There’s no way around it. What’s sleek and modern today will someday look dated. And while a handful of classic styles, designs, and decor will endure, it’s the trends that define an era for better or worse. Think color schemes of the 70s, the floral-free-for-all in the ‘80s, and power-clashing of the ‘90s.
We never fully know what’s trendy until we can look back after a little time and hindsight. With that, the designers at HYH Studio have compiled a list of the once ubiquitous, now cringe-inducing trends of recent decades.
Still seen in bathrooms, kitchens, and doctors’ offices around the country, glass block décor and accents scream 1990s. Although highly desirable back in the day, today it feels more like a window into the past—a blurry glass block window at that.
Over the years, architects have argued that glass block was commonly used to cover up a poorly designed walkway or corner. And we’re guessing there’s some truth to that.
A heads up, if you've lived beneath a popcorn ceiling, this one might be triggering (speaking from experience). If you’ve never lived beneath a popcorn ceiling, well, good for you. You dodged an ugly trend that we sincerely hope never returns.
Many homes built through the 1990s used the spray-on popcorn method because they were considered cost-effective (cheap) and easy to install. Also referred to as acoustic ceilings, these textured ceilings were intended to absorb sound and reduce noise, but today they're more of an ugly marker from years past.
And like the glass blocks above, some designers and architects claim this method was heavily used to cover up flaws.
This trend is one of those “sounds good in theory” ideas. The pros? Carpet is soft on your feet. It’s warm in the winter. It’s all-around cozy.
The cons, however, far outweigh the pros and it begins with cleanliness. We all know what bathrooms are for, so we don’t need to get into specifics. Let’s just say carpet puts you at a sizable disadvantage when it comes to keeping things clean. Plus, carpet’s a magnet for moisture and all that comes with it such as mold and mildew.
If Pinterest existed back in the day, the sponge wall phenomenon would have been all over it. A method as simple as dipping a damp sponge into wall paint then dabbing it across a room, this trend made everyone an artist—and things got scary from there.
Luckily this one is an easy fix if you happen to buy a home with “vintage” paint styles. Plus, the idea itself is great for kids to try on a smaller scale. Say, with sketch paper and a tiny sponge, not across a living room.
Granite is a beautiful, 100% natural stone that’s cut down and polished to highlight its beauty. No two pieces are alike. For that, we appreciate granite and its unique capabilities. However, the early 2000s were a time when the loudest, busiest pieces were the most sought after. Which means in today’s minimalist, white kitchens, the granite of yore can be dizzying.
Still in the homes and hearts of many, granite countertops of the louder variety remain common. However, when and if the time is right to make updates, you've got options for applying paint and stain to mellow things out.