The waterbed had its heyday in the 1970s and '80s and has been in steady decline ever since. Though waterbeds are comfortable, they are heavy, difficult to move, and require electricity to regulate their thermostats. Another strike against them: Landlords and dorms generally prohibit waterbeds because of concerns over damage-causing leaks. Memory foam is the latest trend, and waterbeds are going the way of the dodo.
Those large, bulky cabinets that house our televisions and related equipment have gotten smaller and smaller, and they are about to disappear altogether. Today's TVs are slimmer and can be mounted on walls to save space. And with all the digital streaming options available, few people bother with even a DVD player anymore. If you're a fan of clutter-free design, consider cutting these old-school pieces out of your decor.
Related: 9 Smarter Spots for the TV
It’s not just the CD rack that’s a dinosaur—pretty much any CD storage system is as well. Now that most people digitally download music, an entire family’s audio library can fit on a device the size of a wallet. There’s simply no need to clutter up the living room corner with a CD rack anymore.
The magazine rack was once a necessity for keeping newspapers and periodicals corralled, but with the popularity of e-readers and the continuing paperless trend, no one really needs the clutter of this organizational piece anymore. Consider repurposing your magazine rack into a landing zone for mail or as storage for important documents.
Grandfather clocks, and any other clock for that matter, are just for decoration these days. We have clocks on our ovens, microwaves, computers, and cellphones, so there’s no need to dedicate wall space to a timepiece. You see few grandfather clocks now, and we wager that you’ll see even fewer in the future.
You don't see many of these classics coming off the assembly line these days. While desks (for now) are still necessary for young and old alike, the rolltop variety has proved bulky and prone to maintenance problems. You'll be much better off with modern styles that are slimmer and more streamlined.
The music industry has completely transformed in the last 20 years. Hulking cabinets for amplifiers, speakers, and two or three differently formatted players are just not necessary. Unless you’re a vinyl record enthusiast, you probably have a dock and wireless speaker setup that requires less than a square foot of space.
Many contemporary floor plans opt for offices or media rooms instead of the traditional dining room. Without a space for formal entertaining—and with more slow cookers replacing china on wedding registries—there's really no need for an oversize cabinet to display your fine dishware.
Related: 11 Big Ideas for a Small Dining Room
There’s still plenty of need to accommodate overnight guests, but there are much better (and more comfortable) ways to do so than the lumpy old futon. Let’s admit it—these frat-house standards have never been fashionable, and nobody over 20 finds them suitable to sleep on.
Older homes have a notorious dearth of closets. This lack may have been due to tax rates that were based on the number of rooms in a house—and closets counted as rooms! Whatever the reason, it meant that clothes and linen storage was typically outsourced to wardrobes, trunks, and chests. That’s not the case in our modern era. Most people have linen closets with ample space for blankets and bedding, making these bulky builds a thing of the past.
With more and more people forgoing a landline altogether, there’s no need for little tables to hold our telephones, answering machines, and phone books. Try a narrow sofa table instead to serve as a space-smart landing spot for little items.
Want to step inside old, new, bold, beautiful, weird and wonderful homes around the world? Subscribe to the House Lovers newsletter today!