The good old ‘90s was the era of pop and grunge music, dial-up internet, Game Boys, Discmans, flannel shirts, crop tops, chain wallets, Michael Jordan, and the Matrix. Though many of them are cringe-worthy today, they were cool and trendy during their time and helped define the decade. But, have you ever wondered how home decors were then? Don’t fret, as we’ll bring you back in time to get a glimpse of the popular interior design styles of the 90s – you might be surprised that they were just as iconic.
While inflatable furniture was created in the 1960s, it’s in the 1990s when it reached its heyday. It became widely popular with teens and tweens. Everyone has them in the bedroom! From chairs to sofas, loungers, and tables, they came in all colors, shapes, and sizes and just blew up in the ‘90s.
Kitchens have modernized greatly today, offering many designs and styles for people to choose from. That wasn’t the case in the 1990s, as there was less variety. It doesn’t mean that it was also less aesthetically pleasing. Whether left painted or plain, the thick and large wooden cabinets that dominated the decade offered a warm, cozy, homey feel to the ‘90s kitchens.
From zebra, tiger, cheetah, jaguar to leopard patterns, animal prints were a massive hit in the fashion world during the nineties. It was literally anywhere! It’s no surprise that this trend transcended the runway and came into the realm of interior designing. Zebra lamps, leopard-print couches, jaguar textiles, and other animal printed ornamentations and furniture adorned the people’s homes.
Track lighting gained traction in the decade. While they weren’t accepted by all, citing their clunkiness and bulkiness, they were still a common sight in the ceilings of many 90s homes.
In contrast with the explosion of colors and decadent style of kitchens in the ‘80s, the ‘90s shifted back to the traditional kitchen, being simpler and less cluttered. The most dominant color for many was white. It was applied nearly to all fixtures, from cupboards, storage units, to countertops, exuding an elegant feel that appealed to the masses.
The Japanese and Chinese’s neat and non-ornamental look replaced the wide diversity in hues and shade seen in the previous decade. In the 1990s, many people veered away from the loud colors and chunky furniture and embraced minimal decors, neutral shades, natural or earthy elements, and other Asian accents, which prioritized character over coolness.
Spilling over from the ‘70 and ‘80s, botanical decors and motifs brimmed the ‘90s homes. Vine-like designs became popular on kitchen wallpapers, while floral patterns adorned bedroom walls. While some used wallpapers, stencils were also a popular home decor choice. Floral prints won’t just simply go away.
A dominant color that surfaced in the mid-’90s was Hunter green. This shade was in range in the decade and it hit nearly all parts of the house, from the furniture, walls, living rooms, dining rooms, and even bathtubs. Beautifully complemented by burgundy, gold, bronze, or dark wood shades, everybody just fell in love.
Before the turn of the century, canopy beds became very popular with kids, adults, or simply everyone. Accentuated with draping frills, fabric, fairy lights, it turned the ‘90s homes into royal chambers. They were spectacular to look at and served as the focal point of the bedroom while exuding comfort and relaxation.
Turning home interiors into indoor gardens continued from the ‘80s to the ‘90s. But, while palm fronds and ferns dominated the earlier decade, people from the nineties saw the onslaught of faux plants and became a staple in their homes. It’s no surprise as these plastic plants carried the charm of nature’s green beauty, but were only required to dust them, tossing away the need to take care or maintain anything.
Part of the Japanese and Chinese-inspired interior was the proliferation of folding screens. Made from lacquered wooden panels with decorative painting, they were used for a variety of purposes, from dividing rooms, blocking off certain parts of the house, or merely as ornamentation. Folding screens were simply practical and iconic, allowing them to pop up in homes in the nineties.
The popular Interior design styles of the 90s had their charm. Though much of it didn’t attain a “timeless” status to make them fit in the modern’s world, they were nostalgic parts of many people’s childhood and are still vibrant in their memories today.