Let’s play a game. Bunny slippers, long cigarette holders, poodle skirts, and the Ford Edsel. What do these seemingly unrelated things have in common? Style?
Give up? All were championed as cutting edge in publications such as Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Car and Driver. They appeared on the scene, made a splash, and faded into obscurity. Some of them (poodle skirts and bunny slippers) became too popular. If everyone had them how could they be cool? Long cigarette holders fell out of style because they weren’t practical (and fewer people smoke now than ever before). The Edsel was just a colossal corporate mistake.
Fashions and styles come and go. What is trendy on Monday is trite on Friday.
So it is with home decor. Here are some examples of home decor that might have put you in House Beautiful back in the day. Today? Not so much.
Avocado Green and Harvest Gold: Just the words make your skin crawl. Psychologists tell us that these muted colors were supposed to be calming during a time of great tumult. What was so tumultuous? The Vietnam War and Watergate were what was up back then. One hopes these colors won’t be in our future.
Too Much Granite, Janet! Kitchens covered in granite were seen as a sign of solidity and wealth. Now, they seem little more than dark and uninteresting.
Tuscan Kitchens: Around the time “Under the Tuscan Sun” came out Italy became the be-all and end-all. Much like the granite kitchen, though, the dark Italian workspace has given way to lighter alternatives.
Abundant Pine: Gildshire Magazines likes a pine accent as much as the next publication. Too much pine makes every room in the house resemble a Montana hunting lodge. That’s wonderful…if you live in Butte.
Dusty Pastels: In 1982 every bedroom in every house had dusty pastels as a decor theme. They looked somehow whimsical in a Jane Austen sort of way. Now they make a room look not quite clean. More Lady Macbeth than Madame Bovary.
Plastic Fruit: This one is a head scratcher. I suppose plastic fruit was a kitschy kind of attention-getter. Look! The same peach that was there two years ago is still there! Is this a time-warp? Plastic pears did, however make good basketballs for shooting into lampshades.
Plaid: Remember plaid bedspreads beside plaid wallpaper. Remember the movie “Vertigo?” *Shudder*
Outdoor Furniture Indoors: Your wicker furniture will forever have a stylish place beside the fire pit a few feet from the lawn. It is, however, unlikely that it will ever again look right in your living room. Those days have mercifully passed us by.
Ferns as far as the Eye can See: Bright, cheery, and a good source of room oxygen. Yep, that’s the humble fern. However, when there are at least two (and as many as five) in each room visitors may feel like they fell asleep at home and woke up in the Amazon rainforest. All things in moderation. Even when it comes to Ferngully.
Lace Tablecloths and Doilies: Fussy, thy name is lace! Your great grandmother put lace doilies on every piece of furniture for protection. She put lace over every tablecloth for accent. She put lace over throw pillows because the pillow itself wasn’t enough of a decorating accent to stand on its own. In my nightmares, I am overwhelmed by the Lace Army wrapping its delicate coils around my head.
Popcorn Ceilings: This was a great idea initially especially if you included a few well-placed sparkles. There is one essential truism at play, however. If it can’t be cleaned it has no place in your home. Anyone who has ever had a tablespoon of ceiling stucco fall into their eye is agreeing with me right now.
Hollywood Mirror Lights: Ten bulbs, all of which burn out at a different time. That’s one problem. You under glaring light at 6 a.m. That’s another problem. Oh, you’re a star, but a more beautiful one without pillow marks and drool paths across your cheek.