The 90s were a time of new technology, era-defining fashion, and an embrace of patterns and textures. This was never as prevalent as it was in the area of home decor and design.
This decade was a pivotal time in home design, as it seemed to blend some of the trends from the 80s that carried over with visions for the future — from a rise in floral patterns to combining indoor and outdoor living features.
This article is a look back at a nostalgic time in the industry, highlighting the trends that made up this decade — many of which are even making a comeback in the present day. For now, let’s go back into the past.
Classic Bay Windows
Bay windows were designed to elevate living spaces by opening up the exterior view and admitting an excess of light. The best window suppliers will tell you that this window design was a staple in homes in the 90s — for the charm and versatility they added to living spaces.
The Allure of Wallpaper
Wallpaper was a defining element of the 90s. In many homes, you would find a wide range of colors and patterns that would dawn several walls in one home. Colors would often vary from muted neutral tones like beiges and browns, while patterns could range from floral to geometric shapes.
Wallpaper was at its peak popularity in the 90s and is seeing a resurgence in today’s home designs — however, there is a difference in the color vibrancies and patterns, with today’s designs often favoring contemporary themes.
Iconic Entertainment Centers
In the 90s, entertainment was everywhere. The rise in VHS films and CDs gave homeowners the chance to turn their living spaces and basements into entertainment centers that could act as a gathering space for families.
Large, wooden entertainment centers would often take up entire walls — with the television as the focal point and compartments for VHS players, CDs, and to display picture frames and other home decor pieces.
Houseplants and Indoor Gardens
Today, it’s not uncommon to find homes covered in plants of various sizes — but back in the 1990s, this was a new phenomenon. The popularity of indoor gardening and houseplants became prominent in this decade, with many homeowners understanding how the greenery added life and vibrancy to their interiors.
Bringing the outdoors in not only added some warmth to an indoor space, it also gave a sense of calm and created inviting spaces — which is now something that can be seen in modern homes.
In the 90s, the home design industry saw a new trend rise in popularity — minimalism. This was a drastic change from the bold and eclectic trends that previously defined this decade. Homeowners and designers were drawn to simplicity, clean lines, and a focus on essential elements. Residential interiors took on neutral color palettes, clean and organized spaces, and a “less is more” approach.
Minimalist furniture, defined by sleek shapes and an understated look, took over. The idea behind this movement was to create tranquil and calming environments which would promote a sense of serenity within the home. As this trend gained popularity, it became a counterbalance to the vibrant and extravagant styles previously seen in homes across the country — making a significant impact on the overall design style of the 90s.
Rise in Technology
In the 90s, a significant milestone took place in the form of technological advancements. This was particularly prevalent with the introduction of home computers. As home computers became more accessible and affordable, many households embraced this new wave of technology. Home offices and dedicated computer spaces became more common, which reflected the integration of technology into everyday life.
Interior designers then had to adapt to this tech-friendly lifestyle by incorporating unique storage solutions for their clients’ electronics, such as built-in desk nooks and cable management systems. The introduction of the home computer also influenced furniture design, including ergonomic chairs and computer desks.
The 90s were also a part of the “smart home” trend, which included automation systems for lighting and temperature control. This would then set the stage for the impact on future home design, which we see in today’s contemporary homes.
The 90s had a tremendous influence on several industries, one of the most prominent being home design. In homes across the country, you would often find these standout features dawning living rooms, bedrooms, and basements. This lookback into one of the most eclectic decades can act as an inspiration for designers in the present day — as a way to incorporate patterns, colors, and textures into more modern designs.