HomeLifestyleHome & Garden

Living room trends from the 50s to now


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

Living room trends from the 50s to now

Take a walk down memory lane with us with a look at interior design trends over the last 60 years, you might just find some inspiration for your own living room!

Living rooms in the 1950s

One wall of exposed brick or stone was popular in 1950s living rooms. You wouldn't see a lot of wooden furniture or fixings as it was very much the fashion in the 50s to have many of the items in your home made of plastic. Particularly surfaces, like the coffee table, as these were much easier to clean. Pastels were integral to the 1950s living room colour scheme and people sometimes decorated with European antiques or pottery. Sofas and armchairs tended to have rounded and bulky edges, in deep or bold colours like red and orange.


Living rooms in the 1960s

Better known as the swinging sixties, this era was a time of experimentation all around - even in the living room. The colour schemes were very much inspired by nature; greens, oranges and golds were plastered on everything from sofas to clothes. The psychedelic style was to set wacky colours against each other, for example, a deep pink sofa covered in bright orange cushions.


Living rooms in the 1970s


Many people view 70s interior design as less than tasteful. Wood panelling and a lot of colour - "avocado green" being one of the most popular - were key features of 70s trends, as were tulip chairs and shag rugs. In some living rooms, you might have even found an indoor garden! 


Living rooms in the 1980s


A lot happened in the 1980s: some cult classic movies were made, several timeless musicians rose to fame and some questionable hairstyles were invented. Heavy wood furniture was back in by the 80s, and those indoor gardens hadn't entirely disappeared as suddenly everybody was filling their homes with ferns. Dusty pastels were huge, as were floral patterns, so every sofa, cushion and carpet was a sea of dusky this or pale that. 


Living rooms in the 1990s


The 90s saw an interesting and short-lived trend when it came to furniture, all of a sudden it was inflatable and neon coloured! People were sitting down in front of Malcolm in the Middle - or another classic 90s show - with their TV dinners in squeaky inflatable armchairs up and down the country. If their furniture in the living room wasn't inflatable, you can bet it would be white or beige, because that's what was cool. Ivy patterns on the wall and fake silk flowers were two minor details that were also big trends.


Living rooms in the 2000s


During the transition to the noughties, minimalism was phased out as brighter and bolder statements came back in. Feature walls with floral and designer prints were popular, as were Cath Kidston's bright 50s style textiles. Following the financial crisis in the mid-noughties, upcycling became a huge trend among thrifty homemakers with a "waste not, want not" attitude!


Today’s Living Rooms


Bringing the outside in is a huge interior design trend this year, affecting everything from ornaments to wallpaper, almost coming back to that nature-inspired indoor garden vibe from the 1970s! Metallic finishes are also big, as are factory-like styles with wide open white space and minimalistic furniture.

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...