Décor lovers look back at shag carpeting the same way they look back at shoulder pads: with a mix of humor, horror, and always nostalgia. Since that’s half the fun of it, we went ahead and rounded up the most dreadful (and wonderful) trends in American home décor history. All aboard the time machine.
Credit: Heidi Ryder Photography
1920s Best: Cocktail Carts
You can blame Prohibition (and early Hollywood glamour) for your current bar cart obsession.
Credit: Elad Gonen/Houzz
1920s Worst: Blingy Baroque
We assume that high-shine, high-drama pieces were going for “age of opulence.” But the result is more creepy grandma than lady of leisure.
Credit: Atomic Design/Houzz
1930s Best: Black-and-White Tiling
High contrast, deco-inspired bathroom tiles are a timeless favorite.
1930s Worst: Furniture Suites
May sofas, footstools, chairs, and lamps never all match one another again.
1940s Best: Gingham
When it comes to textiles, this simple, cheerful 40s staple is just as charming today.
1940s Worst: Linoleum
Thankfully, this trendy affront to perfectly good hardwood appears to be gone for good.
Credit: Angelita Bonetti
1950s Best: Midcentury Modern
Retro done right. (Thank you, Charles and Ray Eames.)
1950s Worst: Formica, Chrome, and Vinyl
Is there anything sadder than a 1950s dining set?
Credit: Nuevo Estilo
1960s Best: Bold, Psychedelic Accents
The 60s brought punchy Warholian hues – like fuchsia and mango – to mainstream design (and they’re still groovy today, baby).
1960s Worst: “Wood” Paneling
Claustrophobia-inducing wood paneling was bad. Fake wood paneling was even worse.
Credit: SF Girl By the Bay
1970s Best: Wicker Furniture
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: Breezy wovens are the best. (The 70s also weren’t short on fabulous oversized plants.)
1970s Worst: Avocado Décor
Great on toast, disgusting on carpets and appliances.
Credit: The Selby
1980s Best: Floral Wallpaper
While modern options mark a departure from Laura Ashley, “nouveau chintz” papers are totally delightful.
Credit: EL Alacran Furniture
1980s Worst: Dark, Glossy Wood
See you never, polished cherry Chippendale everything.
Credit: PARACHUTE HOME
1990s Best: Minimalism
Zen-like, hyper-edited spaces hit their stride in the 90s and haven’t slowed down since.
Credit: ROOMS TO GO
1990s Worst: Beige Palettes
This dominant 90s hue (a retaliation against the Day-Glo tones of the 80s) was as painfully drab as all the pesto we were eating.
Credit: Modern Jane
2000s Best: Stainless Steel
High-end appliances went mainstream in the 2000s… and our kitchens ain’t never goin’ back.
2000s Worst: Edison Bulbs
Not only were these hipster-happy fixtures played to death, they were also a crappy light source.
Credit: Our House
2010s Best: Open Shelving
Light and airy kitchens, may you never leave us.
2010s Worst: Chevron
RIP, ubiquitous zigzags. (You were fun while you lasted.)
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