Entries Tagged as '1980s'
December 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments
Design Through the Decades – part 59
Landscaping of Phoenix homes in the 1980s shifted to new types of trees and plants. The mulberry trees, olive trees, carob trees, and cedar trees from the 1950s to the 1970s went away. Variety was the name of the game in 1980s landscaping.
Let’s look at some of the new trees & plants of the 1980s, starting with the quintessential 1980s Mexican fan palm.
Queen palms debuted in the 1980s and grew in popularity into the 1990s. This is a Phoenix home from 1986.
Eucalyptus trees were very popular in the 1980s as seen at this 1986 home. They grow very tall with branches that break off in strong winds.
African sumac trees emerged in the 1980s.
Jacaranda trees were well liked for their purple flowers.
Bougainvillea bushes defined the 1980s (and the 1990s).
Mexican Bird of Paradise (aka The Pride of Barbados) bushes offered a splash of orange and red and were very popular in the 1980s.
Texas sage bushes were used often in 1980s landscaping, with pink-purple flowers in the background at this 1989 back yard.
Other new trees and bushes in the 1980s were Brazilian pepper tree, pink oleander bush, natal plum bush, cassia bush, myoporum ground cover, hibiscus bush, and pygmy date palm.
A few plants carried over from earlier decades: citrus, pine, bottle tree, canary palm, and Mediterranean fan palm. Citrus trees of course are a symbol of Arizona living.
Aleppo and Eldarica pine trees would not go away in the early 1980s.
Australian bottle trees hung around in the 1980s too.
Canary Island date palms (aka pineapple palm) were still used in 1980s landscaping. Pink gravel was a very popular choice in the 1980s.
Cacti and saguaros were found in many 1980s Phoenix yards.
A trendy design element of 1980s Phoenix back yards was the wood gazebo.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Landscaping
December 10th, 2008 · 1 Comment
Design Through the Decades – Part 53
The breakthrough design in swimming pools in the 1980s in Phoenix was integrating pools and spas. It meant stand-alone above-ground spas were no longer needed.
Circle shaped spas were popular as seen at this 1988 Phoenix home.
Here’s a pool and spa combo from 1989.
For those who already had a pool, an above-ground spa with an enclosed gazebo was very trendy in the 1980s.
Most swimming pools of the 1980s were of a simple design. Diving pools were still allowed back then.
White plaster walls were standard.
One raised side with steps was used in many 1980s pools in Phoenix. Here’s one from 1983.
Multiple steps along the pool were used in sloping yards as seen at this 1987 Phoenix home.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Phoenix Homes · Pool & Spa
December 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments
Design Through the Decades – part 48
Lighting in Phoenix homes in the 1980s is best defined by two designs: Hollywood bathroom lights and kitchen dome lights.
In Phoenix bathrooms, it was very trendy for a light strip to be hung vertically on either side of a mirror, using large round white light bulbs, as seen in this 1983 home. The lights were designed to resemble Hollywood movie star dressing rooms.
The large round white light bulbs were sometimes placed horizontally over a mirror.
The light strip could be made of wood, “bronze,” “silver”, or “brass.” This is a 1985 Mesa, Arizona home.
Dome lighting was very popular in Phoenix kitchens in the 1980s. Lights were placed behind curved sheets of white plastic. Ceiling fans were often added.
Another dome light.
Here’s a variation on overhead lighting in kitchens: a giant light box.
The smoked glass globe dining light was in style in the 1970s and the 1980s as seen in this 1983 Mesa, Arizona home.
The flower light shade or half-egg light shade popular in the 1970s carried over into 1980s Phoenix homes. Oftentimes, the shades were made of wicker. From a 1981 home.
Brass and glass dining lights were all the rage in the 1980s, especially if the glass was etched.
Glass chandeliers with 90-degree edges were very 1980s.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Lighting
November 27th, 2008 · 4 Comments
Design Through the Decades – part 42
Flooring in Phoenix homes in the 1980s was all about tile, tile, and tile.
The defining tile style of the 1980s was saltillo tile (commonly called “Mexican tile”). Each tile was unique in its range of red, orange, pink, and yellow colors. Saltillo tile squares are a thick tile, usually 1/2 inch thick.
Saltillo tile could be found in every room of a house, including bedrooms and living rooms.
Saltillo tile mostly disappeared past 1989, except in Phoenix homes with Spanish or Mediterranean architecture.
Eight inch tile squares were very common in the 1980s.
Dark grout contrasted with the lighter tile colors in the 1980s.
Another popular tile style was the rounded shiny 8″ tile, usually in white, ivory, or bone color. Just like saltillo tile, it made for an uneven floor surface.
Carpeting was still used in bedrooms in Phoenix homes in the 1980s, and it also appeared in living rooms. Teal green was a popular carpet color as seen in this 1982 Phoenix home.
Rust colored carpet was found in homes in the early 1980s.
Berber carpeting was also associated with the 1980s.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Flooring
November 20th, 2008 · 4 Comments
Design Through the Decades – part 36
Windows in Phoenix homes in the 1980s were not very inspiring. Builders were too busy to add any excitement. Slider windows (two large panes of glass; one slides left to right) were standard. We’ll take a look at how window coverings changed in the 1980s further down.
The typical 1980s Phoenix window was made of a single pane of glass with black plastic or metal strips to resemble smaller panes of glass, as seen in this 1986 home. Exterior photos of these windows are hard to find, because they are usually covered up with a sun screen.
Clerestory windows were popular in the 1980s too.
Interior view of clerestory windows, which let in natural light.
A single vertical window was common in bedrooms in the early 1980s. This is a 1981 Phoenix home.
A window box off the kitchen was very popular. This is a 1986 Scottsdale home.
Glass block started to take off in the early 1980s to ensure privacy in bathrooms. This is a 1983 Glendale, Arizona home.
Sometimes, the homebuilder would create a signature style window for the subdivision. This particular window style was found in many homes in The Pointe communities in the 1980s.
Now on to window coverings. We already saw the heavy, thick drapery material used in the 1950s, the 1960s, and even into the 1970s. By the 1980s, heavy was out and light was in. Sheer fabrics were used, usually in pastel colors and with frills. Classic 1980s window curtains in a 1985 Mesa, Arizona home.
Light fabric curtains were common in the kitchen too. This is a 1984 Phoenix home.
Every once in awhile, heavier drapery material popped up, but it was usually done in a dramatic fashion (more for style than function) and with 1980s colors like pink/salmon and dark green. It goes nicely with the 1980s pastel wall color, brass bed, and flowery bedspread.
Pouf valances were all the rage in the 1980s. Oftentimes you could buy matching bedspreads and valances in pastel colors or flowery patterns. You stuffed crumpled newspaper inside to make them puffy. Here’s a 1987 Phoenix home.
A simple valance with light material frequently was used to hide the guide rail of vertical blinds in the 1980s as seen in this 1985 Phoenix home. Vertical blinds were usually faced with a fabric, especially in pastel colors (pink or light blue or light green) or even more 1980s with dark green. They ended up collecting a lot of dust and didn’t last long in people’s homes.
Plantation shutters really took off in the 1980s and are still popular in 2008.
Coming Up: Will window coverings change much in the 1990s?
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Tags: 1980s · Bedspread · Design Through the Decades · Window · Window Coverings
November 13th, 2008 · 4 Comments
Design Through the Decades – Part 30
Just as brick fireplaces became very popular in the 1970s in Phoenix, would that trend continue in the 1980s? The answer is yes. At least from 1980 to 1987. There were a few other fireplace design styles in the 1980s in Phoenix, namely the beehive fireplace and the conversation pit.
Let’s start off with a typical fireplace of the 1980s: brick. Note the full height brick wall and the brass fireplace cover. Built in 1984.
Brick fireplace from 1980. Like in the 1970s, it’s all hearth and no mantel.
The fireplace was the focal point of a family room or living room in the 1980s.
1983 fireplace with slump block, a hollow brick (also seen in above photo).
1984 brick fireplace.
Another wall devoted to a brick fireplace, from a 1985 Phoenix home.
Brick and brass were still standing proud in 1987.
The famous beehive fireplace became all the rage in the 1980s. It was typical to have a rough-textured stucco finish with brick accents. It definitely was the focal point of the room.
It’s difficult to find 1980s beehive fireplaces in their original condition. Most of them have been painted over or re-textured or refinished. This one had a stone base but was painted. The wood ceiling would have originally had a dark wood stain.
Some Phoenix homes lowered the beehive fireplace into a very trendy conversation pit.
Or you could put a brick fireplace in the conversation pit.
This conversation pit fireplace is from a Phoenix home built in 1980.
For those people tired of brick or block, a fireplace surrounded by tile was a popular option. It was usually 8″ white/ivory/cream tile with dark grout.
A 1982 fireplace with tile surround on the hearth.
Mantel vs. mantle: Which one is it? Mantel is the shelf above a fireplace, and mantle is a sleeveless cape or cloak.
Coming Up: Will fireplaces in the 1990s be important to buyers?
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Fireplace
November 6th, 2008 · 2 Comments
Design Through the Decades – part 24
Phoenix homes in the 1980s did not have many new or innovative design features. Do mirrored closet doors get anyone excited? All the attention was spent on building homes quickly and easily (for the construction crew). And any exciting design changes occurred in the kitchen and bathroom.
Let out a yawn or two and let’s look at some design features of the 1980s.
The number 1 design element of the 1980s…the defining moment of Phoenix homes in the 1980s…ignoring any of this popping up in the late 1970s…the one thing people remember and moan and groan about…is…
They are so practical in dusty Phoenix, especially when ceiling fans stir the dust around so that it sticks to the popcorn forever. Hooray for popcorn ceilings!
Indoor planter boxes (seen in the 1960s) came back briefly in the 1980s.
Those darn step-down living rooms have been across three decades now. Here’s a Phoenix home built in 1984.
Wet bars gained more prominence in 1980s homes.
By the late 1980s, architectural design finally made some new strides. Vaulted ceilings from the 1970s were usually a slanted ceiling going 12 feet tall. In the late 1980s, vaulted ceilings stretched two stories tall. Big square columns and horizontal cross beams were incorporated.
Columns and beams, columns and beams. Very 1980s.
If you’re going to have two-story tall living room walls, you have to do something with it. So giant wall niches were created high above the floor, as seen in this 1987 Phoenix home.
Technology feature of the 1980s: cable TV wiring
Coming Up: 1990s design features in Phoenix homes
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Features
October 30th, 2008 · 3 Comments
Design Through the Decades – Part 18
Phoenix bathrooms in the 1980s were for the most part pretty bland. Not a lot of changes or innovations in the 1980s. Phoenix was growing so quickly in the 1980s that homebuilders had to move fast. There was no time for tile work or fancy details. And buyers took what was offered.
Let’s start in this 1981 Phoenix home’s bathroom. Cultured marble counter top was a carryover from the 1970s, replacing Formica counter tops. Plastic shower surround was an easy install. The cabinets originally were dark stained; they’ve been painted over since.
Cultured marble counters in this 1983 bathroom. Cabinets in the 1980s bathrooms (and kitchens) went from dark stain to a lighter stain to show off the wood grain. Note the dark big faucet handles. And “Hollywood” makeup lights were the rage in the 1980s.
Here’s a fancy vanity from 1984.
Counter tops (still cultured marble) became more white as the years when by as seen in this bathroom from 1984. Etched glass shower doors were very popular.
Another example of etched glass shower doors. Typical 1980s vanity.
1985 Phoenix bathroom with common vanity and sink.
Cultured marble made its way to the showers. Panels of cultural marble were used as shower walls. 1986 bathroom with big faucet handles.
No significant changes to bathroom design by 1987.
Still no changes in 1988.
Bonus photo: Your quintessential 1980s bathroom in Anytown, USA. Flowery wallpaper, cultured marble sink, Hollywood vanity lights, teal green towels, wood grain cabinets, door handles with ivory or pink porcelain accent. Totally rad.
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Tags: 1980s · Bathroom · Design Through the Decades
Design Through the Decades – Part 11
Dark stained cabinets and the earthy appliance colors in Phoenix kitchens had their day in the 1970s. But then the 1980s arrived and kitchen designs changed once again. Cabinet stain got lighter. Counter tops came in three choices: 4″ white tile, white or ivory Formica, or butcher block Formica. Appliances were either black, white, or ivory.
Let’s take a look at the best of Phoenix kitchens in the 1980s.
Phoenix kitchen from 1985. U-shaped kitchen design with seemingly one continuous Formica counter.
It really is a different house, but a near identical copy of the previous photo. (Appliances and window shutters are not original.)
Typical 1980s kitchen but the counter tops are not in a horseshoe pattern. Pantry cabinets became popular as seen on the right of the frig. Very typical 1980s refrigerator with dark handles and ice/water in the door.
Another kitchen from 1985 with combo range/oven. Note the lack of cabinet door handles. Butcher block Formica counters became very popular in the 1980s.
Another example of butcher block counters. And we’re back to the horseshoe counter top. Skinny metal door handles are used here.
This is a kitchen from a house built in 1985, but the appliances look like they’re from the 1970s. Compactors (on the right) were considered an upgrade.
Phoenix kitchen built in 1988. Tile counters (usually 4″ and white with dark grout) were an alternative to Formica counters.
Another kitchen with tile counters.
Laminate cabinets emerged in the 1980s. This one has a simulated wood grain.
This type of laminate cabinet in the 1980s was called “Euro style.” White laminate with a wood trim. Over time, the laminate on the sides tends to peel off.
Euro style cabinets with a dome light. We’ll see more lighting from the 1980s in a future post.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Kitchen
Design Through the Decades – Part 5
The Phoenix, Arizona population grew by over 200,000 in the 1970s. By 1980, the population reached 789,704, a 36% increase over 1970. Phoenix went from the 99th largest US in 1950 to the 29th largest in 1960 to the 20th largest in 1970 to the 9th largest in 1980. Phoenix gained another 200,000 in population in the 1980s.
With all of these people moving to Phoenix, houses were in high demand. Phoenix stretched further north, northeast, west, and into the outlying area of Ahwatukee in the far southeast in the 1980s.
Exterior architecture in Phoenix in the 1980s was all about mass production. Cookie cutter design for a quick build. There was no time for block construction. Wood frame with stucco was the preferred choice in exterior construction.
Built in 1981, this home’s exterior was made of T-111 masonite siding, as was mentioned in the 1970s Exterior post. Cheap materials meant affordable houses. Thankfully, T-111 siding moved out of fashion in the 1980s.
Here’s a house that is the quintessential Phoenix home in the 1980s: two-story, wood frame, troweled-on rough stucco (to catch dirt and dust easier), ivory/yellow-white paint (or pink-white paint), 2-car garage up front with a sidewalk along the side to the front door, shorter driveway, red tile roof, bedroom over the garage, located close to the next house.
Sometimes Phoenix homes in the 1980s had a combination of T-111 siding with wood slat trim or stucco siding with wood slat trim as seen here.
If you paid a little more, you could have a brick facade to the bottom of your house.
If you had a clever home builder, they would switch the roof pitch on you. Gable or reverse gable, the options were overwhelming!
As mentioned earlier, it became common (not necessarily popular) to have the front door along the side of the house.
The 1980s saw the introduction of the anthropomorphic house: two upper level bedrooms became the eyes, a decorative air vent over the garage became the nose, and the garage was the mouth.
The last of the slump block homes, thank goodness.
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Tags: 1980s · Design Through the Decades · Exterior