40 Outdated Home Trends. But, Are They All Passé?

Last summer, my nemesis (but not really);] Elle Decor, wrote a post about 40 Outdated Home Trends.

(please open up the ED post in another tab to refer back to)


And, they’re hoping they never come back. These are trends dating back to the 70s (actually, some to the 60s) through the early 2000s.


I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to go over all 40 (I know) of them to see if:


  1. these home decorating trends ARE really outdated?
  2. And, if so, should they stay away?


Of course, you can chime in your thoughts. But, maybe keep it to at most a handful.

And, please be nice! In other words, please disagree in a way that if someone said it to you, it wouldn’t make you feel badly. This is for the 1%; most of you are beyond nice!


Certainly, 40 outdated home trends is an ambitious number.


Some of these I’ve gone into more detail than others.  And, there are many of outdated interior decor trends that I’m in complete agreement with. However, some of these are not passe, IMO. And, some are. And, the majority, I agree, should not come back.


Let’s begin


1) Tile Countertops


Oh yeah. I concur! Anyone who has them will say that they are a bitch to keep clean. Of course, they are! So, is the only solution an entire redo? Not necessarily. I actually found a very helpful article here that gives several solutions. However, it appears that Lazy Granite is out of business.  This is another helpful article about countertop overlays made from granite and other stone products.


2) Shag Carpeting


Agreed. Shag carpeting was big in the 60s and 70s. And, it made something of a come-back with the boho (bohemian) trend I associate with a young, trendy aesthetic. I wouldn’t call it a mainstream trend. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a trend that can stay away.


3) Wood Paneling

Well, there’s wood paneling that’s the vertical stained stuff.


paint wood paneling Federal Style Home living room - Alexandrian, VA


And then there’s the cool kind like this lovely home has. (Although, I’d probably paint that too) The vertical stained paneling that was prevalent in homes built in the 60s and 70s. Ugh. Some of the old wood paneling isn’t even real wood. And, some of it is real wood, but with ridiculously heavy knots. I have worked in several homes that had this stuff.


In every case, we did not remove it. We painted it. And painted, it looks fabulous. That’s my recommendation.


painted paneled room

This isn’t the vertical paneling, but the look is the same with everything being painted one color. We either painted the paneling a white, cream or often a light khaki shade like Benjamin Moore Richmond Gray – hc 96, one of the Laurel Home Paint Collection colors.

But, you could do any of the lighter shades in the Laurel Home grouping of khaki and warm beige. Just so you know; I do not have any “pinky beige” in my paint collection because I feel that the world is saturated quite enough with barf colored walls and furnishings, as it is.


And, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a good, warm, not pink beige.


There are several taupe shades, however, in the Laurel Home Paint/Palette Collection. But taupe has far more gray and sometimes a whisper of lavender which is lovely on a wall.


However, if you do have pinky beige tile, (or something that can’t be changed easily) I do have one white in the laurel home paint collection that looks fabulous with it. (without being pink!)


If there are heavy knots in the paneling, then I might look into minimizing them. I don’t know if this is a DIY job or not. But, perhaps some wood filler and a little sanding will do the trick.


before dark paneling office - dated interior design trends

There is a wonderful example of this type of wood paneling makeover in this post featuring the lovely home of Sarah Wagner. Above, is the before. And, if you click on the link, you’ll see the fabulous after.

For more of Sarah’s gorgeous home, please check out this post. She’s very talented.  Sarah also has her own beautiful website now, Sarita and Gail.


4)  Linoleum Floors


Mostly agree. However, if you’re doing a retro style kitchen, I think that linoleum floors would be great.


Eclectic mystic home - linoleum kitchen floor - best kitchen floor - Apartment Therapy photo - Bethany NauertVia Apartment Therapy – photo – Bethany Nauert


5)  Terrazzo

Are they forking kidding me? In fact, I saw this earlier which spawned this post which talks about the ages old and fabulous terrazzo flooring.


Oh, and haha! That post was about 17 outdated home trends as so stated on a different website. So, great. That might save me some time as I imagine there will be some overlap.


6) Tiffany Lamps


Okay. I know that there are a number of you who love these stained glass lamps and chandeliers. And, indeed, I remember when I was about 13, I adored what I thought were “Tiffany” lamps and even owned one. Of course, back then, I had no clue that it was a totall fake Tiffany Lamp.

I’ve seen the real ones at the Metropolitan Museum. And, they are indeed works of art.

The issue is that Tiffany lamps are difficult to work with most decorating styles except for some Victorian and/or Arts and Crafts homes. But, that is when they were originally created. They belong in dark, heavily paneled homes. Lots of stained wood. Otherwise, I feel they look sorely out-of-place. And, the fake ones are pure granny, IMO.


7) Millennial Pink



India Hicks


Oh, hogwash! If India Hicks can paint her living room pink, who am I to say it’s outdated?


And, for Pete’s sake. Can we stop beating up on those darling Millennials? They’ve gotten such a bad rap and I for one would like it to stop.

As for the color pink; it’s fabulous. And I’ve devoted two posts to this color. rethinking pink tell me what you think and how to work with the color pink, it’s not just for millenials I even created a pink Christmas tree page!


8) Word Art


Yes, please. Make them all go away. And, stay away! We’ve talked about that one before, as well.


9) Futons


Indeed! I’m sure that there are folks out there who still enjoy sleeping on a piece of bedrock; but, I never took to the notion. And, when I was pregnant with this bruiser, it became impossible. So, off it went.


10) Fast Furniture


Hmmm… Well, they all but spelled it out. I.K.E.A. But, basically their def of “fast furniture” is cheap furniture that’s considered a “throw away.”  However, some people can’t afford anything else. And yes, there are alternatives such as thrift shops and tag sales, etc.

But, just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it won’t last.

In fact, IF you really want a piece of furniture to fall apart, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have it for the rest of your life! haha! Isn’t that the way it works?

Besides, I think the room they used is pretty darned cool!


outdated-decor-trends-via Elle Decor - via Getty ImagesImage via Elle Decor/Getty Images

Love the old rug, too!


However, I do agree with this statement from their post:


Recycling and reusing existing decor allows you to reduce waste and also collect pieces that are special and have their own story.


So, here’s the deal. I just spent 90 minutes looking for that freaking table. It’s freaking because I couldn’t find it. But, I do like it.

IT DOES NOT EXIST. (although, I’m sure it did at one point)

So, if you find one. Guess what? It’ll be a vintage aka: recycled table! Problem solved.



OR, you could make your own.


I said, “you;” not me. ;] This one isn’t white. However, you could definitely modify it and paint it white. And, I like the video. The guy isn’t trying too hard to sound like something he’s not. Ya know? But, his explanations are clear and easy to follow.

That’s genius!

blacks-hdx-casters-30260 home depot - DIY coffee table

home depot 4″ casters


However, I would use larger casters, than he did, like these 4″ casters above. He used 3″ casters which I think are a little small for that big, handsome coffee table.


11) Nautical Motifs


Oh, yeah… Really, I would be careful with any kind of “theme.” If so, it should be exceedingly subtle. Just doing a room in blue and white with a little shiplap and it’s ALREADY inherently nautical.


12) Edison Bulbs (please see this other post for my thoughts about them)


13) Tufted Headboards


I don’t have a problem with tufted headboards unless they’re too puffy and bloated.


14) Tuscan Kitchens

Haha. We’ve certainly been through this one. What has been given the designation of “Tuscan” is about as similar to the true Tuscan style as an elephant is to an ant.


15) Damask

Easton Neston Main Parlor. brown damask wallpaper


What??? NEVER!!! Damask has been around for centuries. And, it is not a “trend.” It’s not over and it never will be. Therefore, it can’t possibly be one of the outdated home trends either. Above is the glorious living room of Easton Neston decorated by Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill. You may recall that we saw the exterior here, in a photo that I took during my trip to England nearly two years ago!


16) Wallpaper Borders

I have to concur, however, with fairly rare exception. The exception would be a super-well done trompe l’oeil or other sophisticated or whimsical design. But, these are high-end European papers; not the usual poorly rendered floral vine in equally insipid colors.


Cole & Sons Wallpaper - Ardemore border

Ardemore wallpaper border sold at Decorator’s Best from Cole & Son


Cole & Son has some lovely borders. It takes a skilled designer to do this so it doesn’t look hokey.


17) Matching Window Valances


outdated home trends - original source unknown - via Elle Decor


I’m not sure I understand this. Of course, the valances should match the draperies. I guess they mean valances which match the drapery and the drapes match the furniture. The room they are showing is lovely. I would, however, like to see more white. I would’ve done a white coffee table. And, a rug in the seating area. Maybe seagrass.

In any case, this is kind of a non-issue, for me. Or, maybe they needed a better example of their point.

I do agree, however, that frou frou valances and heavy, every-hair-in-place swags are not classical


18) Mason Jars


Okay. Sure, anything done in excess can be too much of a good thing. But, I think that mason jars are classic and if you have a collection of antique mason jars, I think that would be pretty cool! And, I’m fine for using them to store other items.


19) Wicker Furniture


Their advice is to get a bright sofa, instead.

Does that even make sense? You’re supposed to replace a wicker accent chair with a bright sofa?

But, even so, tell that to the likes of Bunny Williams, John Rosselli, Furlow Gatewood, John Saladino, Vicente Wolf, Ralph Lauren…

And Mark D Sikes who wrote this wonderful post hi-lighting how fabulous wicker is, in interiors.

I could go on and on…

In addition, I’ve often used wicker in my interiors. I had a mix of wood and wicker chairs in my old dining room.


20) Dusty Pastels


Yes, definitely passé in the dated room Elle Decor presented. That’s because it’s also fussy and one-note. AKA: classic “granny.” But, give it some heft with some black, white, gold and rich brown. If so, those “dusty pastels” would be lovely. Just please not too many different ones in one room.

home decor trends - Manuel-Rodriquez-photo-dransfield-and-ross-one_kings_lane_lavender

This is a better example of a dusty violet looking beautiful in this living room. Source unknown.



We’re halfway there! Don’t poop out on me now! If I can write this, you can read it! haha And, some of the best worst and most obvious outdated home trends are coming up.


21) Hollywood Lights


I’m not sure I knew that they were a trend. Maybe in the 60s-70s. But, I think they’re long-gone. They say 90s. Okay. I agree. Those lights suck. Certainly for a residential bathroom.


22) Avocado Green & Harvest Gold


Moot point. haha. NOBODY will ever do this ever again and hasn’t for at least 30 years, or more! Therefore, I daresay that one of the worst interior design decorating trends in all recorded history is dead and buried.

I mean, everyone knows this is what happens when people do LSD and ludes and then go to their 9-5 designing kitchen appliances.


“Hey man. coooooooool green. Looks psycho-delic with that gold, too.  Groovy. Do you have a joint? Everything is sooooo beautiful… Let’s throw in some Brady Bunch orange while we’re at it. Peace out, bro.”


Please, please stay away from that stuff!


23) Granite Overload


Oh Yeah. That one I definitely concur with as pointed out here.


24) Ferns Everywhere


Their example isn’t very good because there is one beautiful green fern which is about the nicest most interesting, refreshing thing in that room. However, yes, I agree. Plant overload can be a bit much, unless you’re this amazingly talented woman (at the end of the post).


25) Plaid


Okay. The photo they’re using is depicting a bloody ugly plaid wall covering in a putrid mauve colorway with a matching (can’t get too much of a bad thing, I guess) mauve bedspread.

The anti-chic, for sure.

However, are ALL plaids created equally?

Absolutely not.


Scot Meacham Wood Design - color scheme - Benjamin Moore Gentleman's Gray - interior color scheme - Chest-photography by Thayer Allison Gowdy for House Beautiful


Apparently, they have not seen the work of the brilliant designer, Scot Meacham Wood.

Shame on them. I could write an entire post on the beauty of plaid.

Plaid is as timeless and classic as can be.

You don’t have to ask SMW either. Ask any Scotsman. They’ll set ye straight.


26) Pine Furniture


Well, yes admittedly, that scrubbed pine of the 80s – 90s certainly went beyond its saturation point. But then, so has cerused wood. Right? And you may notice that it’s not going anywhere.


But, come back in another 15 or 20 years.

We’ll see.

Of course, there’s pine and there’s PINE!!!


Antique English Pine Wood Highboy Chest - timeless decorating trends

For instance, this stunning antique English pine highboy I found at One King’s Lane Vintage. Click here for your promo code give you 20% off all vintage pieces at OKL!


27) Avocado Green Fridge


Well, I guess we haven’t beaten that dead horse enough? lol However, the fridge they are showing is quite cool and retro looking. And, sorry, but it’s not Avo green.


Below is Avocado Green.


outdated home trends - classic 70s hideous kitchen - featuring - avocado green fridge - oven - orange cabinets


However, this way cool kitchen below with a retro-style fridge from Big Chill similar to the ED example is MINT green.


via Remodelista - Megan-Garrett-green-fridge - first seen on Design sponge classic retro styleImage originally via Designsponge but found on Remodelista


Can you see the difference?


Hope so! Of course, the styling is different and the orange cabinets just make the avo green fridge, all the more hideous.

***BTW, you must, must, must check out the instagram account (@mylifeeclectic) of the woman who owns this kitchen, Megan Garrett . She has the coolest beautifully decorated Spanish-style house in L.A. And, wow is all I can say. It’s so well-done. And totally accessible. I think that y’all are going to like it. I can’t believe she only has 1,110 followers. That’s just not right.

PLUS, she has the most interesting BLACK FRAMED windows. And here, we can see another example of where they are absolutely perfect!


28) Vertical Blinds


hahahahahaha! Blight on humanity.


29) Bean Bag Chair


Awwww… I was breast fed bean bag chairs! That’s not fair. I mean, I don’t especially like them. But, it’s fine if you do and they’re jolly good for a play room, rec room or basement.


30) Giant Silk Plants


There are situations where I’ve actually thought that the real plants were fake. And, I’ve been fooled by fake plants, as well. However, it is fine to hate them. However, yes, there is nothing worse than a fake looking plant. Of course, their beef is with GIANT silk plants.

What I have an aversion to is GIANT plastic “water.” lol

I can’t believe we’re talking about this. ;]


31) Sponge Walls


You know… I will never forget the time a friend of ours invited half a dozen of her friends and my wasband and I were two of the friends to a painting party. Yeah, sponge paint. But, that was the 80s. I have to say that I’m hoping that trend doesn’t return.


32) Glass Blocks

Not a fan. At least not in residential settings. I think that’s in the other post. I recall getting a little flack for that one. But, most of the time, I feel like I’m sitting behind an igloo.


33) Popcorn Ceiling


Who in their right mind actually LIKES popcorn ceilings? If you’re in your wrong mind and you like them… Well, that’s a different matter.


34) Ruffled Bedskirts


Again, there are good ruffles and bad ruffles. The latter are polyester royal blue or some other bad bedroom color, ruffled bedskirts. However, a wonderful linen that’s gathered. Please check out the hot sales bed and bath page for some pretty bedskirts.

Their image has a double tier lace-y thing. And it looks like a girl’s room. It’s had its day. And, I don’t think it’s coming back either.


35) Fake Fruit

Seriously, plastic fake fruit is disgusting. That’s a home decor trend that can safely leave the earth. But I actually got these acrylic mini pears at some big box store a few Christmases ago. And I love them. They really do look real.


36) Heavy Headboards


What they are showing is a heavy brown bed. The design here, is a little funky. But, I’m actually having more of an issue with the footboard with those things all set to impale someone. This bed would look a lot better if the room were balanced. For instance, a dark blue wall would make the bed not appear as heavy. Food for thought. Sometimes we blame the furniture but it’s not really the problem.


37) Floral Everything

Well, their room is not my taste, but I’ve seen a lot worse. For folks who do the floral thing and make it fun,

home decor trends via One Kings Lane Madcap Home Tour_Turquoise interior mahogany china cabinet - Granny chic decor


please check out Madcap Cottage. And true. I realize that this look isn’t for everyone.


38) Lace Tablecloths


It’s a tough sell for me too. There are some exceptions, perhaps. And, if you have your grandmother’s lace table cloth, just forget I said anything at all. :]


39) Lace Doilies


Same. But, if you have antique doilies and the right kind of house, I’m fine. But, it needs to be an old Victorian. And, maybe just a couple. I know that you inherited them from your granny. That’s different.


40) Window Valances

Well, this room they’re showing is pretty horrible. In the first few years of my business, back in the 90’s I did for two clients, some tailored valances. It wasn’t my preference, but it was just two windows. They wanted something and didn’t have the budget for more.

Yes, it was more common-place to do valances alone. Still, most of the time, I think it now looks dated. So, yes, I’d concur there. Instead, I would do Roman shades. And, please, no fake Roman shades if you can help it.

Oh, wow, we did it! I hope you enjoyed reading about these home decor trends. And, I just passed 3,000 words. One of the longest posts ever.


Update on my mom.


Thank you again for all of your kind messages and support regarding my mom. She had two good days last weekend, but come Sunday, began her descent again with renewed fervor. Her hospice caregivers are amazing! I don’t want to go into any details. It’s not pretty. But, they are keeping her comfortable.

Much love,



PS: Please check out the newly update hot sales!


Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

New Edition, November 2023! Get The Indispensable Guide For 100s of Home Furnishings And Interior Design Sources That Everyone Is Raving About

laurels-rolodex-final-book-cover-master 10th edition 23-24

laurel home archives


Please click the image below for more info about my rockin’ Interior Design Guides for 2024!

Laurel Home Interior Design Guides 2024
Amazon ad

please click below to check out my favorite decorating & design books

Laurel Bern's Favorite Interior Design and Decorating Books
Subscribe To The Laurel Home Blog And You Will Receive A FREE Guide Where I Share How To Get Your Paint Colors Right, The First Time.