With a new year fast approaching and new trends emerging all the time, we’re often looking forward, trying to decide what to do and how to style our home. However, some of the latest hot new trends aren’t quite as new as they might seem. Geometric patterns, cork floors and wicker furniture have all been inspired by bygone years. Some styles are worth trying and have staying power, while others should definitely be left in the past (sorry avocado bathrooms!).
But whatever the era or style of your home, you can always embrace a few tricks of the trade from the past. Whether it’s integrating bold colours, vintage furniture or adding a quirky finishing touch, your home decor is always wonderfully adaptable. With this in mind, here are some style inspirations (or just plain nostalgia) from the last six decades.
Credit: @Feli Kroder
The invention of the trolley, the ironing board…it was all about innovation in the 50s. And luckily for us, the interior design trends that emerged in this decade were just as revolutionary! Living rooms flooded with neon, bright blues and greens paired with pastel hues were all the rage. The open plan design paved the way for wider spaces, with homes that gave way to larger, statement furniture with wacky designs and playful prints.
If you like your spaces to make a statement, then this decade is definitely the one to draw inspiration from. For a quick 50s fix, try introducing some playful prints into your home as a cushion, wall-hanging or throw; think zig zags, checkerboards or animal prints. If you’re feeling particularly daring, consider a patterned footstool as a centrepiece for your living room.
The 60s was particularly eclectic for interior design, with homes often mish-mashing a variety of different influences. Though a few quirky elements still stuck from the 50s, the 60s saw a huge rise in the popularity of pop art and “pod-shaped” furniture. Rather than the bursts of bright colours that were oh so prominent in the previous decade, homes embraced a more earthy palette – deep greens, burnt oranges, and browns – with Japanese design and bohemian elements of Indian prints thrown in.
Credit: @🇬🇧 Rachael
If you want to add the Swinging 60s style to your home, fill the rooms with floral embroidered fabrics or bring some soft shag carpeting into an empty-feeling room. The combination of thick textures and striking patterns will definitely bring that boho look.
Credit: @Marysia Kowalska
You can also try grooving-up a plain wall with a pop art poster, or adding a splash of colour with a vivid green-print fabric. Just like this contemporary home, a 60s influence can be the perfect inspiration for experimenting with different pillows, throws, curtains or bedding.
The 70s didn’t stray too far from the love of browns and earthy tones that dominated the 60s. On top of sticking with the unusual colour palette, it was contrasted with psychedelic patterns and futuristic furniture design. In addition to hanging plants, woven macrame and gorgeous greenery surrounding the sitting room, having a bohemian-inspired conversation pit was a big feature in 70s homes.
The 70s were less about comfort and more about “the look”, with corner benches, foldaway tables, quirky poufs, hard Lucite materials and tubular steel chairs – just to name a few! Add a splash of 70s into your room’s textiles by bringing in geometric shapes and patterns, and strong colours such as dark red, gold, avocado green, pink and rust.
Forget looking cool, it was all about comfort, chintz and country style in the 80s. The design in this decade leaned more towards floral prints, frills and oversized furniture (to match the oversized perms and shoulder pads of course), in addition to playing with a beautiful range of soft pastels – a real trademark look of the ’80s! (Check out Mirror80 for more looks!)
Burgundy, gold, beige and mauve were also popular in this era, with a whole variety of different pieces held together harmoniously. To get a real 80s feel into your home, try experimenting with subdued colours, and inject a gold accessory or statement piece such as an overhead track light or glass table to maintain that modern feel.
Credit: @Avanti x Lunise
Functional yet sophisticated comfort – if you love all things art deco and minimalist, then the 90s is definitely the decade for you! With creamy colours, wooden furniture and beige sofas becoming a must-have in homes, living areas were becoming a lot more plain, clutter-free and zen. A great trick to playing with 90s style is to try working with metal and glass accents in your home.
Credit: @Minna Seppänen
Of course, it wasn’t all that cohesive. Remember the tacky lava lamps and inflatable sofas that we couldn’t help but love?
Home decor and design evolved a lot in the 2000s, transforming from 90s minimalism into more richer, deeper and unusual colour schemes. Living areas became less “showroom” and focused on comfort and timeless style. Following trends was a no-go, and boasting a personal style became more important.
Vivid colour and heavily patterned wallpaper made a comeback, and in came the feature wall with everything from elegant damasks to stripes and florals. If you want to be more noughties with your home, dare to be different with colour schemes, upcycling and seeking out unusual prints.
Credit: @Siya Mittal
From plastic accessories and lava lamps, to giant corner sofas and psychedelic print, the last 6 decades of home styling have been anything but boring!
Whether you feel a particular decade appeals to you, or feel you want to mix and match a few different styles, your home design should never be a chore. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live there, so make sure you love what you’re bringing in!