Diving into 50 Years of Iconic Home Decor Trends

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Over the past half-century, interior design has undertaken a monumental transformation. Even if you’ve experienced life through these decades, it’s likely that you’ve not spent much time considering the changes, both within and beyond our homes, that have shaped our living spaces. One can instantly differentiate a 1970s home from one from a more modern time, and not just due to photographic nuances.

Being a child of the 1970’s I remember some of this decor with both affection and horror. Roaming vintage fairs we often find crockery, art and accessories that we grew up with.

Whatever decade you experienced childhood, you’ll have distinct memories of the home decor – good or bad – and they’ll have informed your interior choices in the current times.

With the expertise of wood wall paneling specialists The Wood Veneer Hub, we explore five decades of transformative home decor trends.

The 1970s: Bold Self-Expression

Underpinned by a potent self-expression movement, interior design of the 1970s showcased distinctive individualism. Marked by vibrant hues, this decade saw the rise of avocado-green appliances, an abundance of houseplants,shag carpets and a veritable riot of bold colour schemes.

Driven partly by societal events such as the Vietnam War and the environmentalist surge, conscious attempts were made to invite nature’s vibrance indoors, bringing a small pocket of sanctuary from the somber external world. Home decor of the 1970s screamed confidence, with maximalist accessories such as macrame owls, woven wall hangings and eclectic decorative pieces. One particularly notable trend was the emphasis on handcrafted items, adding personal touch to home aesthetics.

Shag carpets may have been retired nowadays, but the iconic spirit of the 1970s design remains ever-present in some homes.

The 1980s: Embracing Maximalism

Continuing the legacy of the 1970s, the 1980s lived in bold excess. Thanks to a flourishing economy, the advent of MTV and an exceptional shift in pop culture, homes experienced further transformations into vibrant canvases of personal style. Dual-income households resulting from more women entering the workforce embraced luxury, replacing the subdued tones of the 70s with bright and pastel colour schemes.

Design choices through the 80s were a testament to vivacity. Despite each home having a distinct “flavor”, the affinity for exuberant patterns and audacious hues became commonplace, reminiscent of iconic shows like Miami Vice.

The 1990s: A Shift to Subtle Minimalism

Despite echoing the afterglow of the 1980s, the 1990s could also be characterized by a cautious retreat into minimalism. Shifting political landscapes and global events prompted a reactive shift in interior design choices to more muted color palettes. Yet, simplicity didn’t automatically mean monotony; 90s aesthetics embraced an eclectic blend of styles, combining elements from diverse eras while maintaining a cohesive look. Television sets, like those in “Seinfeld” and “Friends,” offer a window into the 1990s living spaces where wood wall paneling and versatile decor pieces stood out.

The 2000s: Through the Looking Glass of The Future

Upon surviving the “doomsday” of the Millennium Bug, the dawn of a new age ushered in a futuristic design perspective. With technology at its core, the 2000s saw homes adorned with high ceilings, sprawling kitchen islands and cool, steel finishes. While not equipped with the same bare-faced vibrance of its predecessors, the era’s design philosophy was a sure divergence from the 90s, painted with a fresh coat of optimism.

The 2010s: Marrying Technology with Aesthetics

The past decade has undoubtedly been revolutionary in nature; Technology has further woven its way into the fabric of everyday life and, more importantly, interior design choices. Homes became powered by early-stage smart gadgets, and with the internet’s increasing prominence in everyday life, access has been granted to a globe-spanning treasure trove of design ideas. A diverse design landscape was born, ranging from “Scandi” minimalism to industrial chic – and everything between.

In Conclusion: Gazing into the Future

Predicting the future of interior design is near-impossible, especially with the world in rapid motion to new ideas and ever-expanding tech. However, with evolving smart homes and a new focus on green, sustainable living, interior design’s future promises to be intriguing, innovative, and impactful.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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