our 12 favorite decor items of decades past
(and their updates!)
Published Jan 5, 2016 5:00 AM
Decor trends come and go—and are almost always reinvented. Shag carpets are returning in the form of area rugs and wicker chairs with a mid-century modern feel are the new essentials. But some trends, like chia pets and plastic covered furniture, are better left in the past. Read on to see our favorite decor items of decades past AND their new, trendy replacements.
1. past: floral couches
We all remember growing up with the most boldly colored floral couches. Whether you cozied up on cotton, velvet, or jacquard (!!), you know what I’m talking about. In the past, this type of couch more closely resembled Kim Kardashian’s infamous 2013 Met Gala dress. Now, done right, a light floral couch can pass for shabby chic and be a lovely statement piece for any room.
present: velvet couches
Velvet is an easy way to add texture—and an air of regal elegance—to any space. No matter if you opt for a bold or soft shade, a rich color will shine through.
2. past: wall-to-wall carpeting
Wall-to-wall carpeting had its time, but that time has passed. Kudos to anyone who remembers raking their wall-to-wall shag carpet to keep it looking new.
present: shag rugs
Shag carpet is making a comeback, but thankfully in a more manageable form. Cozy area rugs of the “shag” variety are on trend, and we’re not hating it. Also proving its longevity is the sheepskin, a fun alternative to the shag carpet rug.
3. past: potpourri
You used to be able to find a bowl of this fragrant stuff in nearly any home—or more specifically, the bathroom of any home. Thankfully, its popularity waned.
present: sweet smelling candles
A vast variety of scented candles are now how most of us opt to add seasonal smells to our homes.
4. past: embroidery
Skilled embroiderers have almost completely disappeared with the onslaught of mobile devices. If you’re still a fan (we admit it, we are), there are young, trendy vendors selling their stuff on Etsy.
present: thoughtful prints
While your mom might have hung important phrases on the wall that she embroidered herself, now we’re way more likely to buy a print.
5. past: wicker furniture
We LOVE wicker furniture. Especially the mid-century modern-inspired or vintage chairs seen here.
present: wicker furniture!
There is no replacement for wicker furniture, and we’re thrilled it’s made its way back into our hearts and homes.
6. past: graphic bedspreads
The 80s and 90s were filled with printed comforters reflective of the popular design and fashion trends of the times. While we’re glad we’ve moved onto simpler designs, there’s no arguing that these bedspreads will always have had an epic moment.
present: solid or lightly printed linens
These days, we’re way more likely to pick out a solid-colored comforter, duvet cover, or quilt that correlates with trendy minimalist dressing and home decor.
7. past: chia pets
Nothing, we repeat NOTHING, will ever replace our love of chia pets. While these cheesy planters delighted us as children, we’ve moved on to trendier greenery.
Of course, succulents had to make our list. These tiny plants are appropriately sized for small spaces and window sills (much like our chia pets), and add some much-needed green to our lives.
8. past: plastic covered furniture
I think we can all agree that while once upon a time, covering your furniture in plastic was considered practical, the act is now unthinkable. Even though we giggled at the thick, sticky plastic coverings, they will always be one of our favorite decor memories.
present: mid-century modern furniture
We simply can’t get enough of mid-century modern couches, chairs, tables—you name it. Something about stealing a design trend from the past that was inspired by the future just feels so right.
9. past: fabric wall
Yes, people actually used to paste fabric to their walls, and for that, we will always be grateful.
Now, we have so many more options for covering our walls. Betweentemporary wallpaper
wall decals, and wall tapestries, it’s easy to add patterns to any-sized wall spaces.
10. past: valances and heavy drapes
Valances and thick drapes had their time in the sun—and really, we just loved hiding behind them as children.
present: long, light drapes
Most of us have ditched heavy window treatments for lighter, longer drapes that let in lots of natural light.
11. past: glass dining table top
A large glass dining room table was—and still can be—a hot commodity. With updated legs, modern ormismatched chairs
and other accessories, the glass top is welcome to stay.
present: mismatched wood and metals
Our favorite current day dining table trend is tables and chairs made out of different materials. Mixing wood finishes and metals has never been more fun.
12. past: a sunroom
There was a time when we relied on our sunrooms for the majority of our natural lighting, but now we strive for large windows that let in the maximum amount of natural light in every room of the house. Patios and spending time outside are preferred.
present: a breakfast nook
Our latest home interior craving? Thebreakfast nook
It’s a cozy commodity that any house is lucky to have.