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 You might still be able to find some of these patterns in outdated hotels or dollar general aisles.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.