Relive the ’90s in This “Saved by the Bell”-Inspired Dallas Airbnb
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Relive the ’90s in This “Saved by the Bell”-Inspired Dallas Airbnb

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By Alia Akkam
They took a deep dive into the ‘80s with their first rental; now a nostalgic couple moves into the next decade by reconstructing an iconic television diner.

Jeremy and Kelsey Turner watched a lot of old Saved by the Bell episodes before designing the zany, 1990s-themed Airbnb on the upper level of their built-in-1934 Dallas duplex. "I tried to think of all the things that were part of the ‘90s so that people could experience them here at the Slater," says Turner, who at the age of 33 is well-versed in the decade’s kitschy pop-culture riches. Big Bopper magazine, a see-through telephone, and a stash of Pop-Tarts are among the thoughtful touches that conjure an era that's seeing a cultural renaissance today. 

Beanbag chairs and seven VHS tapes' worth of Saved by the Bell episodes make the Slater's brightly-hued living room a comfortable place to hang out after a day of sightseeing.

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Open just under a month, the Slater is the follow-up to the couple’s successful, pastel-hued McFly, an equally well-detailed ode to the 1980s on the lower level of the duplex. The home is located in the Lower Greenville neighborhood, an area known for its hip nightlife and live music. The Turners lived in the duplex until eventually moving somewhere more family-friendly with their two young children in tow. 

Diner stools, accentuated by a napkin dispenser and squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard, are a playful addition at the entryway of the Slater's living room.

Jeremy, who hawks one-of-a-kind holiday wear as the founder of the  Ugly Sweater Christmas Shop seasonal pop-ups in Dallas and Frisco, Texas, is an entrepreneur with a knack for tracking down vintage goods. Last year, after spending the day at a retro toy store and seeing the film Ready Player One, inspiration for the McFly struck. "When you see the kids’ rooms in that movie, and the 3 Ninjas or Blank Check, they are souped-up and not real, but you still wish you had them," Jeremy explains. 

A sextet of lockers, adjacent to the door leading to the balcony, add yet another Saved by the Bell touch to the Slater's living room.

Capturing that combination of fantasy and nostalgia is the McFly, which guests first started checking into last summer. "We wanted it to be playful and childlike, influenced by the Memphis movement and its weird shapes and colors," Jeremy adds. 

Hulk Hogan, Bart Simpson, and other '90s icons enliven one of the Slater's two bedrooms, complete with bunk beds.

A coin-operated (it's free to guests) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game, "the unicorn of the arcade world," Jeremy points out, is the highlight of the space for him. A Back to the Future hoverboard, a Lamborghini Countach poster, and an original Nintendo NES also ground the McFly firmly in the '80s.

Between the New Kids on the Block posters and wicker furniture set, this bedroom in the Slater is the stuff of '90s pre-teen dreams.

An art teacher and former graphic designer, Kelsey applied her design skills to the McFly too, hand-painting a geometric mural in the dining area behind the one-time fast-food booth. While assembling this room, Jeremy and Kelsey began thinking of the Max, the Saved by the Bell hangout, ultimately leading the Turners to convert the duplex’s upstairs apartment into the just-as-bright Slater. 

Highlight of the Slater's kitchen: a line-up of old-school cereals like Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

It carries on right where the McFly left off, with bedrooms swathed in wall-to-wall blue or pink carpeting that is both evocative of ‘90s interiors and helps sound-proof floors for the McFly guests below. The former flaunts bunk beds and a Batman poster; the latter a breezy white wicker furniture set, including a mirrored vanity table topped with a rainbow-colored Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. 

The Slater's quiet balcony is the perfect spot to savor a local craft beer at the end of the day.

Mostly, Jeremy scoured thrift stores, flea markets, and eBay to find the disparate items adorning the Slater. "It was so funny buying things, looking for the funkiest stuff that you wouldn’t put down alone but somehow all works together," he recalls. 

In a Netflix world, a vintage Blockbuster sign greets guests as they walk up the carpeted stairs to the Slater.

Kelsey’s handiwork once again graces a wall in the Slater, this time a patchwork of blue, purple, and pink in the living room, where guests settle into beanbag chairs to play Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 or binge on VHS tapes of ‘90s flicks like Forrest Gump and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Beyond the red lockers, another nod to the fictional universe of Saved by the Bell’s Bayside High, they can take in views on the balcony.

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade and Nintendo NES vie for attention in the living room of the McFly.

To re-create the Max, Jeremy and his friends at Squarehead Design Co. wove in a pay phone and intimate dining nook with a duo of stools, but the centerpiece is the red-and-blue vinyl booth. Jeremy found one in the shape he wanted and then it was upholstered, upgraded to look just like it was plucked from the TV set. He complemented this with a Formica table, covered in squiggles applied by decals. If it’s too hot to eat breakfast alfresco, this is the place to partake in the Turners' generous cereal buffet, appropriately featuring only boxes of ‘90s favorites, including Cap’n Crunch and Apple Jacks. 

A boombox and oversized Crayola crayon are some of the decorative accents that bring happiness to the McFly's living room.

It’s with the Slater that Jeremy was also able to realize one of his unfulfilled dreams for the McFly: re-imagining a bygone McDonald’s PlayPlace in the duplex’s backyard. 

One of the two tubular bedrooms in the McFly, which mixes white furniture with an Easter egg palette.

On eBay he found an Officer Big Mac, in which children climb up the base of the constable-dressed burger and slither their way inside the circular jail sandwiched between his bun. Jeremy gussied it up and it stands in front of a shed. Kelsey painted the house-facing side of the shed a cheerful, watermelon-looking motif.

The duplex's backyard is transformed into a McDonald's PlayPlace straight out of the '80s by the presence of Officer Big Mac.

"When people see Officer Big Mac," points out Jeremy, "they say, ‘That’s my childhood.’"  

Related Reading: 14 Shipping Containers Were Upcycled For This Dallas Home

Project Credits:

Designer: Jeremy and Kelsey Turner

General Contractor: Squarehead Design Co.

Book the Slater or the McFly