Over the past 50 years or so, home design trends have come and gone. Your grandparents and parents probably made some choices that have you scratching your head. Maybe you even did, two years ago.
What are the worst home design trends of the past half-century? In the list below, we rank the ones that have (understandably) fallen out of favor.
In the 1960s, these colors were all the rage for kitchens — appliances, walls, curtains and more. At the time, they were seen as a warm escape from white, white, white. Now, the colors look hopelessly dated. And ugly.
If you’re throwing a 1970s party, this will bring that retro period back. Otherwise, shag is, well, hideous. Wall-to-wall carpet is also now seen more as a haven for bacteria or pet hair more than anything else. The really long-fiber carpet going wall-to-wall makes for a potent combo of bad.
At one point, living room or den couches in green, yellow or brown plaid were where it was at. You can still find them walking into a mid-twentieth century home, maybe now relegated to the rec room (!). The colors never went together well, and that’s really apparent now.
Low-slung, close to the ground and squishy, bean bag chairs were all the rage in the 1970s. They can still be found in college dorms and lounges nationwide. The problem is, though, that bean bag chairs lose their loft easily and aren’t that comfortable. Plus, once you hit an age older than college, there’s no back support.
Vertical blinds were hailed in the 1980s as a great way to avoid curtains and plain old horizontal blinds. So many, especially of the color-coordinated-with-the-walls variety, went up. They are a pain to open and close, though, so they’re not a practical choice. They, too, are now really dated.
Ugh. Just ugh. Why did this ever happen? Popcorn ceilings were thought to give visual interest to the room. They don’t, though — and how many people look at the ceilings, anyway?
There’s nothing wrong with pink, in moderation, and there’s nothing wrong with turquoise. But at one point, these colors were being put in bathrooms everywhere — floor tile, counters, shower curtains and walls. They are a cloying and dated color, and they remind you how great white and metal colors like brass and pewter can be.
This is a fairly new trend. Raised sinks in the bathroom, dubbed “vessel sinks,” may look great and unique. The issue with any decorating trend that looks unique, though, is that it dates really quickly. Also, there’s a reason raised sinks were never a thing before the trend. They’re really uncomfortable to brush your teeth or wash your hands in because they’re too high. Form should follow function, right?
Open shelving is popular for kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. The lack of ends on shelves can make the space look open and inviting, like a showcase for objects. Ultimately, though, these aren’t practical. Things fall off the end too easily. Again, there’s a reason shelves often have ends!
Valences can be cool, but the trend of matching curtains up with window valances resulted in too much of a good thing. Way too much. You shouldn’t get a headache or think you’re suffering from an optical illusion when you walk into a room.
Nothing says 1970s like macramé. It was all over the place during that decade — think planters with the ubiquitous Boston ferns and coleus. It’s not that it’s intrinsically bad. It’s that it’s so associated with a past time that it dates any room it’s in. Farrah Fawcett hair styles, anyone?
Zebra or leopard prints are periodically in fashion. Then they go way out of fashion. Many people love them, but they are never classic, and they can look really tacky. They can also be visual overload and a half, especially if they’re on décor that covers a large space, like rugs or sofas.
We know that people who do this think they are saving wear and tear on the furniture, but plastic furniture covers are slightly creepy. Let’s face it — people sit on furniture. They snooze there, too. Lighten up and accept that plastic furniture covers are uncomfortable. In addition, you may as well hang a sign that says “people not welcome here.” Be gone, plastic covers!
From wicker to white cast iron, outdoor furniture brought indoors is sometimes the rage. While it can work, especially if you’re in a warm climate, the question is: Why? It was made to be outside. Outdoor furniture is hard to kick back and watch the Super Bowl in, so why festoon your living room with it?
Oh, the design trends we’ve seen. These are the worst 14 from the past 50 years — it’s good we’re not seeing them anymore!