Memphis Design: How to Creatively Design your Home Like it’s from the ’80s

With a good balance between light and shapes, Memphis Design can be elegantly used in interior design. Photo courtesy of Nonagon Style.

Flattering colors and shapes is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when it comes to interior design. However, in recent years, the Memphis Design movement has made a comeback in websites, packaging design, and even inside our homes. As distance and nostalgia gives this ’80s movement new respect and resonance, its cultural impact has grown.

Taking notes from the Curbed, Memphis has become a playful part of pop culture, celebrated by today’s trendsetters as a symbol of the ’80s. But during its heyday, it also became a symbol of trend-chasing, upwardly mobile yuppies. Memphis, like anything, is what you make of it.


Memphis Design is mainly inspired by Deco and Pop Art styles which were very popular during that time. It is known by using bright colors, geometric shapes, and bold patterns.

The sensual play of bright colors and squiggly lines of Memphis design have made their way into editorial. In the bedroom above, a cheerful palette with “pop” colors is paired with patterned bedsheets and geometric-shaped bedside tables for a Memphis look. Photo courtesy of Nonagon Style.

In 1981, Italian designer Ettore Sottsass founded a group of artists and designers called Memphis. Bob Dylan’s song ‘Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again’ was playing on repeat during the group’s first meeting, which led to the group being named ‘Memphis’.

After their initial meeting, the group met again after three months with over a hundred drawings with them.

A lifestyle store made by Masquespacio. Photo courtesy of Design Milk.

The Memphis group was groundbreaking. The Memphis Design use of clashing colors, haphazard arrangements, and brightly colored plastic laminate were previously unseen. At the time, objects were usually designed to be functional, not decorative. Memphis changed this with a more creative approach to design, where they poked fun at everyday objects by designing them in a way that was unusual.


Italian furniture and homeware brand Kartell offered a tribute to the Memphis Group’s quirky style with their concept stores by showcasing their 2015 collection “Kartell goes Sottsass. A Tribute to Memphis”. Photo courtesy of Nonagon Style.

Despite the massive impact of Memphis Design, not all those responses were positive. Memphis Group products were much-derided by critics at the time for being ugly, expensive, and impractical. Many assumed the movement was a brief flash in the pan. Few would have predicted its ultimate cultural impact or the revival of the aesthetic three decades on.


Throughout history, terrazzo has been proven as a sensible choice. Home and interior designers can achieve the expected beauty with low maintenance costs.


This basement’s renovation suggests freshness and a crisp forward-thinking design concept, even though the building may be old and leaking. We should credit the newlywed couple for creating this wonderful space. The pair work in the creative design field, as you can tell from the skillful interior plan. They specifically wanted their basement home to be able to deal with high humidity, have enough light, and create suitable ventilation.

The Easter Island statue planter in the entryway. It’s a fun statement piece that gives you a flavor for the rest of the home. Meanwhile, the bathroom plays between dark and light tiles effectively. Photo courtesy of Nonagon Style.

One of the characteristics of the apartment is the way the room is segregated into areas for sleep, work, and play. Sleep is arguably the most important of the three (for without sleep the others don’t happen). As such, there is an adjustable curtain to create a cocoon that keeps the sleeping area quiet.

To design your own Memphis inspired furniture, make sure to think about the color, shape, and functionality carefully. Photo courtesy of Nonagon Style.

Even though a couple may diverge in living habits, this colorful studio apartment accommodates both. In fact, the designers even thought about how to easily adjust the space if there is ever a new member of the family.

Have that ’80’s look at your home in this 21′ st Century. Make it work with a positive Japanese interior design.  

Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) is a design and build specialist when it comes to crafting luxury and functionality in one. Inspired by Japanese philosophy and style, TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.   

For inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 832 16 76, or send an e-mail at

TGRはマカティの高級インテリアデザイン、リノベーション、会社です。TGRは 住宅および商業 スペースの為のデザインと建築を提供 し ております。お問い合わせは 、02832 1676 にお電話いただくか、 電子メール へ送信 お願いします。


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