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Is your house so outdated that you aren’t even sure which decade it’s from? What looks tacky today might have been top of the line in June of 1964. The epitome of style in 1981 might be the epitome of “yuck” today. Skip along with us down memory lane and find out: “what decade your house live in?”
Ah, the glorious 1950’s – the dawn of the space race with “atomic” shapes capturing the imagination of a generation. If your floors are linoleum and your counters are a sea of Formica, your house might be stuck in the 1950’s. It’s not a terrible decade to be in. Having a mini bar in your home was becoming the new big thing. The 50’s ushered in the rise of television and Tupperware containers as far as the eye could see. If you are lucky enough to have a 1950’s-style all-pink bathroom, complete with pink tile, shower, toilet, flooring, sink and walls, you might be surprised to find that out that there is a preservation movement for the 1950’s all-pink bathroom. Yes, really.
Homes of the 1960’s have the distinction of being the first to introduce everyone to the spectacularly awful static shock power of shag carpeting. Wood-paneled walls, beaded curtains and lava lamps made the homes of this decade groovy, baby. The color scheme was either the sharp contrast of brightest white and darkest black, or an explosion of bright reds, blues and lime green. Far out!
If your house is a one-story ranch with wall-to-wall (still shag) orange carpeting, then it lives in the 1970’s. Kitchen appliances in harvest gold, avocado green or earthy brown were in high demand and went so nicely with your orange textured linoleum flooring. If your houseplants are hanging in handmade macramé baskets and your brown cork accent wall displays a collection of your favorite embroidered wall hangings, you are also still living in the 1970’s. Bonus points if you still have a working rotary dial telephone.
Stylish homes of the 1980’s are easily identified by the shiny foiled wallpaper, carpeted bathrooms, the giant unframed mirror in the living room and mauve, mauve, mauve everywhere (and then just a little more mauve because you can never really have too much mauve). Massive television sets in wooden cabinets were the status symbol of the neighborhood. As a final touch, let’s not forget the elaborate window coverings with three layers of sheers and drapes, valances and tassels… so many layers of fabric, it was common to forget there was actually a window underneath there somewhere. Who needs sunlight anyway?
The rebellion against mauve sent homes of the 1990’s running into the arms of beiges, creams and whites. Beiges and creams and whites covered the walls… and everything else. Bonus points if those beiges and creams where blended into an elegant faux finish or for the more whimsical folks, sponge painted together. Fabulous! Add pine or wicker furniture and striped fabrics (or gingham, if you swing that way) and your house definitely lives in the 90’s. Laura Ashley-inspired pink florals were the must-have for every teenage girl’s bedroom and every kid fell asleep under the glow-in-the-dark plastic stick-on starry sky on their ceiling.
Homes from the aughts or the noughts, depending on who you talk to, barged in with the industrial look. Metal everything, the birth of the open floor plan, chocolate brown walls, home offices and media rooms dominated the design of every McMansion of the 00’s. Drag in massively oversized furniture and a few “interesting” DIY project rooms straight out of home improvement shows and you have a bona fide 2000’s house. You have Hildi Santo-Tomás to thank for the split open corrugated cardboard glued to the walls in the den. At least it’s not hay glued to the walls…
As the second full decade of the new century nears to a close, what design trends and features do you think will define (and date) homes in the decades to come? Will we look back on our present design choices with nostalgia or a “what were we thinking…” face palm? With a “Trading Spaces” reboot in full force, now might be a good time to remind your neighbors that you loathe surprises of the decorating kind.