Decorating Mistakes Of The Past: 45 Classic Trends That Haven’t Aged Well

By Louise T

As you might already know, trends change frequently. What’s popular one year can quickly become outdated the next. While we can live with that for most things in life, home decoration is a different ball game.

Imagine the time and energy it would take to keep up to date with the current trends. With so much furniture to move and walls to paint, it would be life-draining. Thankfully, home decor doesn’t change as often as other trends, though it still goes through change over time.

For instance, waterbeds were a huge success in the 1970s, but that is a thing of the past now. There are so many decorations used by our grandparents that, if we saw them today, would send us haywire, and here are 45 of them.

1. Linoleum Flooring 

When it comes to flooring choices, you can always do better than linoleum. But sometimes, it is essential to save money and go for cheaper dupes, which is why we understand people’s obsession with this material. However, the overly colorful and patterned linoleum is the worst.

Image courtesy of Instagram/@linoleumflooring

It’s not only tacky but also looks very cheap and unattractive. Although linoleum is a safer solution when compared to vinyl flooring in terms of toxicity, we still won’t recommend these types of linoleum. They are simply outdated and overused.

2. Green And Gold 

We know how mixing and blending colors are a trend today. From trying daring colors to all shades of whatnot available – the list is endless. Most times, these colors often look amazing, but why would anyone ever think this combination was a good idea? 

Image courtesy of Instagram/@bigchillappliances

This looks like a decoration used in a student hostel. Actually, we think student hostels these days even have better decor. Well, everything in the past that you see today looks pretty much like this – outdated. While white and green is not necessarily a bad combination, this looks bad.

3. Beaded Curtains

Beaded drapes aren’t that bad when used in a perfect setting, such as a hippie’s home or a shaman’s house. It can be appealing, dramatic, and aesthetic. Hearing the bead’s melodies is music to the ear, but that is where it ends.

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Beaded curtains don’t belong in your home; they are completely unnecessary. Sometimes you want some peace and quiet, but those dangling beads will offer you nothing but pure torture. The most annoying part is having to get it off you every time you pass by and the fact that it provides zero privacy.

4. Too Much Window Decorations 

It’s all about being light, bright, and airy these days! That is much healthier, convenient, and fitting. Huge window decorations are in direct conflict with all of those ideas. When decorating a new home, purchase curtains, drapes, and valances that are light, airy – and not overbearing.  

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Unless you’re a vampire who requires little to no sunlight and has been in existence since the 60s, we see no reason to still keep up with such a window style. It makes allergies worse and life miserable. Replace those ugly curtains with a light-colored fabric and watch your home appear considerably more inviting.

5. Waterbeds 

There was a time when mattresses were the trend, and they came in different variations and styling. There were floatable, springs, and waterbeds. Waterbeds became very popular in the 1970s, so much that every one in four mattresses sold was a waterbed. This is largely because it helped with allergies and back pain.

Image courtesy of wikipedia/@ Softside_Waterbed_Inside

As good as it was back in the day, there’s a reason it became outdated and is rarely used except for camping. Waterbeds can be very difficult to maintain; you’d have to patch leaks and fill tubes with water, and no one has the time for that. This generation just wants to sleep.

6. Pink Kitchen

Another one that we aren’t in a hurry to forget is the pink madness. The 1950s was a really terrific decade where everything had to be pink. Tiles, cabinets, toilets, fridges, sinks, and even home appliances. It was a terrible time. 

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We’re not going to deny how beautiful, pretty, chic, and elegant the color pink is. These days, pink is still in vogue but with more mature and artistic designs. These colors right here are conflicting, confusing, and a little too much.

7. Foil Wallpapers

Foil wallpapers are still in use today but in moderation. In a colorful room, this wallpaper would look good, especially when it’s not overused. But having this much foil wallpaper in a room is just too painful to look at.

Image courtesy of Instagram

It is too bright for a room like this. Also, the pattern looks a little absurd and incorrectly placed. A simple paint job would have sufficed and been much better than this wallpaper. How did the owner of this room let this happen?

8. Pastel Bathroom 

It’s okay to spice things up in your bathroom by trying various color combinations. However, in all honesty, sometimes they come out looking more horrible than before, which is why some things are best left the way they ought to be. 

Image courtesy of Instagram/@pastelbathroom

For instance, green, pink, and crème are just too much to look at, and we are glad this isn’t a trend anymore. Imagine being in a bathroom like this; it looks as though there are so many eyes on you.

9. Wicker Furniture 

Wickers became all the rage in the 80s and 90s, and everyone began to replace their old furniture with this new invention. Agreed, wicker furniture brings outdoor living indoors, is inexpensive, and resists harsh weather conditions, but it is still a no for us.

Image courtesy of Instagram

Although known for its ruggedness, it is frustrating when those pieces stick out at every angle. You are better off investing in a more durable and comfortable chair than wasting resources on making an uncomfortable basket like the one in the picture.

10. Vinyl Dining Table 

Vinyl dining sets first gained traction in the1950s before later going worldwide. Looking at it now, the only advantage we can think of is that they are easy to clean. In terms of decoration and aesthetics, the Vinyl dining set is as plain as they come.

Image courtesy of Facebook/@SpringStreetGallery

Although there are varieties of colors available for this furniture, it doesn’t take away the disadvantages. It’s rather unattractive, and no matter how you decide to style a vinyl dining table, they don’t last as long as chairs made of better leather, especially when used frequently.

11. Large Ruffles

This curtain style was quite popular in the 1980s. Back then, every household had one of these either on bedspreads, tablecloths, or any other fabric surface that was available. To create ruffles, the fabric is carefully collected, draped, and inflated into poofs. 

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These days, such amounts of fabric, humongous weight, and design can only be found in English palaces, five-star hotels, and pricey wedding halls where they fit perfectly. We can’t deny their beauty, but they shouldn’t be used in homes. It’s just too much going on.

12. Deep Shag Carpeting 

There aren’t many advantages to this material. A major disadvantage is that cleaning them is a whole chore on its own. Effective vacuuming is impossible, and cleaning it yourself still won’t get rid of the odors. It’s just a hassle from maintenance to usage. 

Image courtesy of Instagram

We doubt anyone would love to put themselves through hell just to own one of these. To what end? They don’t belong on your living room floor! The one benefit of shag carpet is that it could be used as flooring for your kid’s toys.

13. Sponge Painting 

Sponge painting gives an interesting texture to a surface and creates random patterns. It was popular during many different times, and it makes a wall look more dramatic and the appearance more appealing. However, we have had enough of those. 

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These days, this merely appears cheesy and very offensive. It is time-consuming and also expensive because you end up using way more paint than you’d have imagined. A better substitute is flat matte walls. Done with the old and embrace the new.

14. Inflatable Furniture 

Inflatable furniture became the next big thing in the 1990s. It’s like bringing your beach house wherever you go! However, unless you’re someone who isn’t bothered about how their house looks, this should not be in your house. Save it for camping!

Image courtesy of Instagram

It is a bright idea to add a bit of outdoor feel to your home but not with an item like this. If you already have inflatable furniture, save it for the kids. it might actually be a really enjoyable piece for kids to utilize.

15. Couch Covers

We still don’t understand why people do this thing. If you’re that worried about ruining your couch, it’s probably best to keep it in storage or not even own one in the first place. The purpose of a sofa is to be used. 

Image courtesy of Amazon

This means that couches are meant to be sat on comfortably without a plastic bag blocking your view of the fabric. It might seem as though using plastic covers won’t ruin your couch, but in the actual sense, it does more harm than good.

16. The Art Of Macrame

Macrame is a creative knotting technique that can be used to make a variety of items, including jewelry and other decorative items. It’s a great way to relax and, lately, we have been seeing a lot of people devoting time to it again. 

Image courtesy of Instagram/@Vintagemacrame

You can create beautiful art pieces for your home, especially wall hangers and plant containers. Although this craft is highly creative, it takes an awfully long time to complete just one project. Unless you’re buying them ready-made, it’s not worth the effort.

17. Gaudy Chandeliers

Gaudy chandeliers back in the day could be found in the home of almost every wealthy person. To this day, it is still used by the rich and in high-class locations. However, apart from it being very expensive, it is also excessive and overbearing.

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Unless you own a mansion and have the desire to show off your wealth, these chandeliers are not a necessity. It would be eerie and rather overzealous to adorn middle-class homes with extravagant chandeliers. Instead of making houses look fancy, they made them look smaller and eerie.

18. Brass And Gold Fixtures 

Brass and gold light fixtures definitely stuck around for a while. It was considered wealthy and extravagant to adorn homes with gold items. Gold signified affluence, and everybody wanted to look and feel rich. Hence, it transcended to light fixtures as well. 

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These items shouldn’t overshadow your other decor, such as paintings, vases, and furniture. We can’t describe how relieved we are those days are gone. Old light fixtures are now being painted black or white to serve as a neutral foundation for other designs.

19. Oak Cabinet 

We’re not here to totally condemn the oak. In fact, oak is one of the best woods available. But those oak cabinets really need a fresh coat of paint or varnish. There is no amount of decoration that can hide how old this looks. 

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Most people don’t mind rocking an oak kitchen cabinet because they simply lack the finances to do a total refurbishment. So if you don’t have money to splurge, you can always rock the oak look; it’s better and probably cheaper now.

20. Glass Block Walls 

Glass block walls were the real deal in the 90s. We are glad it is now out of style, and that’s a huge relief. This design was heavily misused in bathrooms, room dividers, living rooms, and even the exterior of some buildings. 

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The crazy part about these walls is that they’re not cheap, and if you’re thinking of decorating your bathrooms, then you should try something other than glass block walls. Apart from being great for heat control, we don’t really like these glass walls.

21. Seat Covers

People think having a fuzzy seat cover on their WC prevents them from germs on the seat. We are sorry to break this to you, but there’s actually no real evidence that toilet seat covers prevent illness and transmission of infectious diseases.

Image courtesy of Amazon

Honestly, except for the various cute colors they come in, these fuzzy seat covers are not very useful. We are glad they are outdated because they can be quite uncomfortable and unsanitary. Buying it would be just for the sake of buying something.

22. Silk Floral Arrangement

Nothing screams ancient like a vase of dusty silk flowers. This was the one item that was always present in every nook, shelf, corner, and coffee table in every home all throughout America. These silk flowers made us sick! (pun intended).   

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We are glad it’s over. These days, less is more, and keeping things modern and minimal is classy and the right thing to do. If you want floral decor at home, having one or two flower arrangements at strategic locations makes a room feel cheerier and more convenient.

23. Kitchen Ivy

Adding the cheapest, scraggiest strand of imitation ivy to the tops of your cupboards was once thought to be the best idea. They were simply placed there and completely forgotten for several years. The amount of dust it accumulates is not talked about enough. 

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The dust on this piece of rubbish is 95% of the reason for those allergies. You don’t have to rack your brain around it; kitchen ivy needs to be discarded if you still have them. If you must own a plant, buy a flower pot.

24. Safari Themed Everything 

For years, we have seen the zebra, giraffe, and leopard print take center stage in people’s homes as decorations. It became a trend, and we watched as many homes evolved into genuine safaris in Africa. Don’t get us wrong – we like prints, but they shouldn’t be excessive. 

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There are two types of individuals in the world: those who believe that less is more and those who believe that more is more. This fashion was for people who honestly believe that more is better, and you know what they say – more of anything is unhealthy.

25. Cherry Wood Furniture 

Well, oak furniture isn’t the only hardwood on our list. Cherry wood is also one of the many trends we are glad that ended in the early 2000s. Back in the 1990s, most people replaced every piece of furniture with cherry wood, and we still can’t understand why. 

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If you’re still holding onto these out-of-date items, now is the time to let them go. Out with the old and in with the new. If you have an attachment to your cherry wood furniture, then try to refurbish it and make it look more presentable.

26. Cat Statues

Don’t get us wrong; we love cats. They are adorable and intelligent pets, but these bizarre lifelike statues are where we draw the line. It is just too much. We really have no idea who invented these things, but they look unsettling, especially at night.

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If you ask us, it’s highly unnecessary. In all seriousness, if you truly adore cats and can’t be without them, then just purchase a real-life cat. We promise they are more fun and adorable than gazing at a statue all day. 

27. Egg Chairs

Egg chairs have been around for about half a century and were originally meant to replace the couch or the sofa (the thought of this makes us shiver.) They were first developed in 1958 by the famed designer Arne Jacobsen for Hotel Radisson SAS in Copenhagen.

Image courtesy of Flickr

Egg chairs provide a great level of comfort and support to your body. It also helps keep your muscles healthy. However, the design of this chair restricts movement. Plus, while the sofa and couch can sit multiple people, the egg chair can only sit one.

28. Patriotic Decorations 

It is okay to be patriotic, and it is okay to love your country, but that shouldn’t necessarily have an impact on your home decorations. Back in the day, people tended to overdo it by having several patriotic decorations in their homes, and to us, it’s a little absurd. 

Image courtesy of Flickr

The Fourth of July is America’s independence day, and it is perfectly normal to go all out to prove your loyalty. But frankly, just because you decorated your home with American colors doesn’t make you any more patriotic than those with normal decorations.

29. Bird Baths 

Bird baths, unlike the majority of the items on this list, are actually a necessity. Let’s be honest; this artificial puddle is a water-filled basin where birds may drink, bathe, and cool themselves. But these bird baths are not utilized for their primary function. 

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They end up not working the correct way, and people don’t even bother to take care of the birdbath. Just like this picture here with this disgusting stagnant water. If you can’t take care of this nice basin, then you shouldn’t have it in your home.

30. Optical Illusion Wallpaper 

Optical illusions were not the goal when these wallpapers were designed. The manufacturer probably intended to do something different from the norm, but nevertheless, their patterns still produced them. Unless you want your eyes to hurt when you enter the room, try not to use this wallpaper.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Gazing at it every day may cause eye strain, itchy eyes, watery eyes, headaches, blurred vision, sore neck, and light sensitivity – the list is endless. In addition to being physically draining, the process can also make your room feel even more confined.

31. The Wall Clock Fad

The wall clock fad peaked about twenty years ago. They were clocks everywhere, from large to small, in malls, shops, streets, and even homes. The annoying part is that these clocks were always so huge and made a lot of noise. 

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These days, just about 50% of people can still read an analog clock or even own a wall clock at home. Wall clocks are pointless because of the digital evolution of phones and wristwatches. Time is everywhere – on laptops and even on TV.

32. Floral Wallpaper 

Flowers are cute and a precious addition to a home, but a floral wallpaper simply shouts that you are ancient and way older than 60. Do you wish to have bees flying around your house? Because that is exactly how they are produced. 

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The real truth is that all wallpapers are totally unnecessary. Why bother with wallpapers when your nice coat of paint will serve a better purpose for you? These days it is easier to repaint than take out old wallpaper; they can be very stubborn after a long time.

33. Lamp Covering

Here is another trend we are glad is over. It was common practice to keep the plastic wrapping on lampshades to prevent fading and preserve their aesthetic appeal. We consider this absurd and totally unnecessary. Learn to use items you purchased. 

Image courtesy of EBay 

This is far worse than leaving price tags on clothing and shoes. The plastic covering can cause a fire hazard. After only a few hours of use, the heat from a bulb might set that plastic on fire. This decor was quite dangerous.

34. Indoor Fern 

Indoor plants can be amazing and enjoyable to maintain, but have you ever decided to look after a fern? Cleaning a fern is such a hassle. Ferns are susceptible to a few pests like mealy bugs and scales. No one wants bugs in their home. 

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It is important that you mimic their natural outdoor environment when you grow them in your home, which is not an easy feat. Choose one of the new trendy houseplants that come out every year, and give your ferns to your grandmother.

35. Gold Borders On Furniture 

As we said before, there’s this feeling when you have a splash of gold in your home. The 1920s was a period where Americans lived more in cities than on farms. This gave rise to massive, metal, unnecessarily ornate furniture like gold cushions.

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In this day and age, heavy gold furniture is downright spooky, if you get what we mean. Gold borders on furniture appear as if they belong in antique homes or palaces. So, apart from being investigated by cops, your home would be appealing to thieves.

36. Kitchen Appliance Cover

There are silly inventions and unintelligent inventions. This one falls into both categories. Why do we even have to bother covering tiny appliances when they can easily be stored on a counter? They are all unnecessary, whether quilted or crocheted.

Image courtesy of Walmart

These dirt traps have no business existing! Let equipment breathe, and for them to do so, they have to be left the way they are. If you are worried about your appliances getting dirty and you would rather conceal them, then put them in the cabinet.

37. Brass Cabinet Handles 

Everyone had this brass handle at one point and we are also guilty of it. It was trendy and one thing we know about trends is that people always love the rave of the moment. We are glad everyone is beginning to realize their errors.

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When you see these brass cabinet pulls, especially on oak cabinets, it indicates how old a kitchen or bathroom is. If you want a “rich” look for your cabinets, choose a better finish rather than yellow brass. Most people still use cabinets to this day but with quality handles.

38. Horrendous Carpet Colors 

Yes, the carpet is on this list again. They can really be comfortable and a nice addition to add beauty to your home. However, one carpet that is always unacceptable no matter how you style it or cut it, is a brown carpet.

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Brown carpet makes the appearance of a house look cheap. We have no idea why people would keep something like this in their houses, but it really existed. If you decide to install carpet in your home today, make sure it complements almost anything. 

39. Coat Racks Are Unnecessary 

We are sure everyone knows what the primary function of a coat rack is: to temporarily store coats. But most times, nobody ever uses them, except back in the day. You can easily keep the coat in your car or even on the couch. 

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No one genuinely needs coat racks, so why waste space on them? Install some hooks on your wall or anything if you must hang your coat on something as soon as you enter the room. In comparison to a disorganized coat rack, it is more orderly.

40. Tie-dye Furniture

Tie-dye was one of the craziest fashion trends available in the mid and late 1900s. The cities were swarming with this horrendous fabric everywhere. But one thing we know for sure is that tie-dye furniture was one trend that should have never taken off. 

The good news for the people was that no two pieces were alike. They were all uniquely ugly. Tie-dye looks cool on clothing, but whoever thought it would also be a great idea to make tie-dye furniture? The vibrant combination of colors is just too much.

41. Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceilings used to give a little flair, but today they rank among the most unpleasant features in a house. They are rough and bumpy, and their texture accumulates dirt, dust, and cobwebs, which makes them difficult to clean or maintain.

Image courtesy of Facebook 

However, that’s not all. Popcorn ceilings are constructed from highly crumbly materials, and even the slightest disturbance can release toxic asbestos dust into the air. This toxic asbestos dust can lead to serious health issues, such as chronic coughing, shortness of breath, and even asbestosis.

42. Tile Countertops 

Thankfully, granite countertops are the rage right now. They are beautiful and creative, create a lasting impression, and last a long time. Tile countertops, on the other hand, do not have that eye-catching feature and, most times, disappear into the background.

Image courtesy of Pinterest 

Furthermore, tile countertops do not actually last long because they end up getting chipped when hit with impact. With time chipped tiles develop into cracks, and some even fall off. We are just very glad that it’s over. Goodbye tile countertops.

43. Wack Carpet Colors 

Well, we know that each century has its own style. For the mid-20th century, it was all about carpets, different sizes, quality, shapes, and even colors. You couldn’t avoid its plush material anywhere you went. So it’s no surprise this ended up on our list.

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Don’t get us wrong; there’s nothing wrong with carpets. It just solely depends on the type of carpet in question. Wack carpet colors were in style, and for whatever reason, folks believed that having a green or red carpet would be a brilliant idea.

44. Too Much Blue 

In the 1980s, blue was the next best thing. Baby blue, to be precise. This color was used frequently in kitchens and other parts of the house. Undeniably, blue is actually a very cool and dreamy color, but everything has to be in moderation.

Image courtesy of Instagram/@bluekitchen

Just add a few figurines of roosters here and there, some “vintage” wooden cutouts, and dusty rose accents, and there you have it; a “country” appearance. When blue is overused, the whole idea behind it becomes ruined. No one wants to see blue until their eyes hurt.

45. Carpeted Walls 

Remember we mentioned how carpets were the next best thing in the 20th century? Well, they didn’t stop there. These carpets started to climb the walls. Probably whoever came up with this idea must have bought one that was too long and shaggy for the floor.

Image courtesy of Instagram

Although we can get the appeal of having everything nice and cuddly, it’s eerie to even imagine those thick monstrosities on the walls. It appears people who lived in this era couldn’t get enough of the carpet trend, but this goes a little too far.