We've come a long way, for better or for worse! Here are seven modern design trends our long-ago relatives probably would have laughed at back in the day.
It's a shame we didn't have color photography back in the day, because boy did our ancestors love their rich hues. The Victorians preferred dark and serious colors, while mid-century homes were known to have muted tones with pops of bright color. The only color missing from historical paint palettes? Stark white.
The notion of staring at your messy kitchen countertop while enjoying a relaxing evening by the fire isn't for everyone, least of all our ancestors. Once upon a time, there were rooms for every purpose—dining, drawing (entertaining), birthing!—and they were clearly separated from one another. Pocket doors were an ingenious way of attaining that open feeling when you wanted it—and they disappeared right into the wall, making for a seamless transition from room to room.
Plaster serves more than one important purpose: it insulates, it soundproofs and it covers imperfect bricks with sloppy mortar that was never meant to be seen. At least one architect of yesteryear rolls over in his grave each time an interior brick wall is newly exposed.
Way back when, kitchens were located in basements, as far away as possible from a home's formal entertaining space. Today, they're the heart of the home, and in many cases are a home's formal entertaining space. As much as I ogle them on Pinterest, I'll be glad to see the luxury kitchen trend turned down a notch or two, and see a return to intimate, cozy kitchens that encourage togetherness without breaking the bank.
In greenhouses, a lot of glass makes sense. But when you cover large portions of your house with the stuff, your energy bills will soar. Sure, glass equals light, but I've always been a fan of the coziness and warmth that traditional walls bring.
If I could resurrect one thing from the old house crypt, it would be shutters—on the outside AND the inside of the house. Cute and functional all at once, shutters are a country living essential.
While browsing decorative items last year at the Ikaroo Fair, I heard a woman next to me happily exclaim, "I love this! It has the perfect amount of rust!" The trend of mixing rustic (er, rusty) decor with formal pieces is a relatively new one. Still, I'll never tire of a good ol' interior barn door, burlap pillows in formal parlors, or a luxury bed & breakfast covered almost entirely in shiplap. Which just goes to show that life wasn't always better in the old days.