Like fashion, home interiors follow trends that change over time. Over the past century, each of the decades has brought with it specific design trends and popular looks that have reflected society at that time. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most memorable interior design trends of the past 100 years.
One of the most recognizable design trends started a century ago with the emergence of Art Deco. Following the end of the first world war, people wanted to move away from tradition and embrace modern styles and luxury. This meant home interiors featured bold, geometric designs, vivid colors with glossy or metallic accents, and rounded furniture inspired by advances in transport. The hairstyles of this era also mirrored this style.
The future felt bright in the 50s thanks to the end of the second world war so the color was big, especially brights like yellow and turquoise and all shades of pink. Mid-century modern interior design started in America and has remained popular ever since, thanks to its clean lines, minimalism and practicality. Around this time, Scandinavian design also began to go mainstream and people started to embrace open-plan living spaces.
The 1960s were all about counterculture, rebellion and freedom of expression and interior design was no exception. This decade’s interiors embraced hippy culture with lava lamps and ‘disposable’ lightweight furniture made from plastic and fibreglass. Psychedelic, neon colors and paisley print soft furnishings were also popular.
A decade of self-expression, 70s design focused on the personal, with an emphasis on one-of-a-kind or handmade items, such as glass table lamps, wicker furniture and shag carpets. Maximalism was in, and house plants were a must-have. Heavy wood furniture and avocado bath suites also became popular during this decade.
The 2000s saw a re-emergence of open-plan spaces and the kitchen became a more central focus of the home. Kitchen islands were introduced and as kitchens became a less gendered space, with more men taking on cooking and cleaning roles, stainless steel became the material of choice for many appliances. Oversized furniture, such as corner sofas, leather armchairs and sleigh beds were also trendy during this decade.
With technology fast taking over every area of our lives, people began to romanticize a simpler past, leading to a resurgence of retro or vintage style trends like farmhouse kitchens, midcentury modern furniture, the houseplants that had gained popularity in the 70s and shades of pink.
We’re only a couple of years into this decade but already, certain interior design trends are staking their claim, with maximalism looking set for a strong comeback along with rich hues, patterned wallpaper and even upcycled, vintage furniture in a nod to the fact that many of us are trying to live in a less disposable, more eco-conscious way.