25 Years Of Trends: From 1991 To 2016, And Back Again

ProSource | 1/5/2016 | Expert Advice

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since “The Silence of the Lambs” hit theaters and Nirvana topped the music charts. But 1991 was about more than just Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor hurting himself…again…on “Home Improvement.”

It’s been said that fashion and design are recurring – given enough time, those shoulder pads will come back in style.

Here are four design trends from 25 years ago that have returned in a fresh new way, and a few you can be thankful won’t make an appearance anytime soon.

1. Back To Basics

After the big hair and wild styles of the ‘80s, the early ‘90s started a new aesthetic in interior design - a “back to basics” mentality fueled by the recession. Homeowners were scaling back and returning to the fundamentals of design. It’s not surprising then, that this theme has returned 25 years later.

Back in the ‘90s, designers used light wood liberally and took a Zen approach to decorating. Today, that looks more like sustainable hardwood floors, minimalist design and simple furnishings. We’ve paired down to more neutral backdrops and natural fabrics. Think distressed hardwood flooring and restored finishes of urban chic or industrial design.

2. Carpet Ride

Wall-to-wall carpet is making a comeback. After the return to hardwood flooring, we thought we’d never see carpeting take center stage again. But with all the hard flooring in our homes, walking on soft floors is a nice change.

And the benefits can’t be overlooked: it’s comfortable under foot, warm in cooler months and easy to care for, too. While our tastes have certainly matured over the years (brown shag anyone?), we’ve not outgrown our love of lounging on soft floors.

3. White Hot

White kitchens and bathrooms were all the rage back in the ‘90s. They’re back! White cabinets make a perfect neutral backdrop for dark hardwood floors, natural countertops and eclectic fixtures and finishes. What makes it current is in the details.

Use texture to bring interest to what otherwise might be a dull space. Mix up finishes and bring in pattern and color in the countertop with all natural materials such as quartz or granite. Use cabinet and drawer pulls in contemporary metals. Create patterns in the backsplash, and use color in fabrics on the windows and seating.

Choose one element to stand out – the center island, or a corner nook, in a dark walnut finish perhaps, to draw the eye.

4. Wallpaper

Just when you thought we were over it for good, wallpaper is making a major comeback. This past year, industry trade shows, including Neocon and KBIS as well as the popular San Francisco Decorator Showcase, proved the point by showing the latest styles in wall coverings.

Contemporary wallpaper designs takes a room further than paint can, adding texture and setting a mood, whether you’re going for sophistication or whimsy. A vertical stripe can open up a room, and intricate patterns can make a cavernous room feel cozier.

Done well, wallpaper can complement almost any design aesthetic.

Design Trends Evolved

While we hope inflatable furniture blew up for good, most design trends have evolved with the times.

Floral design can still be appropriate, if done in a contemporary way. You might not see hunter green walls in a 2016 home, for example, but you might see a rich emerald green or yellow green – today’s version is fresh and elegant.

The wood paneling that graced homes in the early ‘90s has returned as lighter wood-lined walls of white oak or maple, adding a warmer feel to a modern space.

And remember those ivy stencils and sponge painted walls? They too have matured into contemporary textured wall coverings.

Whichever revitalized design trend you decide to put your own twist on, ProSource Wholesale offers the latest styles, colors and finishes in flooring, cabinetry and hardware for kitchens, bathrooms and more.

Review inspiration images for the hottest trends. Add what you like to your myProSource Project Center, then discuss it with your ProSource trade professional member.

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