The biggest home trends over the last 100 years

H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty ImagesHome design has changed a lot over the last 100 years.


In the 1920s, interior design was characterised by glamour and sophistication, which was fuelled by the Art Deco movement.

Sasha/Getty ImagesThe American home was characterised by luxury and glamour in the 1920s.

The Art Deco movement played a major role in home decor in the 1920s. Major characteristics of the home during this time included geometric furniture, bold colours, and statement mirrors.


Art Deco home style is made up of bold colours and elaborate ornamentation.

Cooper Humphreys/Stringer/Getty ImagesAn elegant drawing room.

Living rooms in the ’20s featured geometric furniture like curved chairs and sofas.


Corey Damen Jenkins, interior design expert and founder of Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, told Insider that curvy furniture and metallic finishes were common in the ’20s.

George Rinhart/Contributor/Getty ImagesThe interior of a living room decorated in an Art Deco style.

“In the 1920s and ’30s, they definitely favoured bold colour schemes, and homes had a more architectural feel to them,” Jenkins told Insider. “They had the curvy furnishings, and a lot of texture and finishes were experimented with, like mirrored walls and surfaces.”


From oriental rugs to glass chandeliers, the ’20s were all about sophistication with elements of fun.

Print Collector/ContributorA glass chandelier in the ’20s represented glamour and sophistication in the home.

“There’s a very fine line that you can draw between lifestyle and interior design,” Jenkins told Insider. “People live and decorate the way they want to feel.”


By the 1930s, homeowners began to move away from bold colour schemes and designs, incorporating more subdued tones into their spaces.

Petrified Collection/Getty ImagesA woman vacuuming her home in the 1930s.

During the 1930s, Americans were coping with the Great Depression, which had an impact on home decor.


During the 1930s, home design became more simplistic.

Fox Photos/Getty ImagesLiving rooms in the ’30s were still influenced by the Art Deco style.

As a result of the 1929 stock market crash, design styles in the 1930s were more simple and subdued in comparison to the lavish trends of the previous decade.


The 1930s were the golden age of the radio.

Bettmann/Contributor/Getty ImagesA family gathered in their living room listening to a radio.

“In general, what is ubiquitous when it comes to design, is that it’s greatly affected by technology,” Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow and interior design expert, told Insider.

In the ’30s, radios were the main source of entertainment, and were often treated like pieces of furniture.


New advancements in technology played a role in the types of appliances people had in their homes.

Bettmann/GettyBy the 1940s, kitchens became more user-friendly.

Kitchens, for example, became more user-friendly as the advent of gas ranges became commonplace in the household.


Homeowners began turning to more affordable options to decorate their homes in the 1940s.

Hedrich Blessing Collection/Chicago History Museum/Getty ImagesA formal living room in 1940.

Hardwood floors became “old-fashioned” in the ’40s and were replaced with wall-to-wall carpeting that made the home feel cozier.


More cosy features were incorporated into the home after World War II ended, including wall-to-wall carpeting.

H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty ImagesPost-World War II homes were smaller but cozier.

“Those elements of wall-to-wall carpeting, wood panels on walls… those things suggested a sense of comfort and warmth, an escape from the harsh reality outside,” Jenkins told Insider.


Mid-century modern design was popular in the 1950s, and is still around today.

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesA typical living room in the 1950s featured Scandinavian designs and primary colours.

After the war ended, people started to spend more money on interior design, which made the home a more vibrant and fun place.

“I think we went through a really big moment where mid-century modern design was kind of put up on a pedestal as the ‘it’ style for a while,” Blakeney told Insider.


The sleek trend of the ’50s carried into the ’60s, and was emphasised by even brighter colours.

Popperfoto/Contributor/Getty ImagesHomes in the 1960s were characterised by bright colours and personalised touches.

Some characteristics of a home in the 1960s include bright colours, textured rugs, open-shelving, and Scandinavian-inspired wood pieces.


Homeowners in the ’60s wanted to show off their personalities more than ever before.

H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty ImagesBy the 1960s, living rooms were showier.

Homes became more personalised as people began wanting to display their collectible items as decorations. Open shelving became popular as a result.


Homes in the 1970s included more natural, earthy accents like stone, granite, wicker, and pine.

Steven Errico/Getty ImagesMonochromatic furniture was popular in the 1970s.

Wooden walls were a common sight, along with accents like stone fireplaces and wicker coffee tables.


Tile countertops were all the rage in the 1970s.

Tia Magallon/Getty ImagesA kitchen in the 1970s.

In the 1970s, tile patterns and designs were frequently seen in kitchen floors and counters.


Large shag rugs were another popular home trend throughout the 1970s.

H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty ImagesShag rugs were one of the biggest home trends in the ’70s.

Large shag rugs added texture and character to a ’70s living room.


Interior design in the ’80s took a turn toward pastel colours and floral accents.

Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty ImagesA living room in the ’80s.

The ’80s were undeniably colourful. Household furniture typically consisted of floral designs that came in various shades of pastel yellow, mint-green, and light-pink.


Long, floral drapes that touched the ground were also commonly seen in the ’80s bedroom.

Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty ImagesLong, floral drapes were common in the ’80s bedroom.

Chintz fabric, which is defined by Vogue as a “glazed Calico often printed or painted with large florals,” was popular in a typical ’80s room.

The design was practically found on every piece of furniture available.


While ’80s home design was all about excess colour and decor, the ’90s is known for its minimalism.

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesMonica’s living room in ‘Friends’ resembled a typical ’90s space.

The hit TV show “Friends” is a perfect example of the classic ’90s living room. Natural accents like a wooden coffee table and pine TV stand are all a part of the signature decor of the time.


Light wood cabinets were popular in kitchens in the ’90s.

Beisea/Getty ImagesA ’90s kitchen often featured light wood cabinets.

Light wood colours like orange-stained oak and blonde pine took over as the most common cabinet colours in the ’90s home.


By the 2000s, however, everyone wanted an all-white kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Hero Images/Getty ImagesHigh-end appliances went mainstream in the 2000s.

Stainless steel appliances are still seen in modern kitchens today.


It wasn’t uncommon to find twinkling lights draped over headboards in the early 2000s.

svetikd/Getty ImagesThe subtle glow of twinkling lights in the 2000s added a warm, welcoming feel.

In the early 2000s, twinkling lights grew beyond just being a seasonal decoration and were frequently seen in bedrooms.


In the 2010s, grey was everywhere throughout the home.

Eoneren/Getty ImagesA living room in the 2010s was characterised by grey furnishings.

Neutral tones like grays and whites were seen frequently in the early 2010s, replacing the previous decade’s beige trend.


By 2017, the grey trend faded and colour started to pop back up in homes.

Mark Lund/Getty ImagesModern homes are incorporating colourful accents.

Jenkins has noticed a number of trends that have gone by the wayside within the last 10 years. He noted that more people in the 2010s leaned toward neutral colours. However, now they’re moving away from the trend.

Jenkins noticed that his clients are asking for more “pops of colour” in their spaces.

“They are looking for ways to celebrate bright, gorgeous colours in their spaces, and less of the neutrals,” Jenkins said. “I find that people are asking for ‘pops of colour.’ They still might want that grey sofa, but now they want that jolt of magenta on the pillows.”


Blakeney has also noticed that her clients want to incorporate more bright colours into their households.

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/ Getty ImagesBolder, richer colours are making their way back into homes again.

“A home should tell the story of the people who live inside,” Blakeney said. “I’m excited to see people bring more colour and personality into their homes, and having fun with their home decor.”


Technology plays a large role in home design today.

Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty ImagesA modern kitchen is characterised by technology.

“We’re seeing a lot of ways that current technology is impacting design,” Blakeney said. “People can, for example, choose paint colours and visualise it on apps before they paint their homes.”

Jenkins also addressed the increase in technology in the home, saying: “We’re learning to be smarter and show more ingenuity in a way that still honours the need for technology but does not distract from the beauty and aesthetics of the space.”

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