When it comes to old fashion and design trends, we tend to look back and laugh — how could we ever have thought that was cool? But there are some styles that we can always rely on to look beautiful. From the 60s until now, here are the most trustworthy design trends over the decades that you can use now or in the future, knowing they’ll still work.
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A shag carpet was one of the most quintessential elements of a 1960s décor scheme. And, while you might not cover your entire home in this extra-plush flooring, it’s still an eye-catching design element in any decade. Although hardwood flooring is today’s go-to flooring option, you can lay down a shag area rug and enjoy that extra-long pile on your feet.
In the 1960s, homeowners didn’t shy away from a bold pattern. Like the hippies who defined the era, interior design used psychedelic fabrics with swirls, paisley and lots of bright colors. Prints from India and Moroccan textiles also came into favor, as did black and white designs that appeared to be optical illusions. Nowadays, you wouldn’t cover your entire room with these prints, but an accent fabric is always in style.
Hardware finishes come in and out of style. The go-to hue of the 1970s was brass. This warm finish has an earthiness to it that matches the liberal vibes of the decade. And, now, brass is fully back in favor with interior designers, which goes to prove its staying power. A metallic frame around a mirror could be brass, for instance. You might also choose the finish for bathroom or kitchen hardware.
A green thumb is always in fashion. You might think your planting prowess should remain outdoors, but a bit of fresh greenery is a beautiful addition to any design scheme. And, if you want to give your in-house garden a 1970s twist, try dangling some of your seedlings in a hanging planter. Of course, you can also create a peaceful vibe with traditional potted plants, the more, the better.
The 80s were all about bold, bright colors and fabrics — you’re probably picturing an 80s aerobics instructor’s uniform right now. But leafy, jungle-inspired materials were also in and are one of the era’s trends that’s made a comeback in the modern age. In some settings, natural-style fabrics work particularly well. If you’re decorating a beach house, for example, you can always get away with a leafy-looking material.
We just said the 80s were all about bright colors, but pastels had their heyday at the same time. Since then, they haven’t been as popular, but the truth is they’re always in fashion.
Think about it — a lighter hue is always appropriate in a big room where a more saturated hue might be overwhelming. Children’s rooms and nurseries look so sweet with pastel on the walls. Furniture covered in pastel fabric adds a soft pop of color against neutral walls, too. As an added incentive to recolor with light purple, pink or green, the colors are incredibly popular with millennials, especially that soft salmon shade.
Whether they hung brightly colored artwork or grabbed the paintbrush themselves, 90s homeowners loved a good accent wall. It’s a simple design element to incorporate — keep the rest of a room’s walls a neutral tone while splashing the chosen façade with an eye-catching color. This is an excellent option if you’re in an apartment, too. When it’s time to move out, you can easily re-paint the single wall and get all of your deposit back.
Why rely on table lamps alone? The 1990s introduced us to the beauty of track lighting, an industrial-style accent that sheds light on even the most obscure of spaces in a room. Nowadays, you can buy different kinds of track lighting, though — sleek industrial styles sit alongside the traditional white spotlights. Hang some over your workspace for all the light you need to get the job done.
Wait, has it really been long enough to include the 2000s in a piece about design trends over the decades? Yikes.
Dark Living Rooms
The 2000s brought us the idea of the home theater. Rather than shelling out big bucks to hit the local movie theater, homeowners began repainting their living rooms to be as dark as the cinema’s screening rooms. There’s no need to go crazy, but the same technique can be used today, especially since black and other dark tones are some of the year’s most popular paint colors.
Shabby-chic design always morphs, and today’s iteration is a bit more polished than versions past. But the warmth of distressed wood and mismatched accents is never lost. Try it today by covering your walls in shiplap or filling open kitchen shelves with coordinated-but-different coffee mugs.
Best Design Trends Over The Decades
What matters most are your design preferences. Even if your favorite look of days gone by isn’t an everlasting one, do your best to incorporate it. What’s timeless to you? That way, you’ll love your space — and, who knows? It might come back in style and prove you’ve got a great eye for design after all.