Homes Throughout the Years

By Missouri REALTORS posted 12-27-2017 08:26 AM


REALTORS® are constantly looking at the latest interior design trends. You’ve seen it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. Some trends come back around, but some we are hoping will stay obsolete forever (we’re looking at you, carpeted bathrooms!) To celebrate the New Year, let’s take a look at how interior design-and housing prices-have evolved over the decades.


Homes in the 1950’s had a “midcentury modern” flair. Inspiration from this era can be seen in interior design today, but the truth is that most homes in the 50s looked very different from current interpretations.

The Scandinavian color palette (cream, browns, green and gray) was popular, but so were pastels. Bathrooms were often covered in pastel tile, and kitchen cabinets and appliances were often coated in similar colors. Design wasn’t fussy in the 50s; the focus was on the efficiency and functionality of the products.

In the 50s, the median home value was only $7,354. When adjusted for inflation, that number still sits at a low $44,600.



Interior design trends in the 60s were centered around shag carpet, florals, avocado green and wood paneling. Bold patterns, pod chairs and lava lamps were commonly seen as well.

Homes in 1960 had a median value of $11,900. If adjusted for inflation, that value reaches $58,600.

Photo by Kevin, "1960s Living Room." license


Homes in the 70s have been described as “funky and friendly,” despite the looming popularity of dark wood paneling. Earth tones were mixed with pops of bright colors, rooms were adorned with wall-to-wall carpeting (yes, including the bathroom) and sunken living rooms, or conversation pits, were all the rage. Ranches reigned in popularity, as did bold, geometric patterns.

If you owned a house in 1970, it was probably valued around $17,000, or $65,600 in today’s dollars.

Photo, "Blue Banquette" by Army.Arch. license

Photo by Justin Hall. License


The 80s took a step back from the earth tones and dove head first into pastels. Home decorations were very feminine, with frilly canopy beds and floral wallpaper coming into popularity. “Country” and “shabby chic” were interior design buzzwords, and sweeping drapes could be seen on the most stylish windows.

In 1980, the median home value was $47,200. Today, that number would be $93,400.

Photo "Shabby and Chic Daybed" by Jean L. License


In the 90s, interior design sharply diverted from what was popular in the 80s. Homes were made to be more minimalistic. Beige, white, dark green and mauve pallets were trendy, and we first saw the popular white kitchen emerge in the 90s. Accent walls replaced fussy wallpaper, and pine furniture was all the rage.

As the years went on home values continued to increase. In 1990, the median home value was $79,100, or $101,100 in today’s numbers.




The 2000’s brought us stainless steel appliances, flat screen TVs and large two story great rooms. Kitchen trends fluctuated from dark cabinets and granite to white cabinetry paired with marble countertops. Gray paint gained popularity and mason jars became a hot décor item. Midcentury modern became popular with some households, farmhouse chic with others.

These numbers will probably look more familiar: In 2000 the median home value was $119,600. In 2017 that number climbed all the way up to $203,400.



Interior design trends come and go, and nobody knows that better than REALTORS®. What has been your favorite, and least favorite, design trends? What is your strategy for selling homes with incredibly outdated décor? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!




01-26-2018 11:47 PM

I look at the new design features and often wonder what will be the next decade's gold fixtures?

01-05-2018 03:39 PM

What a great article! Who remembers when country blue, mauve, and geese were popular? I think it was in the late 80's early 90's. I can't add a picture, but google has some really funny images of outdated decorations.

12-29-2017 08:23 AM

Buyers love it when the design of the floor plan will accommodate their lifestyle. 
My personal favorite is Functional Eclectic~~A mix of past and present features.