Design Recipes: Try these retro color combinations


Black and mauve, red, white and black, black and gold … sound familiar? These are some of the hottest color combinations from the ’80s. And now the retro combos have made a comeback.

The ’80s

In the 1980s, some of the popular decor trends included a heavy use of mirrors from walls to ceilings. Brass was the luxury finish. And few color combinations were more popular than black and mauve. Classics such as white, black and red, as well as black and gold, were also on the go-to list. As trends and tastes changed, the color combinations to some became outdated. Fast forward to today, and they are now being viewed as modern and fresh.

Black and mauve

Whether black and mauve, black and blush or black and powder pink, the pairing of black and pink is a modern color combination. From living rooms to bedrooms, the contrast of the black and a soft pastel gives the feeling of elegance and luxury. Looking for ways to incorporate the colors into your space? Consider starting with a neutral foundation such as white or taupe and then add black and pink through accents and accessories such as artwork, pillows, throws and accent pieces.

Black, white and red

This color combination is strong, bold, with a strong hint of classic elements. Black, white and red has not only been a popular color combination in home decor, but also in fashion. What makes it work? For starters, black and white are superb foundational colors – they blend well with nearly every color of the rainbow and therefore stand the test of time. When red is added, the colorful pop provides vibrancy and interest, as well as a sense of whimsy.

Black and gold

Black and gold may be a color combination that never quite went out of vogue. Modern, classic, elegant and timeless, when paired together the colors can be dressed up or dressed down. When looking for interesting ways to use the colors, consider elements such as finishes, artwork, accessories and even architectural details such as hardware, handles and trims.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> or visit her website at <>.

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