25 November 2012

Living Life '80s Style... Part 1

So, you've thought about it hard, you've looked at 21st Century life and definitely found it wanting, and wish to live a stylish life, a life filled with beauty, a life in which your house is so much more than just a house, a life in which your clothes are so much more than just clothes, a life in which your hair is so much more than just hair, etc, etc..

Well, you could do much worse than retreat to the Style Decade.

"Which decade's that?" you frown. "Cheeky young puppy!" I reply. I'm talking, of course, about the 1980s!

The framed picture of the Ferrari Testarossa car is ideal for helping to create your '80s style home. Other goodies for your walls include the famous "cocktail glass struck by lightning" and the Adam Ant mirror (see last illustration in this post).

Both forms of lighting here date from the 1980s. The wall light from 1983 and the black plastic up-lighter from 1988. The draped material dates from 1986 and the wallpaper from 1987. Isn't it lovely? It's my front room actually. 

Recently, I was considering some redecorating and asked a friend who was visiting if they had any constructive criticisms to offer regarding the present decor. Said the visitor: "Well, Andy, it's just like you - stuck in the '80s!"

"No, no, no!" I cried. "I wanted criticisms not compliments!"

Daft bat.

Of course, the first hand-held mobile phones came along in the 1980s. But unless you are a collector, don't fill your home up with these as they are analogue and useless. You CAN buy modern day replicas of 1980s brick phones which work on the GSM system (the GSM system was also a product of the 1980s, by the way!) and these are a far better idea.

However, a genuine 1980s brick phone is brilliant for stopping a barn door from banging in high wind.

The Pye Tube Cube - a wow on its release in 1982 - is now woefully outdated. TV's gone all digital now, yer see. Nice piece of '80s kitsch to have around though if you've room - and the radio, cassette and clock may still be useful. Also, you can hook the set up to your DVD player and watch '80s TV progs and films in glorious black and white. Definitely has nostalgia potential.

A lot of youngsters nowadays who didn't experience the joys of cassette players eating cassette tapes the first time round, now think cassettes are awesome and the sound produced is somehow better than the sound produced on a compact disc. Well, I think that's baloney, personally, but the audio cassette was at its peak in the 1980s and the decade also introduced compact discs, so you can take your choice. Vinyl was still absolutely rampant, too. I still enjoy playing some of my old cassettes on my 1980s boombox or ghetto blaster. And its appetite seems to have decreased with age. It hasn't gorged on a cassette for several weeks now.

Do pick up some 1980s toys and ornaments if you don't have any already. This adorable clockwork Pac-Man has a ghost in his gob and is a lovely little companion for solitary evenings in.

Here's a snazzy little pig - given to me as a birthday present in 1988. A pig listening to a personal stereo? I think the idea was based on the early Now That's What I Call Music album designs.

I adore my little red BT Tribune phone. It was first released in 1987, and it came in bell ring or warble models. The one pictured above has been my pal ever since that year. With the explosion of telephone designs available in England, Scotland and Wales after BT was formed in 1980, things became a little confusing, but I instantly warmed to the Tribune and the bell ringer model is the one to have and to have hold. So much nicer than a warble. 

It starred in the famous 1987 "Ology" TV ad, also starring Maureen Lipman as Beattie, and  turned up in series like Howards' Way.

The Tribune pictured above is in my hall. Of course, it is not all modern, singing and dancing. It's not touch-tone. 

It's 1987. 

So, we have another phone in the living room. 

But we have the warble on that switched off!

1980s mugs for the morning brew are essential - and these witty "It's A Mug Game" Rubik's Cube mugs from 1981 are absolutely swingorilliant.

Want to be really obscure? Then enjoy your morning cuppa from an Albion Market mug - from the 1985 launch of this short-lived Granada Television soap, which quickly crashed and burned. Works for me.

And gel or mousse your 1980s hairdo in front of a lovely Adam Ant mirror. Mine is in my pink wood chip wallpapered hall. Can't get more stylish than that.

More very soon!