How British living rooms have transformed through the decades

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2020

Designs and trends are constantly evolving. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in our homes and as they continue to shift and adapt, more people are looking for ways to change improve their own living space.

To celebrate nearly 60 years of trading, Habitat has highlighted some standout trends from the past 60 years to follow when looking for inspiration to decorate a living room space.

  • 1960s - The 60s saw the birth of the flatpack living room and brought a European style to interior design. Designers started to experiment with new materials such as plastics and combined more vibrant colours with new shapes and styles. The bright colour palettes that defined the decade continued to influence British interiors for years to come.
  • 1970s - During the 70s, designers experimented with bolder colours and exciting new shapes. Prints and patterns were dominant throughout, with floral motifs and audacious colours being some of the defining features of the decade.
  • 1980s - Inspired by preppy styles and lively colours, striking statement pieces continued from the 70s into the 80s. Designs in the 80s were unashamedly flamboyant in their patterns, while striking primary colours made it one of the most colourful decades.
  • 1990s – After years of adventurous colours and patterns, minimalist designs started to take prominence in the 90s. Vibrant colour palettes began to settle and return to more muted styles. Wood and wicker were popular materials amongst the 90s home design trends. Orange-stained oak, blonde pine colours and wicker made their way indoors, bringing natural elements and colours inside.
  • 2000s - With a new century came new designs. People began to feature futuristic and modern pieces in their homes. Times were evolving, along with interior trends to match this new era. After the minimalism transition during the 90s, brighter and bolder statements were back on the rise, mixing modern products from multiple brands with antiques.
  • 2010s - Modern styles were evolving, and the popularity of having white and nude coloured walls shone a spotlight on the furniture and accessories. Two key focuses of the 10s were making the most out of limited space and decluttering any excess possessions while adding storage furniture to avoid mess within the home.
  • 2020s - In 2020 and beyond, people will likely embrace segmented rooms and create a space that feels engaging for one purpose and separate from the rest of the home. More modular and small space opportunities are rising, with a biophilic and eco-friendly approach to interior design.

Kate Butler, Head of Design for Habitat said: “At Habitat, we encourage people to express themselves through their own homes and to adapt to old and new interior influences in a way fitting to them.

"As interior design trends continue to change and inspire, more people are becoming braver with interior design and looking for ways to decorate their homes that express their own personality and create their own ‘safe space’ from the outside world. With more of us spending more time at home now than ever before, now is an opportunity to create that perfect environment, bringing together elements of design that make you smile and feel good.

"It could be something as simple as decluttering your space, adding a splash of colour with a decorative rug, investing in a new statement sofa, or incorporating natural elements into your home. Surrounding yourself with mood-enhancing colour schemes and bespoke furnishing pieces can make a huge difference to your space.”

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