhouse table. This table extends out as well, perfect for seating extra bums. We kept the great plantation shutters for privacy but installed white gauzy curtains.

farmhouse breakfast room

To tie the space together, we added a patterned blue-toned rug for some underfoot softness and a punch of color. By taking down the wall, we opened the view into the living room. For this reason, we LOVE creating open space concepts. Now, my client can watch her morning show while prepping breakfast.

We also mixed comfortable, playful seating. Here, we combined industrial farmhouse Tolix style chairs with an upholstered settee trimmed in chrome nailheads.

Keeping the House Remodel Open and Bright

Here’s a view of the living room from the dining table. It gives us all kinds of happy and comfy feels. How about you?

grey living room


Here’s the before:


You can see how the deep brown paint made the space feel closed in. We also tore down the built-in bookcases to house a custom media center and TV. On the right end, we transformed the space into a functional mini-office. This computer station provides bonus organization.

More changes to the 1980’s House Remodel

The fireplace molding did not align with our client’s style. We tossed the bulletin board, too.

Instead, we installed a white shiplap above the fireplace. We also found the aquarium a new home, which gave us more useable square footage! To save more room, we exchanged the big sectional for a purple velvet chesterfield.

AND goodbye, dated ceiling fan, and light! Hello, gorgeous black iron chandelier with retro bulbs. 

cozy living room

To balance the bright colors, we added more subtle black touches to the ground this space.

How many black elements do you see?

We counted 5!

1. Black banisters (formerly–you guessed it–stained wood)

2. Trunk chest console

3. Love artwork

4. Entry bench

5. Kitchen island pendant lighting

Let’s get comfy

My client and her daughter chose pastels for accents. We adore pastels too. The hints of blue make this space feel calm and inviting. And pink? Just for a splash of fun! We still focused on soft textiles for the living room. The velvet sofa, plush throws, tufted ottoman, and shag rug–all up the cozy factor. Family night or formal get-togethers? This space can entertain both.

The Galley Kitchen

white kitchen

Galley kitchens are perfect for home plans that have less real estate to work with. This doesn’t mean that these kitchens can’t be super functional and good looking.

Tips on how to maximize a small, narrow kitchen.

Tip ➊ White cabinets

Dark colors absorb light. White reflects light. If you’ve got a big kitchen, you can get away with dark wood cabinets–or even the new dark blue or green options. BUT, to make this kitchen appear bigger (without changing the footprint), we installed white shaker cabinets. Extending these cabinets to the ceiling creates an illusion of an oversized kitchen. To keep the look light and open, we installed glass doors in the topmost cabinets and used some open shelving. More pretty storage? Yes, please.

Adding a custom roman shade to the window also adds a soft texture.

white kitchen

We’re BIG fans of farmhouse sinks. They’ve got a forward orientation, so you don’t need to lean and strain yourself to rinse your dishes (as you do with traditional sinks). Plus, they’re constructed with deeper basins to hold larger pots and pans–beauty WITH function.

The black and brass pendants add a nice juxtaposition to the white subway tiles too.

white kitchen

Tip ➋ Unify finishes

The subway backsplash and new quartz countertops complement each other. Quartz is an excellent alternative to granite because it doesn’t absorb bacteria and does not require resealing every few years. AKA, if you spill some turmeric on your counters during curry night, you’ll be fine.

white kitchen

Tip ➌ Appliance Refresh

Adding new stainless steel appliances always adds a nice, modern touch. Taking the backsplash and stove vent to the ceiling also creates high style.

white updated kitchen

Tip ➍ Artsy Tile

If you’re also looking for instant gratification, changing your builder’s tile is the way to go. Here, we installed handmade cement tiles in a black and white finish. Since we didn’t have matching wood flooring where we took out the built-ins, we used this same tile under the computer station.  Bonus: doing this ties the two areas together and creates a cohesive look.

computer desk

We also installed floating shelves to stage family photos and accessories. In the mini office, we used industrial shelves, and for the kitchen, we chose honey- stained wooden shelving for an earthy look.

open shelves


Yes, we designed those too! We’ll share the nitty-gritty details in a future post. Can’t wait? Take a peek at this project’s full gallery here.

white kitchen

After we finished our client’s house remodel, she told us, “I’m fixing dinner for my daughter, and for the first time, this feels like home.” What more could a designer hope to accomplish!

Has your home stayed in the 1970′ s-80’s-90’s for too long? We’re confident your family can benefit from a house remodel. If your current home needs an update OR if you’re on the fence about buying a fixer-upper, we can help. Let’s chat!

I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
We can also consult by video conference. If you’d like to meet at your home, please know we will use all current safety protocols.
For now, check out what our team here at Courtney Warran Home can do for YOU on our YouTube channel!