Travelling through time - timeless vs short-lived design trends over the past 100 years

January 15, 2021

Design trends have changed and evolved a lot over the past 100 years! But many of the contemporary styles that we know and love today were inspired by other eras. Travel back in time with us today to learn about histories’ impact on our favourite, timeless design trends.

 Revolve furnishing old vs new era of furnishing


This was a decade of prosperity and new age ideas. Some of the styles that conquered this era were Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, and Early Modern. The furniture of this era was angular, displaying clean lines, and the surfaces were lacquered. These designs were innovative and exclusive to their time but still truly functional.



This era was a design revolution; though many were battling economic downturn, the Streamline Moderne style came to fruition during these challenging years. This design era highlighted industrial materials like wood and metal with the sleek clean lines that were introduced in the ‘20s. Advances in technology also made mass production more popular, making furniture, décor and other household items more cost-effective.



The 1940s were all about colour coordination, bold colours and designs. Geometric patterns really came into their own during the ’40s as well. Mid-century modern home furnishing designs also became more popular during this era; furniture served its purpose and was minimal but bold.



Mid-century modern home furnishings are now widely popular across the world but bold colours are not as popular as they were in years past. Furniture colours are more neutral in the 1950s and are paired with natural materials and simple lines.



Lines are out and mod shapes are in. Textured rugs, tie-dye, paisley, exotic prints, neon, and wallpaper are all coming into style. The ’60s were all about pushing boundaries and being radical. It was an era of unprecedented change and it was an era of unbelievable creativity when it came to home design.



Anybody obsessed with mustard colour these days? You have the 70’s to thank for that! They say what comes around goes around. This was a groovy era for designs and colours. Everyone had a shag carpet and everything was designed in brown floral. Some of it was so cool. Some of it was not.



In the ’80s designs took a full 180; shag was on its way out and pretty pastels and preppy prints were on their way in. During these years you could find drapes, ruffles, watercolours, glass dining tables and florals everywhere. Everything was coordinated, especially the beds.



All that you have to do to understand the 90’s design trends and styles is picture the Friends apartment. Pinewood, florals, linoleum, beige and everything in between defined this era. These trends were a combination of everything, a little eclectic but somehow just right.



It’s almost as if people needed a clean slate entering the new century. These were the years that all white everything came into style. During this era, we are finally letting in lots of natural light and everything looked sparkling clean; however, we were lacking the character of the previous design eras.



Design is no longer universal- people are developing their own unique style. This era brought many impactful design statements like industrial, contemporary, modern minimalism and French country.


In the design world, many trends come back full circle and as we can see throughout the past 100 years, many designs have evolved into what we consider “trendy” today. What era do you take the most design inspiration from?! Revolve Furnishings is honoured to be considered one of Calgary’s leading home furnishing suppliers. Come in and talk to one of our designers today! 

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