From curtains in the living room to fashion designs on the runway, tropical motifs were a favorite in the 1950s. The TV is another classic staple of the decade, especially with the family gathered around in such a manner. However, that fringed armchair dad is using is an oldie from the ’40s. Do you know what show this American family is tuning into? Looks like a baby.. But we aren’t sure what’s going on.
As you will see later in this decade, tiled fireplaces were a big win for interior design. Remember those Art Deco details of the 1930s and 1940s? They are a revival of these stylistic choices. Those geometric patterned wallpapers were going strong, and will continue to be a favorite of the 1950s. Beyond the wallpaper is an awesome book collection and another housewife with heels. Yes, we are still in the 1950s, obviously.
Do you see what we see? Is that an open floor plan? Even if that brick wall is in the way slightly, look at how great this space is. Open floor plans became popular in the 1950s, and are now a staple of mid-century modern homes. If you scroll back up, you can remind yourself what those small 1940s living rooms looked like, and they could never pull this off! Are you a fan of this 1950s style? If you pay close attention, you will see these types of features come back around later in different decades.
What’s black, white, and checkered all over? The American dream kitchens in the 1950s. Linoleum flooring was all the rage in the ’50s, especially if it had a black-and-white geometric pattern. This image also has country details, such as the painted-porcelain jars and Shaker-style chairs. Of course, something red snuck its way in there as well as a fancy, new dishwasher.
Now this is a decent size kitchen, even if the flow seems a little off. By the 1950s, kitchens began to get more spacious. Why? Well, part of the reason was because Americans needed more space for all of the new appliances. From dishwashers and garbage disposals to built-in ovens and overhead pan holders, there is a lot going on in this kitchen. Not to mention, the multiple cabinets, and island – er – peninsula takes up a lot of room.
If you (or a loved one) was born in 1957, then you probably came home to a living room like this one. Each space has its own set of wallpaper and colorful doors. Mint green and baby pink were wildly popular for color palettes. You can see the pink from the tables to the fireplace tiles and side room. Most often, people paired those random shades with red accents, hence the living room set in this 1957’s image of the American dream home.
Why, yes! Truman Capote did have an unabashed flair for — wait for it — maximalism. In the late ’50s, maximalism was starting to fade out as minimalism, a term you are probably more familiar with, became popular. You can see his home still has a popular 1950s trend, though, like patterned wallpaper, Chinoiserie, and that striking red palate. Maybe maximalism should come back into style. Do you prefer all of the extra knick-knacks and textures, or are you more of a plain-white and gray type of designer?
From the blue carpet to the mauve chairs and patterned curtains paired with lace, these color options scream 1950s. Still, the basic living room scene has just what it needs to make a comfortable space for the family. Two separate chairs for mom and dad, a couple of end tables, and a lamp fits the area perfectly. Just like that crown! Of course, she had a ball at the senior prom.
Hello, 1960s. The curved lines of the Smeg fridge is a signature piece of the ’60s. You can find this appliance in practically every kitchen across America. Did you see the Formica table, too? If you know a boomer, show them this picture, and watch them reminisce with nostalgia. Here is a perfect image that shows the American dream home in the 1960s. Well, at least the average US kitchen. It appears to be thanksgiving, and everyone went to grandma’s house to visit.
The 60s had an exciting decor style that goes from “futuristic” to old fashion, with many geometric shapes finding their way into everything. Here, we can see curtains matching the sofa underneath, which was something that was the rage in that era; doing upholstery to give a new life to your furniture. And let’s talk about how those two oval portraits are hanging from the curtain rod! Even if this picture is brown, we know for sure that there is a lot of brown in the decor, which was very popular in this era.
This year brought slate floor trends in different colored stones, which became popular in midcentury homes. Having standing plant pots and “futuristic” chairs in the decor was a craze, too, with shapes that would bring a modern air to any room at the time. But there are two things in this study that makes it all the better: the atlas globe and the TV in the corner. The globe does look like it’s glowing, but it’s something that was very common to use as decor in living rooms at the time. A TV was getting more affordable, so having a small one, although a luxury, brought everything else together.
Like we said before, the 60s brought brown colors to be an actual color to have for any indoor decoration, used mainly as wallpapers and furniture. But this year also brought the trend of having room dividers in open areas to differentiate where one room ended, and another began. This one was inspired by patterned fences popular in China, which were then brought to the States. Hanging plates on the walls was something to be proud of, like a trophy, especially if they were intricate with floral patterns, which were used mainly in kitchens and living rooms.
While Middle-class American homes were all about being more modern, in the home of the wealthy, it was another story; It was all about bringing the classics and antiques to the modern age. For instance, this is the home of aviator-turned-fashionista Ann Bonfoey Taylor, who opens the doors of her home to show her Classic European decor. With exquisite carpets, different styles, different colors of furniture, and using statues to accentuate the area. Everything is all about how you use the space that you have to reveal your style, and Ann knew how to make everything pop in her home.
This year it was all about lamps! Having fixtures that could almost be considered art, with shapes and forms that took the traditional out and brought the modern all the way in. Having furniture like side tables with tapered legs was on-trend so much that even cabinet TVs had them. Tiles with different patterns were considered an essential part of the room decor, especially when choosing furniture in the area. Having a dark-colored sofa with other lighter-colored pieces around was as modern as you could get. Everything was all about having things that were practical but also that looked good.
This is the perfect example of a 60s home at the peak of the modern period. There was nothing as iconic as this one with vaulted ceilings, art all over the walls, and a large kitchen in an open space area. A stone called is something that started showing more and more in this period, especially ones where the rocks were more geometrical but imperfect to bring the modern art vibes up a notch. This was the home of singer and actor Dean Martin, who knew what was up when it came to the style of the era.
If this kitchen doesn’t scream the 60s to you, I don’t know what will! From the multicolored slate flooring to the rounded oven and peach-colored walls, it was all about making a statement between simple and colorful. The kitchen utensils hanging from the wall are something you might have seen in your granny’s kitchen (if you were born back in the 60s). It was convenient but also used as a means to decorate the simple walls, which were either painted like this one. The white cabinets with black handles were the accent it needed so that the kitchen didn’t look like a unicorn barfed all over the place.
Having wood panelings on the walls was the best way to get some brown to every living room in the 60s. It was primarily used in basements, especially if they turned it into a family room for prominent families to gather on Friday night and play some games. The standing light fixtures in the corner were on trend too, and groovy, trippy art that might make you dizzy if you stare at it for too long was very popular with the younger generation. But most of all, the colorful furniture like that recliner chair was a must-have.
This looks more like a museum for modern art than a living room! There are so many things that get our attention, but the furniture takes the cake, with the glossy finish of the acrylic chair, the Avant-garde sofa, and the mushroom lamp! Having indoor plants was very popular to bring nature into an unconventional place of your home. It’s interesting that some of the decoration ideas from the 60s are still alive and kicking to this day. Even if it felt crazy out there, the 60s were pioneers with their modern futuristic style.
Everything monochrome was what it was in the 70s. Pink and orange colors were in, which made pictures like this one feel overwhelmingly pink to the eyes. The one thing that helped blend in the colors was having patterns in fabrics so that they didn’t look so monotone. Wallpapers were also still on trend to make everything unique and modern, although sometimes it might be so the opposite. Being so early in the 70s, there’s not much of a difference in style with the 60s, but as the years went by, you will start seeing the 70s blooming in people’s homes across the Nation.
The 70s fondue came to fruition in 1971 with shag carpets and more amazing wallpapers. Even if the picture is black and white, we are sure that there’s a lot of orange in that room, especially on the carpets, which were a very popular color at the time. The shaggy pillows that almost look like poodles were very popular in the era; it was all about mixing different textures with the furniture so that if the room was monochrome, it had some things that would make it pop. We’ll see Colonial-era furniture coming back in this decade for a new twist.
Furniture of the era started slowly changing more drastically, with glass surfaces used in tables which gave the feeling of open spaces. They use natural items like plants, flowers, and fruits (real or plastic) to complement all the different materials. A brick fireplace was considered modern, which is something that you still see around, but having different styles of chairs and sofas was still on-trend, especially if the fabrics were totally different from each other. Contrary to this picture, sitting on the floor while there are enough chairs around was not a normal thing to do.
This timeless home in the 70s is full of wonder and finesse, with a classic look that seems like it will never die down. But even if it looks more traditional than anything else we’ve seen so far, it did use some elements that were popular of the time, with different materials in the furniture, but also accentuating nature with the floral furniture and the plants around it in it the area. Even that scalloped ottoman feels a bit out of place for looking more modern than anything else here, but in reality, it goes perfect for the 70s.
After trying to combine appliances with the cabinet’s colors in the 70s, they went the opposite way with appliances that are a contrast to everything else in the kitchen, giving it a more modern look, closer to what we can find today. With red counters to provide it with some color, especially after the monochromatic trend of this decade. To top it all off, getting florals on the walls in the background gives that homey atmosphere that is very common in family homes. It’s all about bringing a new feeling to every room that you step your foot in.
We’ve seen florals making a comeback in the 70s, but in 1975 it was officially back and here to stay. It was very popular to match furniture and fabrics with the same pattern, like in this picture, for example, of former First Lady Betty Ford in her very floral bedroom. You can see that everything from canopy, curtains, comforter, and pillows are made of the same fabric. And top it all off, a floral carpet underneath to keep everything with the same vibes. Even the lamp has flowers at the base in case you need more flowers in the room.
Oranges and pinks were huge in the 70s, but teals and blues were also in for the ride — and it really worked! Since the colors are lighter on the walls and chairs, the darker wood table and the carpeting brought this tranquility to the area. Mixed with the curtains, flowers, and fixtures, it looks like everything it’s meant to be together. It was also common to make mirror walls, especially in smaller rooms, because it gave the illusion that the room was more significant than it was. Simplicity is the correct winner for a smaller place like this one, and teal was the right choice for sure.
Speaking of blues and teals… this study/ library is any book reader’s dream. With comfortable sofas, it seems like it’s using slipcovers that look similar but with different colors, with a patterned red carpet and a glass table in the middle that you can barely see. It’s a very busy-looking room with trinkets on the bookshelves and a few lamps that you can barely see with all the things that are in this picture. Every time we look at it, we see new decorations that we didn’t see before, but that’s the beauty of the 70s: sometimes it’s super simple, but sometimes it can be chaotic.
You don’t need to adjust this screen – yes, someone in the 70s went all red in their kitchen. From the cabinets to the fridge and even tableware, this monochromatic paradise feels unreal, but even the snacks on the counter are part of the decor. But in the middle of all this red madness, we can see that rattan chairs are becoming more popular in homes, which goes well with the wood tops for a contrast that can bring some calmness. Even the floors and walls are in for the party! Somehow, all these bold colors go perfectly together in a harmonious way.
There is no doubt about this room: this is the 70s, and author Helen Gurley Brown knows it and is proud of it. This pink paradise with a ruffled canopy is something that you see a granny somewhere still has. But even with all the pink and paisley patterns that accompanied this room, there’s a bed that pops with red which is a nice touch. It’s impressive how well everything blends in, even if it looks so scandalous in the present; this is a trend that was very popular at the time. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in Barbie’s dream bed?
The 80s are here, and we are sure that there are things in this kitchen that might seem familiar. The wooden cabinets were super popular by this time, and having a floral and plaid wallpaper that goes with it was a must-have. Orange and yellows were still popular colors, especially in the kitchen. And with a beige color stove, everything goes perfectly together. If you look closely, the blender also has the same color, so the monochromatic trend of the 70s is still going strong at the beginning of the 80s, which is to be expected.
What better American home to look at than the one that belongs to the most influential people in the U.S.? The White House is the poster child of what an American home looked like in any era, but in the 80s, it was on another level. President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan had the quintessential decoration of this decade with floral wallpapers, pink carpets, a white sofa, and plants in every corner. It’s simple, but it brings a lot of light to the room, and the mix of antiques goes perfectly well. The evolution of the White House interior thru the years is really interesting to see.
In the 80s, we started seeing more and more love for using wood in cabinets and wallpapers to accentuate a room. This is also when we start seeing kitchen peninsulas and islands to make the kitchen area more accessible and with more space to work in. The decorations on the walls with rattan fans and vases were on-trend at the time, and in some cases, the bigger the fan, the better. Flower arraignments to decorate dining tables started getting more complex than it was before, which would bring more color to every space. Concept floor plans are getting more interesting.
The 80s said goodbye to the overly floral couches for a more simplistic style that didn’t look too busy. White and lighter colors were a must-have, with modern and exciting art that was colorful as the center stage. Using accents like those yellow pillows was great to bring some cheerfulness to the living room. Using statues and items that look sophisticated was very common to use to make every room chicer than it is. The accent of having Versace black and gold side tables also helps in this. It’s all about how you accessorize what might be simple to make it better.
By this year, you can start seeing a more modern style, closer to what we know in the present time. Here’s a picture of Harrison Ford’s home where he’s showing off the dining table that he made, with a rustic and western-style which goes perfectly with the chairs. The dark blue in the bottom part of the chairs is a nice compliment to the wood and everything else in the home. And with white wood panels and sofa, having a bit of color is what that rooms need to look great. Brass was also very popular in the 80s, so having a brass ceiling lamp was just what it needed.
Pastel colors were really popular in this decade, especially when decorating kids’ bedrooms and living rooms. Everything that was lighter felt more relaxed and better, rather than the harsh, intense colors of the 70s. But from time to time, it was OK to mix brighter with pastels for a dramatic look, and we will see it more often at the end of the decade when neon colors were trendy. This picture, for instance, seems more like a kids/ guest room, although having cute dog paintings on the walls makes us think it’s the former in this case.
Nothing screams “the 80s” than velvet dining chairs! It was used to show off how fancy you could be, and combined with other colors like, for instance, the napkins and placemats being the same color and pattern, it was more than evident that this was no ordinary dining room. Using gold and brass was getting more popular, so having a touch of it on the walls and even on plant pots was in for the ride. Let’s not forget about the glass chandelier to confirm to your guest that this home was all about luxury and style.
Tell me that you have kids without showing me the kids; we’ll wait. You are entirely right if you said all those colorful letter magnets in the refrigerator! The kitchen of judge Douglas H. Ginsburg tells so much: it’s very simplistic, homey, and busy, but in a good way. The green top is a nice touch to the white cabinets and fridge, which, as we said before, looks like a typical 80s family refrigerator with all the letters of the alphabet to leave messages to everyone living there. This is one of those kitchens that you might have seen in a sitcom back in the day. Nothing fancy, just an average American place.
White was a color that was used a lot in the 80s; it’s simple but effective in making areas seem more significant than they were. This picture also shows a trend that was basically forgotten by now because it was not as convenient as everyone thought in the 80s and early 90s, which is having tile countertops. You can even see a little why it’s not that good; because cleaning that grout must have been a pain, especially the one closer to the sink and stove. The only way to know is to ask Mike Tyson and Robin Givens since this is their home.
Speaking of tiles, having geometric patterns and colorful backsplash tiles like this one was a craze of the 80s, with different shapes and sizes to make it more dynamic. Having pastel colors in kitchenware and around the kitchen is a way of saying goodbye to the monochrome craze from the 70s and welcoming a more modern atmosphere. The cabinet handles started getting extended and less intricate than others we have seen. Ignoring the delicious thanksgiving dinner might be difficult, but having a mix of stainless steel with ceramic is something that we will see more in the future.
Sure, this is a Saturday Night Live sketch, but it’s as accurate as you can make it of the way homes in the 90s look. At the beginning of the decade, things are still looking very 80s, but the transition into a new style is showing, with a couch with a splash of color that is not floral and more abstract. The floral wallpaper is still something that was really popular, especially mixed with other patterns to complement it. Tall thin lamps appear as something you would see around too. Even if there are no natural plants, a plant painting makes a cameo in the background.
We haven’t seen many bathrooms on this list, but in the 90s, bathrooms were unique. With shaggy rugs under the toilet, natural plants everywhere, and wicker furniture that might be useful to put your towel. The tiles were almost like cloud art; if you stared long enough, you could start seeing shapes and items that you didn’t see before. It was also combined with accent tiles with flowers or other abstract shapes. Dark floor tiles, as a contrast to the lighter ambiance of the room, were a big deal in the early 90s and would hold for a while.
This is the home of Pierce Brosnan, who knew how to stay on trend with his home decor with how well kept everything is. Open spaces in big houses didn’t need dividers; instead, it was more like a mental divider, using furniture and carpets or rugs to make the distinction between the room. One of the things that we are once again seeing is the slipovers on the couches with two white ones and a floral, something that is very common in this era. It’s all about how you organize everything to have harmony, especially in an ample space like this one.
This kitchen reminds me a lot of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air kitchen, with lighter colors like beige and with decor that is simple and subtle. Compared with the other decades, this one seems less busy and better organized. Everything was so beige, including the wood ceiling and walls; having a black refrigerator doesn’t look too out of place. It actually feels welcoming to have a darker color to look at. The plates on the wall are something that we’ve seen before, but this time around, it’s smaller and more delicate than before. The changes in the 90s are definitely more noticeable.
The 90s brought a new technique and a Mediterranean way of doing something different on the walls without having to put wallpapers: sponge painting walls. It was mostly simple to do; although it took a while to perfect, it did give a nice rustic touch to the room. This also means that more reddish and yellow colors were famous for this style, so it gave us a small break from seeing so much beige everywhere. The decor in this room is a more classic feeling but with a modern twist to make it different. It’s all about combining a little bit of everything when it comes to decorating.
So. Much. Plaid. Nothing screams the 90s like a bunch of lines crossed together on pillows and everywhere that it can. We started seeing a mix of different patterns all closed together, like a striped sofa which was very popular too. Since this is an open-spaced area, we can also admire the kitchen with floral wallpaper, a bulky cylinder table with a glass top, dark chairs, and lots of vegetation in the area, which we are sure are the ones on top of the cabinets are fake. Nevertheless, it is a pretty organized and tidy space, with a reasonably big TV to watch with the family.
While what was in when it comes to interiors was modern and more dynamic with different styles from different eras, sometimes going more traditional and classic was the way to go—in this instance, having high ceilings gave more space on walls to put things that were gigantic, like this classic painting. And while this is something that was uncommon, the Ornate brocade chairs were very common, especially when combined with other types of chair patterns, for a more 90s style of using everything that you can find at the same time. You can see it with the colored pillows that were used on the sofa.
Even with the internet and seeing advances in technology, when it came to the kitchen, they kept it more homey and country than anything else. From the table and chairs to the plants, baskets, and herbs hanging from the ceiling, it was a lot of things coming together that might felt very random. Who thought having a weasel to rest a spoon on was a good idea? Also, having huge bottles filled with oil and peppers, garlic, and other spices as decoration was something every mom had in their kitchen, and we are sure they never opened.
Home offices in the 90s were more on the posh side, with dark woods in furniture and bookshelves and walls with darker colors like olive green and red. It was also decorated with gold tones here and there for this old-timey adventurer feeling. And once again, having textured walls done with either a sponge or a stencil was used to counteract a little the heaviness of everything else in the room. It was all about how you align everything, including books that were positioned at random. It was an exciting way to show sophistication thru the pieces you chose and the colors.
Following the old-world vibes in different rooms in the late 90s, using exquisite paintings from the Renaissance era was a very common find around homes. Having other furniture that used different fabrics and materials gave it this “I bought it at a thrift store” feeling. Fireplaces replaced using stones for big tiles in muted colors like beige and dark woods as accents. Carpets went back into the classic style, with patterns that make you remember old houses from the 1800s. In a way, using items that were more in the antique style became somewhat modern, which was surprising, mainly because we were crossing into a new millennium where everything was supposed to be futuristic.
And here we made into a new millennium, which meant that it was time to bring the more futuristic items back, more extravagant colors and patterns. This room was definitely made for a teen girl, with lots of neon pink and bright walls and exciting pieces like that hand chair. If we could listen to this picture, I would guarantee a boy band like the Backstreet Boys was playing in the background, which also meant that they were posters taped to the door. It’s the classic all-American girl from the 2000s. If you thought the 90s were all about drastic changes, be prepared for this decade.
2001 saw the monochromatic trend circle back around… but not in the best way. These mahogany/dark wood tones were very in this year. And everything needed to match that apparently! The walls, the decor, the blankets, the rugs – you name it! Everything seemed to be between a camel to dark brown, with varying shades of oranges and reds to “accent” it. You might still be able to find some of these patterns in outdated hotels or dollar general aisles.
While some new trends started showing up, there are also some that, while they already existed, got more… intense. Wicker furniture came back with a vengeance with plaid cushions to compliment it all. At this time, this type of furniture was mainly used indoors in more casual environments, but sometimes it was also seen outdoors, although not that much since the material didn’t hold on too well with the weather. Natural color was pretty popular before, but this time, white was the way to go, especially for well-lit areas. But as quickly as it arrived, wicker died down once again until further notice.
The early 2000s tended to blend together in some ways, so we will be skipping a couple years at a time from here on out. While lighter colors were more popular, using darker wood in kitchens made a come back. People used intricate cabinets, changing the gold/brass fixture to darker ones, and stone countertops. Having tall arched kitchen faucets started showing up everywhere too. Using floral or any type of greenery was mostly out and replaced with a more straightforward approach of decorating dining tables with food items, which were mostly made out of plastic. Still, in fancier households, the food like bread rolls was always real. Using antique chairs was really popular, especially if they were combined with modern furniture, still going with the mixed pieces that we saw in the 90s.
To this day, no one understands why lime green became so popular in the 2000s. It might bring tranquility to an area, but it didn’t go that well in open spaces. For instance, this futuristic kitchen, with swirly flooring and hanging fixtures although looks neat… the wall color makes everything look busy. Mixing it with dark countertops and colorful art on the walls is more like a futuristic style from another dimension. Thankfully, this green fad didn’t last long, but the fake ceilings are still doing the rounds in some places. We can all learn from mistakes.
Going rustic was something you would see on a small scale, but later it became extremely popular. Mainly if you lived in the Midwest in the 2000s, having faux leather, intricate blankets everywhere, and untreated wood was something to behold. Greys, blacks, and reds were some of the favorite colors to use along with it, and mixed in natural browns for the wood; it felt like you were staying in a cabin in the woods. The cherry on top had deer antlers on the walls or, for instance, on the ceiling with canopy chains hanging from it.
Another color that made a comeback was turquoise, which became pretty popular in appliances in the early 60s, but now it found a new life as a color to use in bedrooms. Wood beds and furniture had a more modern look to them with being a bit intricate, without overdoing it. The use of faux leather in furniture and ottomans became a more environmentally friendly option, which was also cheaper than the real thing, so it was seen everywhere. The minimalistic style of not overdoing bedrooms with lots of things hanging around gave it a more pleasant feeling.
Polka dots have been around for a very long time, but they were something you might see in clothing rather than furniture. So when designer Kate Spade brought up the trend to everything else, you started finding dots in a lot of items, but especially in home office furniture. This art deco trend was mostly seen in more feminine rooms, and although black and white were extremely popular, mixing it up with gold details and other types of polka dots was everywhere. It was all about finding a balance between a pattern and color that made it into the mainstream.
The 2010s became very boho and rustic at the same time, with dark wood furniture combined with lighter colored couches and white walls. Mixing everything from lamps, and pillows, to chairs it’s something that’s been ongoing since the 90s, and with this type of decorating, it was more common to see. To finish everything off, having a mounted trophy head in the living room began showing up, even if you were not a hunter or lived close to the wilderness. There was also the twist of using fake trophy heads and even ones made out of wood for a more artistic form of expression without hurting any animals.
The typography craze in every family living room came with a new minimalistic style with lighter colors. With phrases like “Live, Laugh, Love,” it became evident that it was all about bringing positivity to every home. Sometimes it was accompanied by family portraits or any image that brought an air of tranquility to the area. Combined with a free-spirited vibe, with pastels and simple patterns, it made every space very homey. The trend is slowly dying down in the 2020s, but you can still see it around, cheering people with the message of love.
We started seeing how kitchen islands were beginning to show up in the 80s and 90s, but they became widely popular in the 2010s, with not only more kitchen space but appliances as well. The tops started evolving from stone to marble or faux marble, which will make it easier when it comes to decor. We also see a lot of stainless steel, especially in appliances, which gave it a more industrial air which started getting popular in this decade. Things that made a comeback: monochromatic environments and black and white contrast.
And here we made it to the 2020s! A decade that started with lots of problems, but something that didn’t stop, was the love of decorating interiors, and we did have a lot of time on our hands to think about it. So far, we have seen a resurgence of floral patterns in the form of wallpapers and linens. With a mix of pastels and bright colors like reds, it’s all about combining everything that you love into one. It’s too early to know what else is coming in the upcoming years, but what we know is that color will be king.