Colours through the decades

There's no denying how much our homes have changed over the last 50 years. The way we utilise the space, the furniture styles we choose and the colours we prefer.

Pantone set their colour of the year, and whether you choose to follow these trends, there's no denying that over time they do appear. Politics, the economy, technology, music and fashion are all affecting the colours that we prefer for our homes.


What you were listening to... Elvis Presley, Doris Day, Nat King Cole.

There was a post war economic boom, NASA was founded and homes were getting smaller.

Homes were filled with happiness, well looked after, and families had the money to fill their homes with more and more furniture. Open plan living spaces were hugely popular, fitted kitchens were a must have, and the ironing board was invented.

Colour was a huge focus for all 1950's homes. The brighter the better. It was the era for over the top ice cream shades. Get the look with bubblegum pink, baby blue and pistachio green, mixed with bold patterns and kitsch accessories.


What you were listening to... The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

Man landed on the moon, the first episode of Star Trek aired and Rolling Stone publish their first magazine.

The swinging 60's were a time of change, peace, love and wonderful patterns. Pop art was everywhere and psychedelic and paisley patterns were splashed across walls in homes across the country.

The colours of the decade were bright and bold. Acid orange and neon pink were the two biggest colours of the decade. Get the look by clashing colours and mixing in black and white.


What you were listening to... ABBA, Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac.

The Beatles split, Microsoft was created and the 70's became known as 'the decade that taste forgot'.

Bold graphics got even bolder but colours became more muted. A palette of rust, brown, burnt orange and earthy greens were seen in every home. This was the decade of the avocado bathroom! How could we ever forget that?


What you were listening to... Madonna, David Bowie and Wham.

The 80's was a time of an economic boom, big hair and even bigger mobile phones.

Brash and bright colours were back in full force. They were the years of excess and making a statement by going over the top with interiors. Wall to wall paper was common in most homes and geometric pattern we're big news.

It wasn't uncommon to mix colours that shouldn't be mixed. Lime green, flamingo pink, Caribbean blue we're the colours of choice to secure that Miami Vice 80's home.


What you were listening to... Meatloaf, Spice Girls, Take That and Michael Jackson.

The 90's were the years where homes we're filled with frilly florals, we all watched Friends and danced to the Macarena.

Your sofa would have been floral, the wallpaper floral, the bathroom tiles might have even possibly floral. Speaking of bathrooms... carpet was a must have for any bathroom in the 90's (not sure who ever decided that was a good idea!).

After the manic colour scheme of the 80's, interiors and the colour trends of the decade got a little more back to basics. Furniture and decor were scaled back and therefore colour choices became more muted and soothing. White, muted greys, light beige and ivory colours were all must have colours for rooms around your home.

Although at the same time kid's bedrooms we're getting more colourful if Harriet's memory of her bedroom is anything to go by...

"In the early 90's I had a huge Bassets Jelly Babies poster on my wall, and decorated my whole bedroom around it.

I don’t know why my parents let me, but I chose bright green for the wood chip wallpaper walls, and bright yellow for the woodwork. It was a colourful feast to say the least.

I then had green gingham curtains with a yellow trim. My dabbles with colour have got less and less over the years, until now, when all I want to do is paint all my walls in lovely sludgy dark colours, like navy blue. I am a bit obsessed with dark blue walls at the moment, with pale grey, pastel pinks and loads of copper."

And now...

Colour trends from the noughties to now seem to be making nods towards past decades. Mid-century furniture has become hugely popular, modern minimalism is affordable and accessible due to the boom in flat pack furniture, and patterns and prints from the 60's and 70's are inspiring our everything - even our bedding.

Do you have any memories from your past decorating disasters... tell us all about it in the comments.