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Back in time: 50 years of good, bad and ugly interior design trends.

Have you ever owned inflatable furniture? Or maybe you grew up in a house filled with mushroom lamps and egg chairs?

There are plenty of home interiors staples from the past that have made their mark over the years. But what trends have stood the test of time and which are we happy to have left behind?

Here at Swift, we wanted to find out which decade had the best-looking homes. As we’ve been creating made-to-measure blinds for 50 years, we picked out the key décor themes from the last five decades and asked 1,000 UK residents what works today – and what doesn’t.

Here’s what we found…

Cosying up

When the Danish concept of hygge first became a popular trend in 2016, suddenly there was a real shift towards living cosily, with roaring fires, soft furnishings, and natural wood tones filling windows and adorning mantlepieces. Did you embrace the this snuggled-up feeling in your home too? If so, you’re not alone.

Over a quarter of those surveyed (26%) decided that the 2010s has been the best decade for interior design in the last 50 years – and the neutral palettes that make up the Scandinavian-inspired home interiors trend were the most popular.

It seems we enjoy nothing more than a gently effortless colour scheme. Like the easy, warm neutrals of the Scandi style that topped the poll, the simple, muted minimalism of the 1990s came a close second in our favourite decades for home décor. In fact, this understated trend that took over after the glitz and chintz of the 1980s was the go-to choice for 19% of respondents.  

And it was the bold and bombastic ’80s that we were least impressed with. The shiny materials and floral prints proved to be too much, and this is the decade of home interiors that we’re leaving behind for good!

Leave it behind

While we were not impressed with the décor of the 1980s, there was a trend from the 1970s that has proven the most unpopular - avocado bathroom suites! This is a fad that has certainly fallen out of favour, with 15% of us deciding that this is one style that doesn’t need to return any time soon.

Bathroom suites were a theme among respondents too, with lurid pink ones coming in second on the list of the worst trends from the last five decades. Interestingly, the taxidermy craze of the 2010s also featured – a rare appearance on the negative side of things for our favourite decade of interior design.

Coming up

As we head into a new decade, many of us are thinking of how we’ll update our homes in the coming year. We found that over two thirds of us (67%) are thinking of incorporating some of the predicted design trends for 2020.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our love of all things Scandinavian is set to continue, with 31% of respondents saying they plan on introducing the upcoming ‘Nordic Retreat’ theme to their home. It seems we can’t let go of oatmeal-tinged neutrals, sleek greys and cosy layers just yet.

If you’re among those planning on bringing Norway styling to your property, you could play around with layering by combining beautifully textured curtains with gently unfurling blinds. Or you might want to move into the ‘20s with a house that taps into the coming glamorous deco trend. You can easily nod to this style by updating your window dressing with metallic touches and velvet materials.

What trends from the last 50 years can you not let go of? Are there any that you’d like to see revived? Whatever your style, you can find out more about upcoming colour palettes and trends on our blog.
 

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