Like fashion and visual art, interior design and décor subscribe to trends that come like a wave and go just as quickly. Following the fleeting nature of trends, there's a certain expectation that after a period of time, they'll be back and be enjoyed by a different generation. Think the cottagecore aesthetic that boomed in the 1960s and is steadily picking up steam in the 2020s, or groovy macramé designs that were everywhere in the 1970s and had a brief revival a few years back.
And before you start thinking that what was famous in the past ought to stay there, vintage home trends don't have to look dated; there are always ways to make these old-school rages feel fresh and interesting. Here are 6 interior design and décor fads from the past that we'd like to see return to the mainstream, because it's high time they go back in style.
Featuring frills and folds over the top and on all corners, canopy beds serve drama by being the central focus in every bedroom. Basically the antithesis of minimalist furniture, four poster canopy beds date back to medieval Europe, in a time of opulence and grace. There's a sense of luxury that's palpable in the intricate draping hanging on an upper panel and a feeling of delicate romance in the privacy these drapes provide.
The great thing about curtained beds is that they work for studio apartments as well as they do primary bedrooms. While a bit heavier in terms of visual space, luxe royal beds help indicate clear divisions on an otherwise open floor layout. Curtains and drapes also help turn the bed into a mini room or oasis on its own, which could be handy in times when you feel like there's nowhere else to go inside your condo unit.
Retro Style Appliances
Stainless steel appliances are timeless, yes, but can feel really ordinary especially if every home has them. Make your personal space stand out by scrupulously choosing home and kitchen appliances that will serve as accent decorative pieces.
For any major appliance in the house (i.e. music players, corded telephones) but kitchen appliances specifically, '50s retro is the way to go. Retro fridges are particularly popular among vintage-loving, playful customers, with some companies even building full-fledged brands to sell these nostalgic designs. In that respect, you can get any kitchen appliance in that quirky retro aesthetic if you wish; you can even go the extra mile and invest in matching retro counter electronics!
China cabinets are a classic addition to any dining room, yet forgone in smaller modern spaces. Showcasing porcelain dinnerware (china), silverware, glassware and protecting these from dust and dirty hands, most traditional display cabinets have glass fronts that help open up a room by reflecting and bouncing off light across.
Popular in the 1960s (although history dates the furniture to as early as the Victorian era), china cabinets now come in all sorts of styles that can match with traditional, contemporary, and even modern interior design. Antique china cabinets are the most popular — especially in ancestral Filipino homes, but newer-style display cabinets popularized by Ikea are also making rounds in the interior design world.
Choose china cupboards based on what will be displayed inside. Think about mirrored backs, adjustable shelving that slants at an angle, and even installed plate grooves that make your ceramics display extra organized. You can also opt for a simple cabinet with no customizations if you plan to display ornaments other than plates and cutlery, like figurines.
Natural & Scenic Wallpaper
With people [still] stuck at home, designing has taken a focus on bringing the outside in, versus turning the personal space into a refuge from the larger environment. Scenic wallpapers have been in and out of fashion for many years, but the demands of community quarantines have called for a longer comeback of maximalist wall designs. Land and seascape aesthetics evoke sustainability and are generally airy and light. Chinoiserie — the European translation of Chinese natural design — is dreamy and calming, and looks great in juxtaposition with contemporary interior style.
Using scenic wallpaper and chinoiserie designs definitely plays into the whole grandmillennial interior decorating trend, so it's just a matter of time before home designers take this up and create spaces and walls filled with organic life.
Herringbone Floors (Or Patterned Floors in General)
When thinking of visual design, people typically like to invest in things one can readily see at eye-level like walls and hanging artwork. But floors are massive real estate that can be seen as design opportunities. A trend from the 1970s that need to be back in style? Patterned floors.
Patterned flooring is usually seen in entryways (to bring visual interest to a spot in your home with the highest foot traffic) or in kitchens and bathrooms where vinyl floors and ceramic tiles are used. That said, there isn't any viable reason why you shouldn't try this out in your home office to help inspire creativity or in your living room to section certain spots like a plant corner or to mimic an area rug under your coffee table.
Patterns can be as simple as wooden flooring arranged in a herringbone pattern or a black-a-white octagon and dot floor tile pattern. The goal is to create visual interest in every part of your personal space, and this can easily be achieved by slight tweaks to minimalist design style.
But if you're feeling a little bold and adventurous, you can opt for geometric patterns that pack a graphic punch or hand-painted Spanish tiles that not only carry history but also feel worldly.
Handmade ceramic tiles are an extremely versatile design element that can be used in home flooring, kitchen backsplashes, and dining countertops. The beauty of handcrafted tiles is that they feel timeless and are full of personality. The Spanish and Machuca tiles in particular exude a certain aura of tradition and mastery, largely due to the intensive work of skilled artisans that take years to learn the art.
Much like china cabinets, handcrafted ceramic tiles have been created in recent times to be adaptable to any interior design aesthetic that demands such a feature element. For example, Machuca tiles — local traditional tiles dating back to the 1900s that were all the rage in the '80s — are not only popular in boho-beachy abodes but also in nonconformist, Moroccan-inspired spaces. Decorative mosaic tiles can bring unexpected visual interest in an otherwise monochromatic space, or blend perfectly in a vintage maximalist home.
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