Interior Decorating

Home Décor Changes Over the Decades

For many people, home décor is a must no matter what their budget is. A home is a sanctuary where you should be comfortable in your own way. Ideally, your tastes would match the current home décor trends, which have been prone to many changes over the decades. While personal taste has a lot to do with how your interior turns out, in a way we all conform to certain styles that are in vogue right now. 

If we look back over time, we’d probably find many trendy homes that will look out of place today. While it may not be a good idea to remain stuck in the past, you may feel inspired by certain pieces of furniture or themes from bygone days. We’ve detailed a few of the changes home décor has gone through below.

1. Wall Art

Empty walls don’t give off a homey feeling, so wall decoration is usually in vogue no matter what decade we talk about. However, the art of decorating our walls has definitely changed drastically. Today, we’d usually find some industrial scenes displayed in modern homes, such as some high-tech bridges, factories, railroads, etc. Some of these structures could be thousands of years old, adding a vintage effect to the photos.

Go back a few decades, and you’d find pictures of farm animals, flowers, or something similarly pastoral. In the 20s, you’d probably find a Modernist art theme in the trendiest homes. For the ’80s, you may find decorative frames, knickknacks, overstuffed sofas, and similar objects. Now, though, the industrial look is perpetuated by brick walls, slate-colored sofas with straight lines, and an overall minimalistic effect.

Keep in mind that you do not have to follow the current trends in wall art. If you’re not comfortable with the industrial look, by all means, use artwork which is more to your liking.

2. Natural Lighting

Go back three or four decades, and you would be hard-pressed to find a home built around letting natural light inside. Electric lighting in every corner and at all hours of the day wasn’t unusual. Hence, houses were built to keep out the light and create a cozy environment inside.

Now, though, the usual trend follows a mixture of natural light, solar energy, and some backup system if necessary. The natural light features in modern home décor include skylights, large windows, etc. With such additions, homeowners can decrease their energy bills each month and also soak up the benefits of natural sunshine.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that large windows and skylights are the case for every modern 21st century home. Several other factors might come into play when you’re playing around with the idea of natural lighting. If someone is overly concerned about security, for instance, they might not want to have to exposure of large panes of glass. 

3. Kitchen and Dining Room

In the modern homes of around six decades ago, you’d usually find the kitchen a closed-off space, with the dining area completely separate. The kitchen would usually be a small box that holds everything you need for cooking three homemade meals a day. This is especially true when we talk about the 1950s, where the norm was that the female head of the house cooked and the other family members were simply meant to gather around for the meal itself. 

Now, we’ve all seen trends change slowly but surely. Many couples find it a great activity to cook together. The whole family might also make a day of baking and cooking as a productive way to spend quality time with each other. This means that the kitchen has to be more versatile, somewhat larger, and with more work surfaces than before. 

With the changing trends and lifestyles, kitchens and dining areas have also more or less merged into one another. Kitchens may now contain breakfast nooks or islands where the whole family can dine together yet still stay close to the cooking area. In many modern houses and apartments, this particular room is now made as a generally open space that promotes socializing and entertaining along with cooking.

Since food is so important to our lives, it’s no wonder the kitchen now plays such an important role in our homes and has the room needed to entertain family and friends. You’ll see kitchens with breakfast bars, islands, and a lot of counter space. 

Keep in mind that there are also loads more appliances that we keep out today, such as huge coffee makers, air fryers, etc. Many busy folks are now also swearing by weekly meal preps, which again require more space. This is why keeping the kitchen open, airy, and easily accessible is now considered an important feature. 

4. Changing the Centre

If you go back even two decades, you may notice a shift in the very position of home furniture. This would probably be most apparent in living rooms, where the television used to be the focal point during the 1990s. Evening television, prime time, and general family time were the main reasons why everyone would get together at several points in the day. To this end, the furniture also pointed towards the main source of communication and entertainment.

We all know how things have changed since then. While there may be a television in most homes, most of us are glued to our phones or other mobile devices. This has opened up the boxes that surround televisions and built-in phone sets. A modern home would likely focus on the flow of movement within it, with plenty of places to sit down and browse. It’s not important to have a TV in a living room anymore, especially when the living arrangements are something other than a nuclear family.

If you live with roommates, by yourself, or as one half of a couple, you might choose not to have a television at all. This means that the living area becomes more of a relaxing and recreational space than anything else. If you’re low on budget, you can probably get away with scattering floor cushions, throw rugs, and bean bags around this space. A complete sofa set might not be the requirement anymore, but it’s nice to have at least one nice statement piece to pull the room together. 

Going Decade by Decade

When you’re thinking of decorating your home for the first time or upgrading the interior, you can gain a lot of inspiration from the trends of past decades. While some of the major trends might not be feasible or even look good anymore, there’s a lot that might stand the test of time. If you’re a fan of a particular decade, it won’t hurt to pay homage with a few relevant wall hangings or color themes. 

It might be worthwhile to take a look at the major home decorating trends decade by decade. Who knows, you might tweak an old idea and give it a unique, modern twist: 

1960s Trends

Home décor in the 1960s was mostly defined by modern lines, mass manufacturing, and futuristic designs. There was a lot of metal and plastic in both home and office furniture, as well as unusual shapes. These might not be in vogue now, but you can have one or two such pieces to break up the monotony in some rooms. 

David Nightingale Hicks’ pieces are said to exemplify what home decor during this decade meant. However, you can also find a different trend within this decade, where the hippie look tends to shine. 

The 1960s is sometimes called the ‘decade of love’ and is also the harbinger of hippie culture. Some folks translated this attitude into their furniture as well. As a result, paisley patterns, flowery fabrics, and bold, bright colors were also very much on-trend back then. If the straight lines are too cold for you, keep in mind that the ’60s has a lot more to offer by the way of home décor. 

Other ideas from this decade include scarves to soften accents in bedrooms and living rooms, while the kitchen can boast colored appliances for a bright appearance. You can also play around with textures from this decade, including popcorn ceilings, deep-pile carpeting, and customized wooden pieces. 

1970s Trends

You’ll probably find a relaxed, laid-back style in home décor during the 1970s. This era favored browns, organs, and other warm shades along with floral patterns, geometric shapes, and rich textures. You’ll also find deep, soft carpets in such homes, even extending to the kitchen. For obvious reasons, we don’t recommend this in the modern world!

Bright appliances were also in vogue since the 1960s still had some influence. However, the 1970s was also a time of economic uncertainty, so there was some compromise involved as well. For instance, the focus was on comfort rather than on elegance, with many old pieces reused as best as possible. Inexpensive paneling, barn renovation, and several non-traditional spaces were brought into existence.  

1980s Trends

Many people remember the 80s with great fondness, so they might want to mimic the home décor styles from that era. For this, one might have to do away with overly bright, geometric patterns and go for clean, preppy designs. Neutral tones did for the larger pieces of furniture, while soft shades and pastels were popular for accessorizing. 

One has to remember here that the 80s is also thought of as the ‘me decade’. This means that home décor would probably emphasize a sense of luxury if at all possible. If you want to follow this trend but are on a budget (which is usual), take a look at these cheap home accents to make your interior look more expensive

For the 80s, carpets were mainly reserved for the bedrooms while laminated flooring came into the larger areas. Frosted glass, matching furniture, and inspiration from several popular TV shows were the ruling features. You might want to do the same if you have a favorite 80s show and want to emulate it. 

1990s Trends

As with most other decades, we can look at the trends of the 90s in two parts. The earlier part of this era paid tribute to sleekness and modernism inside the home. Gentle colors were all the rage, but the second half was somewhat different. In this time, you’d probably be looking at floral designs and pinewood furniture for your modern home.  

Non-traditional materials were also a booming trend here, with the influential designer Shiro Kuramata using wire, resin, and other unusual substances to create his pieces. Acrylic resin was actually a popular choice for several furniture items, which also had thin legs, curvy lines, and all manner of colors. 

With more economic restraints than ever, this decade saw living spaces shrink in size. This is probably why the furniture would have a smaller footprint and sleek lines in order to take up as little room as possible. Double functions for furniture and a high focus on practicality are two other trends that might translate well into the current times. 

2000s Trends

In the 21st century, smart homes, appliances, and furniture are becoming the new norm. Along with this, there’s also a focus on becoming more eco-friendly. We hence want to focus on homes that will save on energy costs and generally be better for the planet. 

To this end, biodegradable materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood, and other sustainable sources are trending for modern home décor now. 

What’s more, matching up everything is not that important now, unless that’s your personal preference. Going for unique styles is much more in vogue, but that could also mean obtaining ideas from past decades. 

Summing Up

The discussion above makes it clear that there have been several changes to home décor trends over the decades. Some of these trends are due to changing tastes, while most of them are due to changing lifestyles and requirements. As our environmental awareness and technological advancements grow, we will likely make even more changes to our homes in the years to come. 

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