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30 Classic Home Decor Trends That Make Us Cringe Today

Bad Paneling

It is unclear when bad paneling began, although it certainly flourished in the 1970s. The ugliest paneling had exaggerated wood grain and fake wood knots. There was also "knotty pine" furniture if having it on the walls of the den wasn't enough.

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Patterned Linoleum

Linoleum itself isn’t the worst flooring choice you can make if you need to save money. The patterned versions, however, are the stuff of home decorators' nightmares!

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Sponge Painting

Many different decades saw their own version of sponge painting, whether it was for texture or to create a multi-colored look. Today, this just looks cheap and tacky. Flat, matte walls are a much better option.

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Pastel Bathrooms

Nothing is wrong with having pastel colors in a bathroom, but feeling like you're in Barbie's Dream House is just too much. In the 1950s, bathrooms were decked out floor-to-ceiling in pink, powder blue, or mint green paint and tiles. We can thank Mamie Eisenhower for introducing pink to American consciousness. When she wore a pink gown to the inauguration ball, the public was hooked and immediately took to her favorite color combination: green, pink, and creme. Thus, the stereotypical 50s bathroom was born.

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Wicker Furniture

Wicker was super prevalent in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Also known as rattan, this material doesn't last a long time. It was great for dorm rooms and first apartments, but now, it’s time to phase it out. It's time for something a little more permanent, so you aren't just wasting money.

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Fuzzy Toilet Seat Covers

Ah, fuzzy toilet seat covers and U-shaped rugs. You’re the reason there was so much mold in my bathroom growing up. You may be cute to a little kid, but adults know you’re a home décor faux pas.

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Deep Shag Carpeting

Does anyone really want their floor to look like a Muppet? The only thing good about shag carpet was that it made an epic jungle for army men.

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Green and Gold Appliances

This wasn't pretty green and gold. This was, "Let's see if we can make people throw up" green and gold. Whole kitchens were apparently not sufficient enough to "show off" these horrid hues. Bathtubs, shag carpet, and phones were also victims.

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Swinging Egg Chairs

Originally Danish high design, egg chairs are a modern classic. By the 1960s, they made people look as if they were actually in an egg. 

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Glass Block Walls

Glass block walls began in the ‘30s, but it didn’t really become a “thing” until the ‘80s. By this time, tens of thousands of homes had this cringy design. It’s phased out now, thank goodness, but some homes still linger with this horrible design choice. 

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Water Beds

Though impractically big and clunky, waterbeds became popular after being patented in 1971. Their sexy image was perfect for would-be ladies men. Mood lighting and a velvet bedspread completed the look. Since their heyday, they've (thankfully) digressed to being campy and cheesy.

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Country Blue and Geese

The 1980s saw a muted blue and geese motif added to kitchens and other rooms of the house. Wooden cut-outs, dusty rose, and knickknacks all added to the "country" look. 

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Pink Everything

The ‘50s brought on the pink-pocalypse. The kitchen and the bathroom were the main victims of this pink overload. The cabinets, the fridge, the toilet, the sink—it didn’t matter. All of it was pink.

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Big Ruffles

Though this is mainly a 1980s curtain trend, it also appeared in bedspreads and table cloths. Fabric was tightly gathered, draped, and ballooned into billowy poofs, all in an attempt to resemble Princess Diana's wedding dress.

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Foil Wallpaper

On an accent wall, this type of wallpaper can really make a room pop! On all four walls, however, this wallpaper reflects too much light. It’s just plain painful.

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Inflatable Furniture

The 90s brought us inflatable furniture. If you decide to follow this trend, your home will end up looking like a frat house on a budget. If you must use this furniture somewhere, save it for camping.

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Vinyl Dining Tables

When the space-age theme took over, vinyl dining sets became incredibly popular. This cringy trend started to take hold in the ‘50s. They were easy to clean but had few benefits compared to the cons.

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Carpeted Walls

Not content with being long and shaggy, 1970s carpet began to climb the walls in a horror movie fashion. It seemed to be popular in family rooms or dens, but no room was safe. 

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Beaded Curtains

The United States in the 1960s was influenced by Asian culture. Unfortunately, we distorted that influence into something no one ever wants to see in a house again.

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Chunky, Gold Furniture

The glamour of the 1920s brought the world chunky, metal, overly fancy furniture. Today, it’s just plain creepy.

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Plastic Furniture Covers

Almost every 90s sitcom had a grandmother’s house with plastic furniture covers. If you’re that paranoid about your couch getting ruined, it should probably be preserved in storage.

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Macrame

The lost art of knotting cords of various materials is known as macrame. The quintessential examples in homes were wall hangings and plant holders. Their abundance certainly supplied garage sales throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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Optical Illusion Wallpaper

These wallpapers weren’t made with optical illusion in mind, but their patterns created them anyway. Unless you want your guests’ eyes to hurt when they walk in a room, avoid this dated trend.

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Overzealous Chandeliers

The 20s was the decade of glamour. This meant even middle-class families tried to fill their homes with over-the-top chandeliers. They simply made homes look smaller and creepier, rather than fancier. 

 

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Crazy Carpet Colors

This is another one that’s left over from the ‘60s and ‘70s. For some reason, people thought it was a great idea to have green or red carpet. In today's day and age, it looks incredibly tacky.

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Brass and Gold Light Fixtures

Brass and gold really hung around for a while as furniture, wallpaper, and even light fixtures. Today, it just makes us cringe. Nowadays, people are painting their old light fixtures black or white.

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Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings may have added a little pizzazz back in the day, but now they’re one of the most annoying things in a home. This trend is left over from the ‘70s and ‘80s, a time when textured ceilings were incredibly popular.

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Tile Countertops

Grout is the last thing you want on your countertops. It’s difficult to clean, easy to stain, and can wear down pretty quickly unless it’s done correctly. This trend got particularly popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but now it’s all about granite countertops. 

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Ditsy Florals

Ditsy florals were a thing for quite a while, but this trend became incredibly popular during the ‘60s and ‘70s. This design screamed “flower power,” but it’s one that makes interior decorators cringe to this day. 

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Tie-Dye Furniture

What wasn’t tie-dye in the ‘60s and ‘70s? Tie-dye furniture was one thing that never should have caught on. At least no two pieces looked alike, so people had that going for them. Each one was uniquely ugly. 

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