In honour of the late, great Betty White, why not take inspiration from her most iconic acting role and add some Golden Girls dazzle to your home? While we might not all have the fortitude (or the desire) to go full-on ‘80s Miami retiree, we can all take some pointers from their enthusiastic tropical flair. Here are some things — big and small — that you can do to add a comforting patina of nostalgia to your home.
Put a palm leaf on it
Using a palm motif is a simple way to add tropical feel to your space. And whether you want a whole wall or room full of peach and avocado green, or just a small accent on a tray or cabinet door, a stencil is an excellent way to achieve some tropical appeal. You can get both large and small versions of a palm motif, and they are generally between $5 and $40 depending on the size.
You can also use the negative from a stencil to create a tropical feel on a wall. Start with the colour you want your leaves to be as your base. Then use an artificial palm leaf (or a real one if you have access) as a reverse stencil. Hold the leaf up to the wall and then paint all around the edges with your second paint colour. You can do this in one small spot or across a whole wall for a mural-like result.
Add some rattan
Another Golden Girls classic is rattan and bamboo furniture. If you’re not sold on shelling out thousands for a vintage rattan living room set, a pop of rattan in the accents can do the trick. You can add a little bit of rattan to an existing piece like a coffee table or a lamp. Using hot glue, some rattan strands, and dowels, you can make over a lamp shade by cutting the dowels to the height of your shade, gluing them on, and then covering the edges with rattan strands and gluing them in place. If a DIY makeover seems like a stretch, try a tray or some coasters made from bamboo or rattan. This will give your decor a pop of natural fibre without much hassle.
Bring in some flower power
There’s no shortage of florals in the Golden Girls’ iconic style — you can spot it on nearly every surface (and on nearly every golden girl). Thanks to Spoonflower, you can now access reproductions of some iconic Golden Girls floral prints. If you’re not into sewing your own, or if you want to take a more subtle approach, you can try a floral tablecloth, floral curtains, or even smaller pops of floral via cloth napkins or a patterned vase. Using pastel and soft tones with a natural motif will make you feel golden, without the over-the-top intensity.
Meet me on the lanai
The lanai — the outdoor patio where the girls lounged between (and during) petty squabbles — is perhaps the most beloved space in the entire series. While many of us don’t live in a tropical environment with an outdoor space we can spruce up with leafy tropical plants, we can all pay tribute to the best parts of their enviable oasis. A good bar cart in a tropical colour is a great nod to the lanai. You can also add some beachy pillows to your outdoor space. If you’re looking for a bigger change, some metal vintage furniture will give you an authentic look. To bring some of the magic of the lanai inside, consider a potted bird of paradise plant or a monstera deliciosa; both have large leaves and will lend a tropical air to any space.
If you aren’t up for making your home look more like the set of this iconic sit-com, you can always celebrate Betty White’s life — and honour the spirit of animal lover Rose Nyland — by donating to an animal shelter on Jan. 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.