This is What the American Dream Home Looked Like the Year You Were Born

Trista - July 21, 2022
Slim Aarons / Getty Images

1983 Dream Home

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.

Paul Harris / Getty Images

1984 Dream Home

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.

H. Armstrong Roberts / Classicstock / Getty Images

1985 Dream Home

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.

United Archives / Getty Images

1986 Dream Home

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.

Diana Walker / Getty Images

1987 Dream Home

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.

Anthony Barboza / Getty Images

1988 Dream Home

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.

James Keyser / Getty Images

1989 Dream 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.

NBC / Getty Images

1990 Dream Home

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.

Fairfax Media Archives / Getty Images

1991 Dream Home

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.

Eric Robert / Getty Images

1992 Dream Home

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.

Classicstock / Getty Images

1993 Dream Home

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.

Classicstock / Getty Images

1994 Dream Home

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.

Kirk McKoy / Getty Images

1995 Dream Home

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.

Anocleto Rapping / Getty Images

1996 Dream Home

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.

Dan Forer / Getty Images

1997 Dream Home

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.

Dan Forer / Getty Images

1998 Dream Home

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.

Andrea Rugg / Getty Images

1999 Dream Home

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.

Fernando Bengoechea / Getty Images

2000 Dream Home

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 Dream Home

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.


2002 Dream Home

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.


2004 Dream Home

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.


2006 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2008 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2010 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2012 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2014 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2016 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2018 Dream Home

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.

Elle Decor

2020 Dream Home

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.