14. November 2022
A Guide to Stranger Things Room Decor (+ Inspo)
Have you ever dreamt of going back in time and uncovering the secrets of a cursed town? If you have been a long-time fan of the science fiction horror drama TV series Stranger Things since 2016, then we have great news for you. We have recounted all of the iconic scenes from the first season up to the latest fourth season so that you can transport your room to the 1980s. In the very words of Eddie Munson, “Chrissy, wake up! It’s time to revamp your place with Stranger Things room decor!”
In case you are not familiar with the overall theme of the show, Stranger Things has grainy retro vibes from the indie aesthetic and funky psychedelic hues from the trippy aesthetic. By utilizing the trends and motifs of the past, Stranger Things was able to stimulate the sense of the uncanny. After all, the show is about solving other-worldly mysteries.
Do you think you have what it takes to venture into the Upside Down and transform your room to have the full Stranger Things experience? If so, keep reading and you might even be able to recreate a Stranger Things scene!
The Stranger Things Aesthetic
Before you fend off those pesky Demogorgons, it is of utmost importance to know the overall theme of Stranger Things. For starters, the show takes place in the mid-1980s, particularly in Hawkins, Indiana. It is well-renowned for being a driving force behind the recent hype around the retro concept by utilizing pop culture references from the decade. From the Dungeons & Dragons references to mullet haircuts to even Kate Bush songs (cue Running Up That Hill). With more and more people tuning into the show every season, the fanbase kept increasing and so did the influence of the so-called “Stranger Things aesthetic.”
Given that the retro theme was preceded by the trippy aesthetic of the early 1970s and was substituted by the indie aesthetic of the late 1990s, it involved the display of psychedelic posters, vinyl records, patterned tapestries, shaggy rugs, and vintage typewriters. Any decor that may once have been overlooked as outdated or tacky in a thrift store is considered retro.
It would not be Stranger Things without visual motifs that scream retro. These include boomboxes, band posters, cassette tapes, striped clothing, board games, and Eggo waffles. Such elements are evident in the show’s various filming locations, particularly in Palace Arcade, Bradley’s Big Buy, and the Wheelers’ House. It is without a doubt that the show serves as an ode to the 1980s style.
The core reason why Stranger Things employs a retro theme is to contrast the sinister and spine-chilling atmosphere of the show with a warm and nostalgic feeling. Essentially, the “Stranger Things aesthetic” is the perfect combination of groovy patterns and fluorescent lights that follows a certain color palette which will be further discussed later. If you have reached this far into the article, do not throw away those boxes you found in your parents’ attic as we are about to dive deeper into Stranger Things room decor!
What is Stranger Things Room Decor?
You might be wondering, “What decor exactly passes as Stranger Things worthy and where can I get them?” Luckily, most of the retro elements seen on the show can either be thrifted or found in storage boxes. Unlike other aesthetics that require huge investments in room decor, you can simply purchase second-hand decor and do-it-yourself projects to emanate a homey vintage feel in your room. Irregularly shaped vases, oversized walkie-talkies, vintage stereo speakers, the list goes on!
The typical Stranger Things room decor consists of wood panels, thick carpets, checkered patterns, and string lights. All of these are different muted shades of the primary colors to reinforce the authentic retro vibes. You can never forget about alphabet lights for the paranormal vibe when it comes to curating a Stranger Things-inspired room.
Now that you have gained a general understanding of what Stranger Things room decor is supposed to seem like, we won’t keep this curiosity door locked any longer. Explore the vastness of Hawkins and you might even be invited to The Party along with Eleven and Max Mayfield!
It is no secret that the foundation of every aesthetic is its color palette. For the “Stranger Things aesthetic,” the color palette comprises of moody yet vibrant colors. Some of these include maroon red, navy blue, dark teal, mustard yellow, and burnt orange. Evidently, retro colors are often less saturated and flatter than other hues to create a vintage feel.
Most, if not all, retro color palettes exclude bright colors to imitate the printing capabilities of the 1980s, especially since it was a decade slowly transitioning from the world of black and white. In addition, the colors are often from opposite sides of the color wheel, especially since the element of contrast were first popular in the 1980s.
Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes from the first season of Stranger Things would be Will Byers communicating with his mother through house lights. His mother then put up Christmas lights to better understand her son while he was trapped in the Upside Down.
Hence, to encapsulate the “Stranger Things aesthetic,” it is strongly recommended to drape string lights, such as LED and fairy lights, around your room. You can even use lava lamps for a surreal retro feeling. With the Christmas season fast approaching, you might be able to use the extra Christmas lights from your Christmas tree set-up as you decorate your room. Overall, artificial lighting is preferred over natural lighting for this aesthetic.
Other than the iconic Christmas lights, every Stranger Things fan knows about the alphabet painted on the wall in Will Byer’s bedroom. If you are feeling extra, bring out a canvas and paint the alphabet to be hung on your wall. As a cherry on top, try to duplicate Joyce Byers’ handwriting if you can. Still, you can purchase plain black alphabet decals or stickers for convenience!
Although it is advisable to have floral or plaid wallpaper on wood-paneled walls to emanate the authentic 1980s vibes, you can cover your plain white walls with band posters and vinyl records à la indie. You get bonus points if you have a multi-layered shelf to display funky trinkets and the like.
As for furniture, one can never go wrong with leather sofas. Just make sure to drape patterned tapestries over them. Along with the leather sofas, you can pair them with low wooden coffee tables. Decorate the tables with thick books and tall candles for a slightly eerie look.
If you are a vintage videophile, bid farewell to your modern smart TVs and welcome back the old CRT TVs. These ridiculously heavy and massive monitors go nicely with videocassette recorders and stereo speakers. Disclaimer: they may no longer be functional in this day and age so you might just want to keep them on display.
Given that beds are what distinct bedrooms from every other room, do not forget to decorate them in line with the room’s overall aesthetic. In this case, make sure that they would have the Stranger Things feels too by utilizing beddings with checkered, striped, or mandala designs since the 1980s is all about patterns after all.
Throw some patterned plush pillows and faux fur blankets on top of your bed as well. A general rule of thumb is to stick with dark and muted colors, preferably gray and blue, to not break the retro theme going on. You can also have wooden bedframes with little vintage trinkets sitting on top for extra spice.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the “Stranger Things aesthetic” as it encompasses any room decor from the 1980s. However, to give the authentic retro feel, you can employ the trends from the 80s and personalize your room further. These include old telephones, view masters, roller skates, gaming consoles, retro board games, funko pops, Rubik’s cubes, and baseball cards.
If you have some wood to spare (for some odd reason), you can use them to decorate the entrance of your room and replicate Castle Byers. Do not forget about the American flag and striped curtain to complete the look. Furthermore, you can go all out by placing a Demogorgon standee in your room. Just make sure not to get creeped out by it!
Always remember that anything unusual and bizarre is worth adding to your room. After all, the “Stranger Things aesthetic” is all about embracing our eccentric selves. As Jonathan Byers once said, “Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.”
Now that you have made it this far, we hope that you would put your newfound knowledge regarding Stranger Things room decor to work by transforming your room into a retro time capsule. Browse through our wide collection of Indie Room Decor and Trippy Room Decor to capture the authentic 1980s essence.
If you feel like going further back in time to the old European periods, check out our Types of Academia Aesthetics – Which One Are You? article to find out which type of academia aesthetic resonates the most with your personality. On the other hand, if you wish to jump into the future and learn more about Japanese animation and comic art styles from the early 2000s, then our How to Create an Anime Aesthetic Room (+ Inspo) article would surely be your next best read.
Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!