How To Decorate Your Home Like The House From The Golden Girls

"Thank you for being a friend." We can all sing along with the theme song, but what if you want to know how to decorate your home like the house on "The Golden Girls" TV show? It did always look like a comfy place to be. And who wouldn't want to be a part of that lovely and loving group of ladies? With the advent of the grandmillennial decorating style and the recent passing of Betty White, more and more people are looking to create this type of look in their own spaces. And post-pandemic, people want to spend time in or come home to someplace warm, welcoming, and comfortable.

While some of the girls' decorating wouldn't work in today's world –- mounting things on top of a TV comes to mind –- you can reasonably recreate this look in your home, even in 2022. But why would you — and especially Millennials and Gen-Z — want to decorate your homes like Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia? It's because it's different from what we're used to. "Each generation rebels against the one previous, so the millennials who are now furnishing homes are rebelling against their parents and their style," interior designer Kevin Isbell told Better Homes and Gardens. "Raised during the mass market furniture explosion, they are rebelling against the monochromatic catalog looks that they were raised with and are looking to earlier generations for inspiration." And we have all the tips and tricks you need to make your home just like theirs.

Choose wicker or rattan furniture, even inside

The living room furniture is one of the most iconic aspects of "The Golden Girls" home décor. The girls spent many days and nearly as many nights living, laughing, and loving in this room. American Country Home Store explains that wicker and rattan are ultimately the same material. Wicker is the process of weaving together strands of rattan, a vine that grows in the rainforest and can be left raw, stained, painted, or varnished. You can also purchase simulated types of rattan, but if you want your furniture to age, you need to opt for the genuine article.

If you're worried about going overboard, you can choose complementary pieces to add to your existing décor to bring this trendy '70s element into your otherwise modern home. Rattan chairs partner well with wood furniture, neutral wall colors, and cozy blankets and overstuffed pillows, according to Country Living.

Or you could add a rattan chair to your bathroom because the material is water-resistant. Other options for adding this element to your home in a minimalist way include rattan bed frames, rattan drapes, or rattan storage boxes. Better Homes and Gardens tells us that rattan furniture or accent pieces create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, which is how it always felt in the girls' home.

Pick Eastern-influenced pieces

The ladies' living room has several Eastern-influenced pieces. There's the vase by the door that Rose destroys when she buys a gun after a break-in at the house. And an Oriental rug, which elevates the décor of any room. Most Oriental rugs are large, so if you're planning to add one to your existing décor, there are some things you'll need to consider. Houzz recommends sticking with your current color scheme, diffusing bold prints with neutrals, and keeping the setting monochromatic.

Another way to use Eastern-influenced décor in your home is to recreate the perfect backdrop typically associated with this design style. Decoist explains that because Asian designs mimic nature, it is best to keep a neutral background to honor that theme. This could mean having white walls, but you could just as easily choose cream, light blue, or brown walls.

The look you're trying to create here is laidback and relaxed, not unlike what you were hoping to achieve with your rattan furniture. If you want to kick things up a notch, you could aim for an oriental vase. Fortunately, it also works wonderfully with bold colors, which there were plenty of in "The Golden Girls" home.

Choose bold shades, like turquoise and coral

Bold colors are great for making statements but can be frightening for some people. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good look. According to MyMove, one of the best ways to add bold colors to your home is to use them in accent pieces. When using multiple colors in a room, it is best to remember the 60/30/10 rule. Regarding the room's decor, 60% of the room should be neutral, 30% should be brighter, and 10% should be your most brilliant, boldest choice. Think of "The Golden Girls" living room. There were many neutrals -– the walls, the couch, and chairs -– but the cushions were turquoise with a coral design.

If you're unsure which bold colors you're most suited to, designer Noz Nozawa has a suggestion. The San Francisco-based designer told Veranda she advises people to step outside their homes and pay attention to what colors draw their attention. "Take the time to go walk around your neighborhood and observe what colors you notice first and how they make you feel," they said. "Understanding what hues you naturally gravitate to — or don't gravitate to — gives a great starting for designers to work with."

Embrace your inner tree hugger by picking palms or banana leaves

Blanche might not have been known as the environmentally friendly type, but you wouldn't know it from looking at her bedroom wallpaper. The big, bold banana leaf-covered walls made her room seem tropical and lush. The décor in the room was sumptuous, which matches her personality. Architectural Digest points out that banana leaf wallpaper has graced the walls of many lavish locations, such as the Fountain Coffee Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel since 1942.

If you're looking for something more dramatic, recreating this look in your own home could be an excellent place to start. And there are plenty of ways to add banana leaves and palms all over your house. You can add actual palms if you'd like, but SFGate cautions you to research the types if you choose this route. If you're planting indoors, your best options are the lady palm, pygmy date palm, and the areca palm. 

You can also use fronds from actual palms or put up wallpaper. If you're unsure where to add such a bold print, interior designer Amanda Lindroth suggests adding it to a spot that needs a little more interest. "Tropical patterns are happy motifs. I suppose that's why a lot of decorators put them in hallways, bathrooms, and places where you really can't have the same level of outdoor visibility or as many windows. If there's a sad area of the home, the print tends to come out," she told Architectural Digest. "One would hope that a place like a sunroom has enough exposure to the outdoors, which has a lot of natural green, and you wouldn't want the two to compete. Instead, you can line the interior of a bar cabinet or the passage from the butler's pantry to the kitchen."

Be a bookworm

All the women who lived in "The Golden Girls" house were different. Sure, they all liked dating, sex, and cheesecake, but that's where the similarities ended. Compared to Blanche, Dorothy seemed downright stoic. She was a teacher, and one look at her room would tell you as much. The walls were covered in wallpaper in a polished gold paisley print, and the room was filled with books that she'd stay up in bed to read. As a fellow bibliophile, I can relate. Cozy items like oriental rugs and burnished sideboards made this room seem as sophisticated as its owner.

If you want to copy her book-loving decor, you can stay with the '80s-inspired décor in Dorothy's room or opt for a more modern version, using all the same elements. MyMove suggests playing around with shelving options. You can try floating shelves, built-ins, or ass shelving in quirky places, like under a staircase or around a window. You can also play around with how you decorate with your volumes. You can color-coordinate the spines, add art and photographs in between stacks on the shelves, or opt for an appealingly messy display.

Keep your head in the clouds

If you're more likely to tell stories than read them, you might choose to decorate like Rose. Her style was much softer and frillier, and the cloud print wallpaper was a reminder of how her head was always in the clouds. If you're more of a Rose than a Blanche or Dorothy, choose pastel shades and opt for ruffles.  Rose opted for crystal lamps, frilly accents, and pink in as many places as possible in her room. But if you're worried about going full-Rose in your own home, you don't need to be. There are small and large ways to add this color to your house. And if you pair it with green — its opposite on the color wheel — it will balance the colors and make your room the perfect place to meet your pals and your confidantes.

Adding texture will also help create a more grown-up look. And frills? They are definitely back in style, according to Apartment Therapy. As part of the grandmillennial style, ruffles are making a comeback. Homes & Gardens suggests adding charming flounces to the bottom of a chair, investing in a ruffled shower curtain, or adding ruffled drapes to a window. If you want to add a small dose of ruffles, try adding them to a lampshade or pillow. That way, you can swap it out easily if you change your mind down the road!

Be streamlined and sassy

Not seeing anything that suits your personality in the designs of the younger Golden Girls? Not to worry. There's still Sophia's room. It's the opposite of Rose's, with shades of blue, tiny flowers on the wall, heavy mahogany furniture, and brass accents and lighting. Schumacher carries a gorgeous light blue wallpaper with white and gold flowers that puts you on the right track to recreating this look. And while Sophia has chosen brass sconces on either side of her bed, you could just as easily use accent pieces. Small vases or sculptures are good choices if you're uncertain about going all-in with this metal.

If you want to experiment with brass lighting, Homedit suggests decorating with modern designs, like industrial pendants or retro sputnik chandeliers. If that is too metallic for you, you can choose smaller pieces. The Gathered Home suggests using small animals or brass-tone spikes to decorate a mirror. And the best part is that adding these accents can be an easy DIY to update your home and make it feel more golden.

Make room for cheesecake

The girls spent a lot of time in the kitchen, talking over cheesecake or ice cream sundaes. Here they discussed the woes of their work, personal, and love lives. But those conversations alone might not have worked if the kitchen wasn't such a lovely place to spend time in. Copper cake molds hung throughout the kitchen and on either side of the sink. The windows were decorated with mustard-colored ruffled curtains, and there was always a bright, festive tablecloth that blended delightfully with the white chairs.

Want this look in your own home? Check your cabinets for copper molds you might not realize you had, or check with other family members. You can also buy them, but they cost a pretty (copper) penny. Tablecloths are much easier to come by and less expensive. H&M has some lovely fruit and tropical variations that will have your kitchen looking like the one from "The Golden Girls" in no time.

Sun yourself on sunbaked terracotta

The lanai was another favorite spot for the ladies, and it's easy to see why. There were plants and flowers everywhere, lounge chairs, and terracotta pots and tiles. Like the rest of the house, this area is full of bright colors. SFGate recommends using bright colors in this part of your home in honor of its island roots. Lanai is the Hawaiian word for a patio or outside area. It is considered an extension of the living room and should be decorated accordingly. Think plush pillows, lounge chairs, and a fan with blades shaped like banana leaves.

The terracotta tiles on the girls' lanai are a beautiful but expensive choice. If your budget can't handle that big an investment, you could opt for regular or stamped concrete. Brightly colored ceramic or stone tiles also work; if you select the correct type of paint, you could even paint your concrete patio floor.

As for how to decorate your terracotta pieces, Room Crush points out that blue pairs nicely with ceramic clay. If you can't afford the tiles, terracotta pots are inexpensive and easy to find. 

Decorate the tops of your kitchen walls

Those copper molds we discussed earlier didn't just hang at eye level. They and other items are also on display above the kitchen cabinets. This was a pretty common decorating habit in the 1980s, and it is still pretty trendy with people who are short on space. If you don't need that area for extra storage, you can decorate it like the girls did by hanging more copper molds or festive plates, tiles, and dinnerware. The effect is a bit like a plate rail, where plates are displayed atop molding. That molding runs across the top of the room or sometimes the top of the cabinets.

When trying this design, it's best if you have cabinets you can put things on top of. Creating an actual plate rail means installing molding, and HubPages warns that molding is forever. Once you install it, it can be removed, but it is difficult and expensive and can leave lasting damage in its wake.

There are many ways to go about decorating this space. You can use your dishes, line them with cookbooks, and use greenery or baskets for secret stashes (via Decor Insider). Or, if you have a unique collection, The Spruce points out these cabinets are a great place to store collections you don't have anyplace else for. This seems to be exactly what the Golden Girls did in their kitchen.

Choose painted ironwork patio furniture

The metal patio furniture on the girls' lanai was a cream color, but you can choose any color you like if you're painting them yourself. You can also buy them pre-painted, but you will have fewer color choices. Even if you keep to the traditional black wrought iron or a terracotta-rust color, this material is ideal for the outdoors. Lushome points out that plastic is cheap and weather-resistant but unlikely to last. While wood is more durable, it requires special care to survive wet springs and winters.

But iron is a great choice for outdoor patio furniture, and painting is an excellent way to give new life to old pieces. If you're like "The Golden Girls," you have to live on a budget. Painting your old chairs a new color can make them seem like new furniture. And the Golden Girls were a pretty savvy bunch of gals. They may have used this tip to refresh their own patio furniture.

Plant lavish landscaping

The lush and tropical landscaping was another great feature of the girls' lanai. There were rows upon rows of plants –  some in pots and others in planter boxes and trellises. Some of the plants and flowers featured in the show were bougainvillea, palm, and banana leaf, but there are a lot of other options out there. Home Stratosphere suggests tiering your landscaping display for a cascading effect and training your plants on privacy walls.

You can also use flowers along the edges of your outdoor space, and if you plan correctly, your display can bloom year-round. Lushome recommends planting living walls. These are a modern version of training greenery on privacy walls. You can train plants along the wall of your lanai or install arches and other space for your plants to grow. This is a great way to make your patio feel lush and lavishly landscaped. As the plants grow along the wall or arch, they fill the available space around your patio.

Hang colorful art prints

There are art prints all over "The Golden Girls" house. They line the living room walls and most kitchen walls that aren't decorated with copper pots or plates. One of the living room prints is Monet's water lilies. This is an easy print to find if you're trying to replicate the look exactly. However, many of the prints in the house embraced pastel colors. These soft shades were all the rage in the '80s, but you can still use them in modern designs without feeling dated or retro.

If you're just beginning to experiment with the milky colors, you'll want to start small. "Choose moments to incorporate pastels—little splashes of it throughout a space," interior designer Claire Zinnecker told Architectural Digest. You also want to incorporate contrasting textures to help the colors feel integrated and natural in the room. "Playing with different textures in furniture and accessories brings interest and makes pastels feel alive, not muted," she said.

Select his and hers chairs in the bedroom

Here's something fun you probably didn't notice. I watch "The Golden Girls" regularly on Hulu and didn't spot it until I started reviewing images online for this article. Blanche's room has a pink velvet curvilinear chair next to her bed, and a brown fabric chair is next to the vanity. 

This is a nice way to add elements both you and a male partner will appreciate. And it hints at Blanche's personality a bit, as well. We could easily presume that the gentleman callers she entertained would sit there and admire her as she got ready or simply bask in her beauty. But it also speaks to her desire to make the room, and perhaps her relationships, one between equals. This is a very modern idea and approach to decorating — thinking about what matters to both halves of a partnership will create a home everyone will love.