Kitchen Decorating Trends Throughout the Decades


While the US was embroiled in World War II, the intense patriotism of the first half of the 1940s was reflected in decorating trends. Red, white, and blue were featured prominently in many homes. However, war was not a time for excess. While goods were being rationed, homeowners stuck to simple, sparse design. After the war ended, a booming economy ushered in a design era that prized sophistication. Dark, rich colors like brown and black were paired with modern design and materials. Linoleum floors also became a household fixture in the 1940s.


After World War II, many Americans were optimistic about the future, which was reflected in the cheerful pastel color palette used in many homes. Pastels adorned cars, countertops, and walls, but nowhere was pastel more ubiquitous than the bathroom. The pink bathrooms of the 1950s were a hallmark of the decade’s decorating trends. While some enthusiasts adore the pink bathrooms, many homeowners decry the overwhelming style—pink tile, pink tubs, pink walls, and pink toilets don’t fit well with most modern decorating trends. Do you have a pink bathroom you’re dying to fix up? Better give Refinish First a call!


The tumultuous upheaval of the 1960s seeped into every aspect of life, including home design. The psychedelic movement inspired the use of shag carpet, tie-dye and vivid paisley patterns in home décor while the space race inspired modern, space-age appliances and accessories. But not everyone embraced peace, love, and tie-dye; like any decade, the ‘60s were a study in contrast. Just as beehive hairdos and flowing locks adorned with flowers were both popular, psychedelia existed alongside late mid-century modern style.


In the 1970s, convenience became standard as microwaves and appliances grew more affordable. And with appliances available in many colors, home décor knew no bounds. Who could forget the orange, avocado and harvest gold appliances that perfectly matched the Formica countertops? These countertops, which remain in many homes today have become an eyesore to their new owners, who don’t appreciate the aesthetic of the 1970s quite as much as the original home builders. Do you have a countertop in any of these characteristic colors? Time for Refinish First to refinish it!


The 1980s brought us a booming economy, MTV, and Miami Vice. Excess was in—frills, floral patterns, and plenty of color. The earth tones of the 1970s gave way to primaries and neons. Designers paired hunter green and burgundy in bathrooms, and homeowners put up foil wallpaper. Geometric shapes added an extra punch to the bright colors. The ‘80s also brought us wood paneling, popcorn ceilings, and laminate flooring. Plenty of homes still retain vestiges of ‘80s design, much to the annoyance of homeowners.


The 1990s ushered in a new era of technological innovation—the Internet started making its way into homes and Americans began to carve a new life around it. Rooms showcased computer desks and entertainment centers. This new online era was characterized by stark, modern design. Blinds began to replace curtains and shiny metal fixtures adorned sinks and cupboards. Brass is a hallmark of the ‘90s and the bane of both of homebuyers and realtors. While the ‘90s don’t seem long ago, the decorating styles are dated. Replace that ‘90s brass with brushed nickel or steel and to really revamp your house, refinish those ‘70s countertops with Refinish First.


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