In the 90s, neon signs could be found in just about every area of the home. Bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms… nowhere was safe. It was a cute trend for a time, adding a splash of paint in a cheap but effective way. But now the trend is just a bit tacky. It can make your home look more like a bar than anything else. There are more modern and cost-effective ways to light up a room with different colored lights, and it has even become something of a trend with social media influencers.
The 90s were a time to be alive when animal print was just on about everything. It wasn’t uncommon to see someone walking down the street in zebra-striped pants or carrying a tiger-print purse. And those same styles were brought into the home, from curtains to couches to throw pillows. Home owners would combine prints, too, until they practically had the entire safari inside their homes. Don’t get us wrong; you can totally rock animal print. But you have to know how to do it tastefully. This is one trend that should stay in that decade.
Bright hues are a standard when it comes to making a room pop, but pastels can also achieve the same thing. In the 90s, I’m sure we can all remember the pastel bunny wallpaper from Full House. But now, pastels can be a much softer way of bringing color to a room and aren’t as harsh on the eyes. Pastel shades are also easier to pair with other color combinations because they are more accommodating. For example, if used properly, you can still have both bold and pastels in the same room, especially if they’re similar in shade, to create a lovely ombre effect.
It’s one thing to want excellent lighting in your bathroom as a great way to put on your makeup. But it’s time to throw away the vanity lighting. It looked great at one point, feeling like a Hollywood star in your own dressing room, but the look has become a little dated, and those bulbs burn out more quickly than LEDs. It’s better to use more subtle lighting to help you look your best and still give you the aesthetic you’re looking for.
Bringing Minimalism Back Goes into the “Pros” List for 90s Comebacks
Minimalism had a great run in the 90s, with simple shapes and colors that maximized space and reduced patterns so that decor didn’t look too busy. Thankfully, this is a trend that is coming back, and people are falling in love with it all over again. This is similar to the white kitchen trend and substantially deviates from bold tints, busy patterns, and oversized furniture taking up too much space. Minimalism is supposed to make it easier for clearer thoughts and give you fewer things in your home to worry about.
Back in the 90s, almost every house had one of those walls of frosted glass blocks in one room or another. You’ll also still find them in many hospitals and public school buildings. It was a great way to let light in and also gave the eye something interesting to look at. The great thing about these glass blocks is that they’re pretty easy to install and lightweight, depending on what they’re made from. The only downside is that they don’t provide much privacy, so you may want to skip using this material in a bathroom or bedroom if you don’t want any prying eyes.
Trends come around and around and around. The 90s saw a return of furniture wearing skirts. Everyone wanted a pleated strip of fabric to the floor, from couches to beds, running all the way around the piece of furniture. This decor leftover from the Victorian era made it easy for people to hide things under their beds without seeing… as well as hide the dust bunnies under there too. But now, skirted furniture is seen as a bit too formal and less clean. Finding bed skirts is a difficult thing to find in any store nowadays.
Metal can go along with any color, so the brass trend exploded in the 90s. It’s bright but a little more muted than gold so that the other hues in the room can still stand out. A small chandelier, a vase, or just some brass knobs on your cupboard doors can make any room color look that much richer. Want an even more natural look? Weathered brass room accessories look even better, with an antique charm that can’t really be found anywhere else.
Arched and French windows were all the rave during the 90s. Arched windows seemed to add some style and class to any room. There are two main downsides to arched windows, however. One is that you can’t find curtains to accommodate this unique shape, and it’s challenging to have glass cut to fit them perfectly, too, if your window breaks. They are beautiful to look at, but it can be difficult to keep looking good if an accident occurs.
Transparent Phones Made You the Coolest Kid in School
Along with funny-shaped phones, having a transparent phone meant that you were the hippest kid on the block. See-through plastic allowed you to see inside the phone, and although you probably didn’t know how it all worked, it was still interesting to see that a phone could have so many wires inside. The transparency didn’t only apply to games either; there were see-through watches, Game Boys, and even computers. It could make anyone look like some kind of tech nerd, but nowadays, it all just seems a little tacky.
You may have seen beaded curtains in your grandmother’s house when you were young. They have a unique charm that has somehow brought them back into the current home decor trends. They can be in a wide range of colors and materials; some can even sound quite musical when you walk through them. They’re a great way to provide some privacy without completely separating one room from another. And the unique designs in the beaded curtains are also a decoration of their own.
We all want our kitchens to look picture-perfect. And that means making it look like a painting with a bowl of fruit waiting to be eaten. Everyone wanted to give off the appearance of being fit and healthy by having fruit readily available for consumption. But no one eats fruit that fast, and most people cheat by investing in a bowl of plastic fruit that always looks its best without attracting any fruit flies. To be honest, those plastic fruits could fool just about everyone, but everyone grew wiser over the years, and no one is falling for that trick anymore.
Canopy beds used to be every little girl’s dream. They’d want to feel like a princess, surrounded by ethereal fabric as they slept, waiting to be swept off their feet. But canopy beds could be expensive, so the next best thing was to resort to colorful mosquito nets. They were easy to hang up, provided a cute look to any bedroom, and actually kept mosquitos away while you slept. They’re not as popular as they used to be, but it doesn’t hurt to cling to the past a little when it comes to wanting to feel like a princess.
Parquet floors were constructed from small wooden panels, usually to create a design on the floor to make it stand out from anything else. People went for a variety of methods, such as cubes, herringbone stitches, or zig-zag patterns that would stand out in any room. It was definitely more interesting to look at than a boring wood or tiled floor; the downside was that they were prone to getting loose and would often need replacing if they got too much foot traffic. But at least they looked great, right?
Track lighting has recently come back in favor since it’s a minimal way to provide lighting to the areas of the room you want to highlight. They’re easy to install and come in various styles that they’re easy to pair with any decor. The light heads can be swiveled around to create a bold lighting choice or a soft romantic atmosphere. Or maybe you just want to highlight the most essential parts of a room that you want to have on display. The choice is really up to you.
Tiled Countertops Are Going to Keep Making a Comeback
Although these were all the rage in the 1970s, the trend continued somewhat into the 90s. Because tile and grout were relatively easy to keep clean, homeowners resorted to them to make life a little easier. In the end, tiled countertops don’t feel pleasant when you’re leaning against them in the bathroom when you need to wash your face or brush your teeth. Although tiles come in many patterns and shades, it’s best to leave this trend behind because no one is in love with this look anymore.
Lisa Frank Captured Hearts… And Refused to Release Them
Lisa Frank was one of the highlights of the 90s. Every little girl wanted something with her design on them, whether it was backpacks, folders, or t-shirts. The bright neon colors of Lisa Frank make a comeback, and even young women fall in love with them all over again. Instead of settling with bland decor that looks like it’s part of a Home and Gardens magazine, more people are turning to making their decor fun, colorful, and unique to their tastes. Some people are beginning to wonder: why not indulge in a bit of childhood and add a bedspread to your bedroom to spice things up?
Terrazzo is the unique look applied to walls and floors that brought out a pop of paint in a way that no one else had thought possible before. You could get terrazzo in muted tones or go for something a lot more colorful to stand out. Either way, it now has the aesthetic of an office building and no one wants to bring their work home with them. For some reason, it started making a comeback in recent years, but we hope this trend dies out quickly before people catch on too much to this look.
The Floppy Futons that Will Always Haunt a Living Room or Two
Futons used to be considered inventive back in the day. It was a couch that could become a bed, was flexible enough to be moved around, and didn’t require much maintenance. Nowadays, it’s considered lazy and dysfunctional. To be honest, they’re not even that comfortable and can become quite lumpy over time, meaning that you’ll have to throw it out and get a new one or actually invest in a quality couch. You’re better off skipping this one and buying quality furniture instead of going the easy route.
The color hunter green is quite dark and rich, making it an excellent choice for almost any room. Although people have been going for brighter hues in their homes to make them more spacious, having at least one accent wall in this rich dark green color can really make a room stand out. Paired with gold/brass accents, you have a professional-looking home that may even make your guests’ jaws drop. It used to be a staple in any house in the late 80s or early 90s and is slowly returning to being a trend.
A bed should be a place to relax and unwind as you get ready for sleep. But it’s also a place of comfort where you can take some time away from your day to gather your thoughts adequately. In the 90s, bedrooms were the fun place to be, where you spent time with your friends, played games, and generally hung out. And the decor reflects that by being fun and colorful, usually with many unnecessary pillows and cushions.
Everyone enjoys staring at the stars, but the weather doesn’t always permit it. In the 90s, people used to resort to bringing the stars inside by applying these glow-in-the-dark adhesive stars to their ceilings. It doesn’t achieve the same effect, but it’s still something. You could create your favorite constellations overhead or go random with them. The downside is that they did look a little cheap during the daylight hours, but who really looks at their ceilings during the day anyway? Plus, they’re cheap and can be removed when you want to move them around or are no longer interested in them.
Fern Plants Everywhere – And they Keep Growing and Growing
Ferns have a unique way of not only adding some greenery to a room but also adding some texture as well. These plants have distinctive leaves that allow them to trap as much sunlight as possible, giving them a somewhat zig-zag appearance that contrasts nicely against stark white walls. They are also notoriously easy to take care of, so it’s a little hard to kill them off. What went wrong in the 90s was that people were filling every single room with them, so much so that the home started to look like a greenhouse. And because of how big they can get, they can quickly overtake a room.
Blinds make it easy to have just the right amount of light without repeatedly pulling and drawing curtains. The vertical slats could be turned at different angles for privacy or to let in the maximum amount of light. But now they just reek of the office environment and aren’t ideal for the home atmosphere anymore. Not to mention that they break pretty easily, and no one is selling individual blinds for you to replace them with. You’ll have to throw the whole set out and replace it with a new one, which is honestly a big waste of money.
Mauve is a lovely muted jewel tone that can bring sophistication to any room, but having mauve everywhere can be a little overbearing. Don’t get us wrong, mauve is great. Just not… this. But for some reason we all have a memory around this specific fabric. It’s almost chilling. Despite being this trend in the 90s, using it as an accent color still works. Just know that this picture is what NOT to do.
Bean Bag Chairs Weren’t Worth It Then, and They Aren’t Now
Bean bag chairs seemed like the furniture of choice because they were lightweight, easy to move around, and came in fun colors that could match any decor. However, the problem with bean bag chairs was that they were filled with bags of Styrofoam pellets that got crushed eventually, causing the chair to lose its shape and support ability. It was also challenging to get out of these because they were close to the ground. But the fun part of this trend coming back? They’re charging like, $200 for them. So you get to pay even more for junk. Just give up on these and get an actually comfortable chair instead.
When it comes to home decor, people are used to sticking to similar shades so that everything looks cohesive. However, in the 90s, it was all about clashing themes and created the opportunity for bold designs and color choices that came across as a little eccentric. But it was a time of experimentation with color, patterns, and shapes that was definitely a breakaway from the previous decades of harmony and keeping everything together. However, this should be done in small doses because you won’t want your home to come across as an eyesore for anyone who steps inside.
Popcorn Ceilings Are the Gift that You Never Asked For
Along with sponge-painted walls were the popcorn ceilings. It was a unique way to add some texture to a room without having to do too much, and it could last a long time. If you ever wanted to change it, all you had to do was scrape it off. But even the popcorn ceiling is no longer a trend, as people look for more modern and different ways to decorate their ceilings. So don’t try and recreate this look on your ceilings, or else you’ll quickly regret it. Keep reading for more awesome home trends from the 90s.
Window Valances Look Like They’re From an Old Barber Shop
Valances, at one time, made windows look pretty. Not quite a curtain, they were a great way to cover up the curtain bar while still dressing up a window. They were a nice touch of color to that window that didn’t have curtains at all. But now they only end up making your windows look much shorter than they really are. They look a little old-fashioned and should be changed out for floor-length drapes in order to make your ceilings look taller than they really are.
Chessboard pieces, Oreo cookies, Yin Yang… there are plenty of black and white things that work well together. In the 90s, it took over. For the worst. Usually, the great thing about using black and white, is that it goes with everything and can typically be considered neutral. Not so in the 90s. It was loud and in your face. But you can still use black and white in interior design. Just know this is not the way to do it.
If you’re unfamiliar with chintz fabric, it’s a calico fabric that has been woodblock printed, painted, or stained. They usually have bright floral patterns on a typically white background. It started in India but quickly spread throughout Europe, where cheap imitations were made to make them more affordable to the poorer classes. Many of today’s chintz fabrics are still bright and colorful but can look dated compared to everything else in the room. And the trend was to cover everything in the same chintz fabric, which can make a room quite overwhelming to walk into.
Gingham was a popular fabric choice back in the 90s, and it gave any home a nice country feel. But going overboard with it can make it feel like you’re like a picnic bonanza, and that can come across as cheap and tacky. One small trim with gingham might be enough, but people were putting it everywhere, from curtains to ceilings to rugs. Because of that, no one can look at gingham the same way ever again, which has made it a forbidden fabric.
The 90s were rich with floral prints on just about everything, and the unique style of adding petals to all parts of your decor is a great way to bring nature indoors. Some people would love the bold color aesthetic. But to be honest, this looks a bit forced and unnatural. If you go with bold floral prints, maybe just try for a splash of it here or there. If you’re wanting florals to be the center of a room, maybe go with a softer pattern.
In the 90s, if you wanted a way to make your walls look nice without having to put up wallpaper or paint the whole thing, stencils were the way to go. You just stuck them to whichever part of your wall you wanted to dress up, get your best acrylic paints, and paint away. Done right, stencils can look marvelous around a doorway or just along the border of the baseboard for an added touch that is charming and whimsical. And if you get tired of it, it’s not a big job to cover up with some extra house point or wipe away with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
All White Kitchens Have Been Making a Huge Comeback
White kitchens can look sleek and clean and give a minimalistic feel. However, when it comes to messes, we all know that a room that is nothing but white walls, floors, and counters can become dirty much faster since everything shows up against white. That doesn’t stop anyone from designing their kitchen this way, though. It was popular in the 90s, right before bold colors became popular. We have started to notice, as well, that this trend is beginning to come back.
Nowadays, not many homes have a landline anymore. Everyone seems to have a cell phone and count it as their primary phone. While some still have flip phones, most people now have phones with a touch screen that looks sleek and thin and can easily be carried in a pocket. In the 90s, however, landlines were how you contacted your friends. And we’re not just talking about boring white phones attached to the wall. People were talking about cheeseburgers and footballs. Yes, you heard that right! Phones shaped like other fun things were all the rage. Can you imagine seeing someone pull out a cheeseburger from their pocket and make a phone call on it? Thank goodness this trend stayed in the 90s.
We all like the feel of plush carpet under our feet, but did you ever stop to think about how many germs, crumbs, and even toenails could be stuck in the carpet you have in your home? In the 90s, the wall-to-wall carpet was a big deal. Sometimes you would even find a bathroom completely covered instead of tile like you will find in most bathrooms nowadays. Talk about bacteria. Think about all the gross things that could be trapped in that carpet from prior residents’, and we used to roll around on it without a care in the world. Some carpet in a home is nice and can make it seem warm and inviting, but we think that the ‘put carpet in every single floor space possible’ trend should never come back.
When we think inflatable, we’re thinking floaties for the pool, beach, or maybe even a bounce house. Nowadays, we don’t think about a chair or couch to lounge on. But that’s exactly what we did in the 90s. Inflatable furniture was all the rage; you could get it in any shade, size, and even with father or glitter inside. Imagine having to blow up your chair because it was a bit deflated. Yup, we did that, too. Thank goodness we figured out that that didn’t seem very efficient. Because not only were they bulky, and even kind of ugly, but on hot days we were sticking to them, having to peel ourselves off of them when we went to stand up. We think we will stick with more of the traditional furniture stores have to offer us now.
Not as many homes these days have wallpaper lining their walls. They’ve painted a single color, with maybe some picture frames, posters, or other decor hanging on them. Wallpaper was prominent in the 90s, just like everything else on this list. You could get it in bright and bold hues, with patterns or even animals printed on them. It just seems easier to paint your walls a single color, especially since a solid color will go with almost any look of the room. Wallpaper may have faded out as the 90s disappeared, but it seems to be coming back in some homes. As long as it goes with the rest of the decor or looks of the room, it can still look nice.
If you were living in the 90s, there is a good chance you owned an extensive CD collection. The fun part of all this was trying to figure out how you would store your discs. That’s where CD racks came in. The more popular ones at the time seemed to be the ones that were either spiraling or shaped a bit different than what we see nowadays, if at all. You could put them into a zip-up case, but then you wouldn’t be able to put your collection on display for all your friends to see. We had fun trying to figure out where our spiral-shaped racks would go in our room. We wonder if these would still be a thing if MP3 players, iPods, and such weren’t invented.
Beige was all the rage in the 90s, from beige carpets to the walls and furniture. While it’s a neutral shade, it can also be a little bland. We’re not saying that this color is terrible, but we are saying that not every single thing in the home needs to be this shade. Thankfully, we have started to add more color to our house, making it a bit more lively and bright. Of course, you are more than welcome to keep this trend going, but we suggest you add some other hues to the mix. Everything beige just sounds and looks too dull.
Furniture that is big and puffy can sure be comfortable. There’s no denying that statement. They can, however, take up a lot of space and not look all that flattering with everything else in the home. In the 90s, most rooms were stuffed with overstuffed furniture, even ones that looked like leather. They sure didn’t look sleek or stylish. Nowadays, we want slimmer but still comfortable furniture to fill our homes. If you wish to have something puffy or fluffy, throw big pillows on the couch or chair. The overstuffed armchair look is just not it for us.
They may have been popular in the 70s and 80s, but they were definitely a thing still in the 90s. Lava lamps, and even glitter lamps, were all the rage in the 90s. They gave us light, even if not very much. They could have been used as a nightlight. And not only did they provide a little bit of light, but they also looked fabulous while doing it. You could get them in almost any color you wanted, and they were relaxing to look at. They just don’t seem to fit in with today’s decor styles. They remind us more of a hippy look, not sleek at all.
If you weren’t making everything in your house beige or your entire kitchen white, you were probably making everything purple. Although it’s a pretty color, it’s not for everyone. If you pay attention to some of the popular shows that first aired in the 90s, you will know exactly what we are talking about. The walls were plastered with purple in television shows like Friends and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and it was also even the color of children’s favorite dinosaur, Barney. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they used the paint sparingly. However, it seemed to be in every room. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they had added some other shades to go along with it. Sometimes something can become too much.
Folding Screens Can Actually Still be a Trendy Addition
When minimalism reached interior design in the 90s and became popular, everyone started incorporating the elements of Japanese and Chinese decor in their homes. This was in hopes of giving it that Zen aesthetic. This look was accompanied by some sort of folding or sliding screen. Sometimes these were used as just a look, sitting in front of a wall, but not blocking anything. Other times these screens were used not only for their look but also for practical use, like a wall or divider. After the 90s died out, so did this look in most homes. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t use this look in your own home.
Although it was mentioned early about white, beige, and even purple being trendy colors for decor in a home from the 90s, that doesn’t mean other shades weren’t popular either. Primary colors were popular, too, especially when they came in bright shades. These colors could be found in many homes and used as accents to compliment the rest of the room. This means that the couch could have been a neutral tint, accompanied by bright-colored pillows to compliment it. Bright colors are still popular today and have even become popular for hair dye.
Wall borders were also very popular in the 90s. Think of wallpaper, but only on the top or bottom borders. You didn’t need to have wallpaper to have a “fence” around your walls, but some people even did that, so their entire walls were distracting. Not only were their borders, but the borders usually had a pattern to them. The most popular being floral patterned wall borders. They could be applied by either adhesive, just like any old wallpaper, but stenciling the frames on the wall yourself was also a big home decor hit. Thankfully, this look has died down in popularity over the years.
Popular through both the 70s and 80s, white wicker furniture continued to be in everyone’s homes during the 90s, as well. To step up the game even more with this look, it was accompanied by floral upholstery. It wasn’t uncommon to walk into someone’s living room or den and find all the white wicker furniture, including the table, covered with cushions and pillows that all had floral patterns on them. We’re not bummed out that this look didn’t follow us into the 2000s, kids today are not missing out, and we don’t miss this look, either.
For some odd reason, everyone in the 90s had a thing for patterns. And we mean that seriously. They put patterns on top of patterns. Take this photo, for example. The comforter has a design while lying on top of a bed skirt with another print. The pillows, bedside table, and even the curtains have patterns on them. Not only do they have different designs that almost seem to clash with each other, but they are also all sorts of different colors as well that you might not have ever thought about going together.
If you grew up in the 80s, you must remember walking into the living room, and the entertainment center was the first thing you’d notice. It probably had most, if not all, open shelves stacked with tapes, DVDs, CDs, a TV, and maybe even a stereo. We think the reason for this was probably because the adults all wanted their friends and family to see their collection of technology and entertainment when they visited. If there wasn’t space to put in a new speaker, a shelf might even be taken out to make more room for other things.
Plastic Potted Plants that Do Nothing But Gather Dust
House plants always seem to brighten up a home, whether they are flowers or plants with giant leaves. Keeping plants alive can be a struggle for some, especially if they are kept indoors. Sometimes they don’t get enough sunlight, and sometimes they get overwatered. That’s where faux potted plants come in. The trend of artificial indoor gardening began in the 90s. Not only do you not have to worry about watering them, or worrying about your cat knocking them out of the pot. They can also be easily dusted. They help bring nature’s beauty inside, without all the work of a natural plant.
The look and feel of a ‘country kitchen’ was all the rage during the 90s. However, these kitchens may have looked a little different than the charmingly modern farmhouse kitchens we see today. To say the least, kitchens in the 90s tended to feature decor you wouldn’t catch anyone putting on a display today. Kitchens had a mixture of oak cabinets, animal statuettes or artwork, walls covered with decorative dishes, and counters or shelves with real or artificial fruit and floral arrangements. If our kitchens looked like how they used to when we were growing up, we would call that tacky. Keep reading for more awesome home trends from the 90s.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying things from the thrift store, sometimes you just have to stop and think about if you should really purchase what you have in your hand and think about where you’re going to put it when you bring it home. In the 90s, no one felt like that, and they seemed to like putting everything they bought from the thrift store on display throughout their homes. It’s not bad to do so, but if none of it matches, is in rough shape, or is just outright weird looking, then maybe it shouldn’t be put out for all the world to see. It makes the room look tacky, and just thrown together.
A 90s decor trend that you may or may not remember would be the decorative ‘faux’ painting. Different styles that were ‘faux’ appeared in kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and even bathrooms all over when it became a trend. The photo displayed here is known as suede faux painting, which creates a paint finish perfect for helping hide any imperfections in the wall. A popular paint combo that went well with this look was russet-tinged orange and yellow, and these paints were a color wash favorite in the 90s. While this look may not be so popular these days, it’s still a style with which some of us can still vibe.
For some reason, we will never come to understand that during the 80s, it seemed to be that the ‘resort decor’ look was a popular trend in homes. Sporting an ultra-light scheme of the color of pastel pinks and barely-there peaches. When the 90s rolled around, that trend was carried over and was given a spin. This look was made to create a tropical feel, with deep yet vibrant magenta and turquoise color pairing. We don’t really miss this trend, and we don’t think many other people are too bummed to leave this look in the past.
Ah, the good ole Jackson Pollock affect. Some may remember the bright neon hues the 80s had to offer. Well, 90s kids may remember that playful and graphic pops of super saturated primary colors were a staple in the early 90s. Although it may have been the 80s and 90s look, you can still find this trend in some people’s homes. Today, these pieces are of bold pigmented shades and can be found in eclectic accent pieces, trendy, color-blocked rooms, and more. This type of artwork fits perfectly in any room that needs a pop of color added to it, like in this photo above that shows a white kitchen with a very colorful and graffiti-inspired backsplash.