Carpeting Trends Through the Years

By bsozak | April 3, 2014

Trends in fashion have a way of coming back, and the same is true of interior design. To catch a glimpse of the future of decorating, one only has to take a look into the past.


The 1970s

The 1970s were all about sensory overload, from the music to the colors to the psychedelic atmosphere. This definitely extended to home decor in the 1970s, too. If you’ve ever seen an avacado green toilet or a mustard brown oven, you know that they certainly experimented with color in the 70s.

As for carpet, tactile and color stimulation were key. This was evident in the hugely popular shag carpet trend. Wallpaper with loud patterns and shag carpet was common in every inch of the house- even the kitchen and bathroom! Plush shag was available in any color you can imagine, from rust orange to bright green to brick red.

Capture the Style: Choose a fun shag carpet (in a color that isn’t too much of an eyesore) for a family room or den. Paired with a plush sofa, the room will have an eclectic atmosphere that is more cozy than crazy.

The 1980s

The 1980s was the “decade of decadence”, and homeowners put a lot of effort into their homes. The first renovation? Often, removing the shag carpet left from the 70s! But, homeowners in the 80s still kept plush carpet in the bathroom and sometimes even the kitchen.

While the 1980s tried to ditch the remnants of the previous decade, many of the eyebrow-raising color schemes snuck their way into the home still. Many rooms in the 80s took the “pretty in pink” theme a bit too literally, resulting in rooms that are more reminiscent of Pepto Bismol than of style.

Capture the Style: Patterned carpet with just a hint of the pink hues that the 80s loved will capture the spirit of the decade without overwhelming. Try out this decades chevron and floral patterns to combine the past and the present!

The 1990s

In the decade where computers became popular but homeowners didn’t have the Internet for home decor inspiration, interior design took a turn for the functional. Drab colors, practical storage, and stainless steel were the main themes of 1990s decor.

The 1990s took care of all the shag carpet that the 1980s missed, and replaced it with practical beige carpet in an easy-to-clean fiber. Even as the 1990s started to think more practically, carpeted bathrooms were still very common.

Capture the Style: Think practically with new eco-friendly flooring or easy-to-maintain laminate, and pair with stainless steel for a functional style. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color though!

The 2000s

The dawn of the new decade saw a departure from the one-size-fits-all practicality of the 90s in favor of eclectic and personalized decor. Still, classic designs that would pass the test of time made the 2000s a more practical time for home decor than the 70s and 80s.

Carpeting prices rose in the early 2000s, marking the rise of polyester carpeting as a practical choice for homeowners. The stain-resistant and low-priced carpet was immensely popular during this decade, and is still a common option today.

Capture the Style: Opt for a carpet that will last for a long time by selecting stain-resistant materials. Choose a beige or taupe for mass appeal, but pair with throw pillows and accent colors to make the room your own.

The 2010s

Today, the slowdown of the housing market has homeowners thinking more long term about their decor and has resulted in bolder and trendier interior design choices. Dramatic carpets in bold colors and patterns are seeing a resurgence in today’s decor.

Now that the ivory and taupe colors needed to make a home appealing on the market are experiencing a decline, darker and bolder colors are taking the lead. Homeowners are also growing an eco-friendly conscious, resulting in more green options for carpeting.

Capture the Style: Choose a plant-based carpet in a bold color or pattern, and don’t be afraid to mix textures and patterns in your decor for a multi-dimensional space.

About the Author: Thanks to Sam from Charleston, SC for contributing this post. Sam is addicted to home decor, and when she isn’t hoping that shag carpet makes a comeback you can find her working at ServiceMaster of Charleston, helping to make whatever carpet trend you choose last as long as possible.

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