Five Popular Seventies Home Trends And How To Update Them To The “Now” 2017-04-26T11:06:58+00:00

From the “Seventies” to the “Now”

If you carried a mortgage decades ago, then you’re definitely glad to have said goodbye to the decade of the seventies when interest rates were double digits and the dream of refinancing for a better rate was to maybe get down to 12%.

Wow! That’s so seventies! In this flashback glimpse, we look at the trends of the seventies and how we’ve grown and evolved into larger and smarter homes, even though households have shrunk.

The average seventies household size was 3.58 compared to 3.14 in 2015, according to

The 20th century phenomenon of Stay-At-Home Mom’s gave way to the rise of the Working Mom movement.

In 1969 there were 9.8 million stay-at-home Mom’s compared to 7.2 million in 1979 and then down to 5..2 million in 1999. By 2009, the number rose slightly to 5.7 million but it was a rather slight increase compared to the longer historical perspective.

The family economics also changed the household environment. American seventies’ homes featured wall-to-wall carpeting. Remember the shag rug? It made a brief comeback in recent years. How about sunken living rooms, bright colors, modular built-in dinettes, and   white used to compensate and tone-down all the use of vibrant yellows, greens, and blues?

When we flashback to the seventies, it seems like we’ve come so far. Have a look at what can be done if your home is stuck in that seventies look.


This was a period of self-expression and while some may say it was also a time of “no taste” interior design experts argue that the decade of the seventies was indeed a critical time for interior domestic design. It was a time to experiment with form, be playful, and take risks, breaking-free from sleek, mid-century modernism.

That said, a lot of us are really glad to see some trends go bye-bye.

Exposed beams, dark wood paneling, and brown shag carpet:

Large living rooms tended to have exposed wood ceiling beams and often you’d see antique pine wood paneling (or, worse, faux wood paneling) glued to the entire walls of  the room as well as for kitchen cabinets.  They called it “rich”, but it was  dark, and dreary…that’s so seventies! A definite design trend to leave in the past.

Today’s homes embrace the look of reclaimed wood to offset the drama of colorful glass tiles or to add warmth to an otherwise white room.  Exposed timbers are used as decorative accents, blending elegance and style to create a comfortable space.

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Popcorn ceilings and textured walls:

Popcorn should be reserved only for eating!  It’s likely all of us would agree this is a design trend that we’re glad to say goodbye to.    Early formulas of this product often contained white asbestos fibers. In 1978, the Clean Air Act banned asbestos for ceiling treatments in the United States and popcorn ceilings soon lost their appeal. Removal is a messy process that today’s homeowners endure to rid themselves of the unsafe product and outdated look.

Newer homes today tend to have smooth ceilings and walls. Some homes still use knockdown drywall texture finishes which make it easier to conceal any imperfections but smooth walls are highly desirable and rapidly becoming the gold standard.

Old fluorescent kitchen lighting fixtures:

Aren’t you glad that builders and designers finally had that ah-ha moment when the light bulb went on and they started introducing more creative ways to light a kitchen? Today recessed lighting very popular. Also trending are pendant lights that come in every size, shape and color to accent an island or wet bar.

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Linoleum flooring:

Most of us are happy to see this trend left in the dust. Not only was linoleum flooring not very attractive but it also wasn’t as durable as flooring products today.

One of the hottest trends in the flooring industry today is wood-look tile flooring. Porcelain tile that looks like natural wood is being used in homes large and small. These tiles are available in traditional shapes as well as planks. The can be laid straight, diagonally, or even in a herringbone pattern.

Multicolored Brick Siding On Exterior Homes:

Yes, this can be quaint on the right type of home in certain geographical locations, but, generally speaking, it’s a trend that doesn’t appeal to the masses today.

Some homeowners simply decide to paint the multi-colored bricks to a more neutral white or grey while others go for a complete exterior renovation that creates an updated look.  The exterior of a home is one of the most important areas to consider in the remodeling process because it’s what everyone sees first. If the home screams, “That’s so seventies” on the outside, many assume it’s the same on the inside.

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Renovating a seventies home can be a big project. Taking it step-by-step and considering which areas are most important to redo as well as how to blend remodeled areas with the original living spaces, requires careful planning and expert help.

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