Everyone knows at least one rugged individualist who does her own thing, lives life on her own terms and marches to a different drummer. This is used as a justification for any kind of lifestyle. These people are proud of the fact that they do not allow society to influence them. But the truth of the matter is that unless they live on Mars, there is not any way that the world around them has not affected the way they live. One need only to look at home décor trends over the past few decades to realize that the best of them have had a profound effect on even the most individualistic of people. Like they say, no woman is an island – even those who pretend they are. So let’s look at the best home décor trends of the last few decades. It could be a voyage of self-discovery to enable you to see what has influenced you.
Look Back and Laugh
Before looking at the major trends in décor over the decades, here are a few concepts from the recent past that now seem really funny. In the 70s popcorn ceilings with a rough, stucco like surface that helped eliminate echoes and sound reflections were often decorated with gold glitter to give a home a disco look. During this time yellow, orange, and green shag carpeting was very popular. Then there was the foil wallpaper of the 70s and 80s which was bad enough in other rooms, but in the bathroom? Kitchens had their share of décor disasters too. Around the same time, orange Formica made its debut and was almost compulsory in every kitchen, often with matching appliances. No home escaped the faux wood paneling craze of the 80s and it even extended to cars. In the 90s we saw animal prints fabrics everywhere from chairs and sofas to curtains and tablecloths. Velvet and velour were the most popular fabrics for this. It was fine if you wanted to feel you were living in a zoo, but that is about all. And when you think of the bathroom carpeting craze of 70s, there is nothing more to say. Just remember one thing. The trends of the past may seem odd, but they have influenced the way homes are decorated today.
If you are thinking of giving your home a makeover, you will find information on home décor and furnishing material suppliers in your area online. Or if you are looking for professional interior decorators and home renovation contractors, you will find these also via the Internet with a couple strokes on the keyboard and some clicks using your mouse. You may have to save some information on a separate file so you can build up some research and so you do not enter the same door twice or you can use a separate piece of paper and a pen to right down and record some notes. Your predilection will dictate your choice.
Let’s start with the 40s. The dominant theme of this period was WWII and home design and décor reflected this. No one wanted to be ostentatious when young men were dying by the thousands on battlefields every day. Architecture was simple and straightforward and interior décor matched this. Old hand-me-down furniture with dark heavy upholstery was complemented by light colored and brightly patterned curtains. Kitchens were stark and functional with appliances in antiseptic hospital white. The only place where people would sometimes be extravagant were bedrooms where lace and silk were often the focal point of the décor. Bathrooms were very simple with a tub, sink, and toilet all in while. This did not apply to all homes – in the early 40s only about half of houses had indoor plumbing!
The 50s were a boom time when people were not afraid to enjoy and show off their post war prosperity. A new breed of architects with modern design concepts created homes where new furniture with slim sleek lines became the norm and plain monotone carpets were replaced with brightly colored and patterned rugs. In the kitchen technology made and entry and new appliances like dishwashers, electric ovens, and toasters (all still in white) made their appearance. With the arrival of payment on installments, TVs and other luxuries were easily available and became a part of most homes. Because of the Cold War, bomb shelters became popular and while some were stark and simple, others were decorated in a manner to rival the most luxurious of homes. Floral and patterned wall paper was to be seen in many homes.
The 60s were a period of unrest and rebellion against the establishment and this affected the home décor of the period. An emphasis on being young (or at least looking it) meant that youthful exuberance was a major décor theme. Floral patterns were very much in vogue as was the use of bright mismatched color schemes to emphasize the break from the conservative past. This was not only for the young, even those of 40 and over wanted to be seen as being “young and hip” and adopted unconventional décor concepts in the process. Because of the trend towards simplicity without the clutter of older décor trends, concealed storage arrived to allow people to still collect junk without visitors being able to see it.
The 70s was when the rebellion of the 60s went mainstream. The radical aspects of home décor faded but were not completely lost. This was a period when environmental awareness took root and the use of natural products in the home became popular. Style was still important but being comfortable took precedence. Microwave ovens and other devices transformed the kitchen not just in terms of the convenience they offered but because appliances were now available in a variety of colors, allow for kitchen décor to come into its own. Wall to wall carpeting was almost mandatory to the point that even bathrooms were often carpeted.
The 80s was a period when material success was paramount and this is to be seen in the outlandish architecture and décor of the times. Money was no object and good taste often took second place to décor looking like the homeowner had spent a fortune on it.
By the 90s, many of the trends we see today has begun to appear – elegance, functional, environment friendly, comfort, durable, and individualistic to a reasonable extent are some of the terms that can be applied to this period. We can stop this look back here because if you can’t recall the 90s, you’re probably too young to be worried about home décor anyway.
What Influences You?
Your home, big or small, luxurious or simple, is a statement of you and who and what you are. While you may have decorated it to your own tastes, the fact is that you will have been influenced by décor trends of the past, especially those of the last few decades. Understanding the trends of the past will help you to know how you have been influenced and this knowledge may help you to define your own style more clearly.