The absolute worst (and best) home decor trends of the last 40 years

Dated: September 22 2019

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The absolute worst (and best) home decor trends of the last 40 years

A NATIONWIDE poll by the Sun News Site of 2,000 British home-owners has revealed a definitive list of the home décor trends we loathe, but also the ones we love, including exposed brickwork, polished concrete floors, shabby-chic furniture, free-standing baths and kitchen islands.

On the list of things we cannot believe we ever had in our house are net curtains (23 percent), cheap laminate flooring (21 percent), water beds (24 percent) and woodchip wallpaper (32 percent).

 Fake fruit has been voted the worst home decor trend of the past 40 years
Fake fruit has been voted the worst home decor trend of the past 40 yearsCredit: Getty - Contributor

But when asked about the most popular interiors trends of the past 40 years, the survey found open-plan living spaces were top of the list, with 32 percent of Brits saying they love the space and sense of freedom it gives a home.

Number two on the list was futuristic LED Lighting (31 percent) and the iconic kitchen island came in third place (28 percent).

The previously exotic but now ubiquitous en-suite bathroom (28 percent), luxurious underfloor heating (25 percent) and pared-down wet rooms (24 percent) were also high on the list of home decor trends and items that have stood the test of time, according to the British public.

Also, in the top ten were  granite kitchen worktops (21 percent), garden fire pits (20 percent), stripped wood floors (19 percent) and feature walls (19 percent).

On the flip side, gaudy fake fruit ornaments (36 percent) topped the list of home décor shockers, followed by impractical fluffy toilet seat covers (33 percent) and outdated avocado bathrooms (33 percent).

When it comes to the items, we own but loathe, cheap laminate flooring is the bane of 11 percent of Brits, while seven percent hate their old-fashioned pine furniture.


The study found that three quarters of those crazy Brits admit that they’ve made mistakes in their home decorations. And four in ten confess that - although they’d love to - they just can’t keep up with the latest fashions in home decor, mainly due to a lack of cash (46 percent) and time (25 percent).

That could be a problem as 81 percent of those polled said that home decor reflects the resident’s personality, and 55 percent believe they’ve been judged on the interior of their home.

And it can cause further issues in the home with nearly half (47 percent) of the 1,500 respondents saying that they’ve fought with their partner about furnishings or artworks and one in five people saying they feel ILL in a room with bad decor.

“To mark our 40th year we thought it would be fun to ask our customers which interiors trends have stood the test of time and which have been and gone, never to return,” says Angela Porter, Marketing Director at Dunelm.

“As a brand, we’re not judgemental and our mission is to help everyone create a home they love - whether that includes an avocado bathroom or not.”

 Impractical fluffy toilet seat covers came in second in the worst home decor trends
Impractical fluffy toilet seat covers came in second in the worst home decor trendsCredit: Getty - Contributor

Home decor trends of the last 40 years

The worst...

  1. Fake fruit 36%
  2. Fluffy toilet seat covers 33%
  3. Avocado bathrooms 33%
  4. Woodchip wallpper 32%
  5. Taxidermy 30%
  6. Carpeted bathrooms 29%
  7. Frilly curtains 25%
  8. Water beds 24%
  9. Net curtains 23%
  10. Pebble dash 21%
  11. Beaded curtains 21%
  12. Cheap laminate flooring 21%
  13. Lace tablecloths 19%
  14. Patterned carpets 17%
  15. Shag pile carpets 17%
  16. Pot Pourri 16%
  17. Floral patterns 16%
  18. Decorative wallpaper borders 16%
  19. Bean bag furniture 13%
  20. Word art 12%

The best...

  1. Open plan living spaces 31%
  2. LED lighting 31%
  3. Kitchen islands 28%
  4. Ensuite bathrooms 28%
  5. Underfloor heating 25%
  6. Wet rooms 24%
  7. Granite kitchen worktops 21%
  8. Garden fire pits 20%
  9. Stripped wood floors 19%
  10. Shabby chic furniture 19%
  11. Exposed brickwork 15%
  12. Shutter blinds 15%
  13. Stainless steel appliances 14%
  14. House plants and terrariums 12%
  15. Vintage revival items 12%
  16. Bifold glass doors 11%
  17. Statement lights 10%
  18. Glass walls 10%
  19. Open shelving 10%
  20. Free standing baths 10%
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Derek Taylor

Derek Taylor Realty Group, founded in 2008, is a full service real estate group, focusing on all areas of Fort Worth Real Estate including luxury homes, commercial properties and investment properties....

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