A Fun Look Back on Past Home Interior Styles and Trends

Here at Reliable Home Improvement we are proud to celebrate our 50th year of providing high-quality, professional home design, construction and renovation services. Every project is a challenge we accept with enthusiasm, and our team always strives to achieve complete customer satisfaction.

In honor of our 50th Anniversary we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the trends that shaped our business, and your homes, over the past 5 decades. Today we examine interior design trends, color schemes and other nuances, and how they evolved over the past 50 years.

The 1960’s: Popcorn Ceilings, Turquoise Appliances, No-Wax Flooring

Home interiors during the 1960s featured a number of interesting elements that remained a part of interior design landscape for years. Much of what marked home interiors during the 1960s was held over from the previous decade, while other trends were just making their appearance.

  • Popcorn Ceilings: Although made popular during the 50s, Popcorn Ceilings were the norm in homes.
  • Bold Walls: New color palettes for interior paint and accents included green, gold and yellow.
  • Bright Appliances: Coppertone and Turquoise were common colors for Kitchen appliances.
  • No-Wax Floors: No-Wax floors made its debut in the 1960s and was considered one of the first advancements in attempting to make home care a little easier

Homeowners during this decade looked for ways to make their homes warm and comfortable places as the country continued to enjoy a period of economic growth.

The 1970’s: Shag Carpeting, Avocado & Harvest Gold Appliances, Central AC

The 1970s was a big time for Interior decorating trends, marked by a number of very bold tastes. Many of the colors used for painting interior walls and used on kitchen appliances remained in the homes owned by the same family or individual until being sold a decade or two later.

  • Colorful Kitchen & Bathroom Appliances: Highlighted by the appearance of Avocado Green, Harvest Gold and, for a short time, Poppy Red.
  • Shag Carpeting: Common in homes during the 1970s … even in bathrooms. Homes with shag carpeting came equipped with a “rake” to help rug fibers regain form after vacuuming.
  • Bright Colors on Walls: The palette for interior paint featured bright green, turquois, sunshine yellow, orange, brown and white.
  • Wall Paper: In place of paint, some homeowners turned to Wall Paper as a decorating option.
  • Keeping Cool: Approximately 40 percent of all new homes included Central Air Conditioning.

As we moved into the next decade Home Interior tastes and trends was about to undergo a huge transformation. Over the next 20-30 years homeowners would abandon the soft color palettes and strive to make bold statements in their homes.

The 1980’s: Mirrored Walls, Neutral Color Appliances & Paneling

Although home interiors had not yet achieved the “open concept” layout so many desire these days, the decade of the 1980s is marked by a couple of interior design trends that could be considered a precursor to that goal.

  • The Family Room: Homeowners seeking to have and do more with their homes began designating and decorating “multi-purpose” rooms, and we had the birth of the “Family Room.”
  • Mirrors: Small rooms were made to appear and feel larger through the application of mirrors on one or more walls. This visual appeal was often offset by the additional time and effort needed to keep all those mirrors clean and free of spots.
  • Neutral Colors on Appliances: Almond was the primary color of choice in kitchens. Harvest Gold and Black were also common choices, and Harvest Wheat was also a popular appliance color during this time.
  • Bold, New Paint Colors: Interior color choices were becoming bolder, and new colors were making the scene. Family rooms, dens and offices often featured Hunter Green, while colors such as Teal, Peach and Salmon were applied in bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Growing Popularity of Wood Wall Paneling: There were hundreds of varieties from which to choose, and it was frequently found on the walls of those “multi-purpose” rooms mentioned earlier.

The 80’s was a decade marked by bright colors and bold choices. Homeowners and homebuyers used interior decorating to make a statement.

The 1990’s: Trending Toward the New Millennium

The new millennium was on the horizon now and homeowners were looking for new ways to decorate their home’s interior. Trends of the past were being replaced with new approaches to interior home décor more reflective of the times.

  • Faux Finish Painting Techniques: Faux finishes became very popular for those painting interior walls and even ceilings. Some of the common techniques included:
    Rag rolling, sponging, marbleizing and crackling were different techniques that helped create unique, textured finishes on walls throughout the house.
  • Wall Accents: Wall paper waned in popularity, but room borders and chair rail became popular trends for adding a touch of color and personality to rooms.
  • Spa Tubs in the Master Bath: Black, white and almond were the predominant colors for kitchen appliances, while those renovating bathrooms would frequently consider the installation of a large tub with jets for extra comfort.

The 21st Century: Laminate Flooring, Stainless Steel Appliances & Kitchen Renovations

The turn of the century ushered in its own collection of interior decorating trends that homeowners used to create unique and comfortable homes. Greater awareness of the environment created a market for building materials created from recycled materials and synthetic supplies.

  • Laminate Floors: A wide variety of laminate flooring allowed homeowners to create any number of appearances – from hardwood floor to stone and more – in foyers, kitchens, bathrooms and other areas around the house.
  • Stainless Steel: New kitchen appliances frequently featured stainless steel fronts.
  • Dishwasher Very Common in Homes: Along the same topic, more than 90 percent of homes now featured a dishwasher.
  • Making More Space in the Kitchen: Kitchen renovations often included removal of a soffit so one could install larger cabinets.
  • Hard Counter Tops: Granite, Corian, Marble and even Concrete counter tops took the place of laminates when new and renovated kitchens were built.

We’ve witnessed a very interesting and exciting 50 years of home décor trends, and can’t wait to see what the next 50 will bring.

If you need help with a home improvement or renovation project, please contact the professionals at Reliable Home Improvement … your complete satisfaction is our top priority.


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