Cubism, the first abstract style of modern art, was developed in the early 1900s. Its angular lines and geometric shapes greatly influenced the visual aesthetics of the 1920s. When the abstract patterns of cubism began overtaking the realism of decades past, a new era of modern home design was born.
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- The Biggest Home Trends from the Decade You Were Born
The Biggest Home Trends from the Decade You Were Born
1920s - Inspired by Cubism
1920s - Curvy Furniture
Prominent lines—whether angular or curved—were a hallmark of 1920s home design. New steel manufacturing techniques made it possible to incorporate polished metal into furniture, which allowed for dramatic arcs and contours.
1930s - Mirrored and Metallic
The use of steel in furniture continued into the 1930s, but it went beyond chrome frames to encompass full metallic finishes on pieces like dressers and tables. The trend toward reflective elements in home decor extended to the generous inclusion of mirrors and mirrored surfaces.
InstaDerek on flickr.com
1930s - Neutral Paint Finishes
While homes of the 1920s favored bold color schemes, in the 1930s they tended toward more subdued tones. Neutral paint colors like cream, ivory, and light pastels rose in popularity.
davsot on flickr.com
1940s - Sentimental Tradition
The Second World War greatly influenced home trends in the 1940s. More sentimental designs, such as floral prints and ruffled draperies, replaced the grand, cooler accents of the past two decades. Traditional styles resurfaced as well, mixing with more modern trends to foster a sense of stability after the war years.
Classic Film on flickr.com
1940s - Wall-to-Wall Carpet
In the 1940s, hardwood floors became “old-fashioned” as stylish homeowners turned to wall-to-wall carpeting. This more affordable option imparted a sense of comfort that made spaces cozier and more inviting, perfect for gatherings of friends and family.
Jennie on flickr.com
1950s - Wood Paneling
Wood paneling began to gain popularity in the 1950s. The visually warm material, though inexpensive to install, added depth to bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. From knotty pine to engineered fiberboard panels, wooden accents prevailed in homes for the next 30 years.
Ethan on flickr.com
1950s - Pastels
The economic expansion and construction boom that followed World War II provided millions of families with affordable Ranch-style homes. In keeping with the era's optimism and prosperity, the light pastels of the 1940s gave way to brighter shades in the '50s, with mint green and cotton candy pink popping up in paint, tile, bathroom fixtures, and kitchen appliances.
totallymystified on flickr.com
1960s - Clean Lines in Furniture
1960s - Neons and Bold Colors
The color schemes of the 1960s were shamelessly bold and flamboyant, with bright colors and rebellious combinations as the biggest trends. Pop art, including works by such painters as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, influenced both color and style in home decor of the era.
lobstar28 on flickr.com
1970s - Bold Wallpaper Prints
The unabashed embrace of color in the 1960s set the tone for the arresting patterns of the 1970s. Wallpaper prints got bigger and bolder, and every room of the house became free game for a patterned treatment. In fact, wallpaper was even used on ceilings to completely envelop a room in print.
Related: 7 Reasons to Reconsider Wallpaper
nadja robot on flickr.com
1970s - Shag Carpeting
Clean-cut trends of past decades were pushed aside in the exuberant 1970s, and nowhere was this more evident than in the immense popularity of shag carpeting. Nothing complements a cozy living room better than ultrasoft flooring!
Blue Banquette on flickr.com
1980s - Peach and Blue
1980s - Glass Block
Glass blocks have been commercially available since the early 1900s, but thanks to the popular TV show Miami Vice, they boomed in the 1980s. Because glass blocks have the unique ability to create privacy, divide a room, or accent a wall without obstructing sunlight, they continue to fill a crucial structural niche.
1990s - Knotty Pine and White Kitchens
The fast-paced and ostentatious excess of the 1980s spurred a return to basics in the '90s. Light wood and knotty pine made their way into furniture, flooring, and cabinetry, while kitchens went white—a trend that continues today.
1990s - Brass Fixtures
In the 1990s, homeowners incorporated brass everywhere, from cabinet knobs to bathroom faucets and lighting fixtures. The material blended well with furnishings and warmed up the trendy white and beige palettes of the decade.
2000s - The Home Office
Communication technology exploded with the invention of the modern Internet in the late 1990s. In the aftermath, the number of U.S. workers telecommuting rose sharply, with 32 percent of the workforce doing some kind of work from home by the middle of the decade. It’s no surprise that the home office became one of the biggest home design trends of the early 21st century.
2000s – IKEA and Scandinavian Design
Modern style became affordable for the masses when Swedish furniture giant IKEA made its way to the United States. IKEA’s easy-to-assemble furnishings made simple Scandinavian design popular with cash-strapped college students, new home buyers, and established homeowners alike. Elements of IKEA’s signature clean-lined style crop up today in a host of other mainstream American outlets.