Look Back on 500 Years of Living Rooms In 90 Seconds

published Nov 4, 2019
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With a fresh new year preparing to round the corner, there’s no better time than to brush up on your interior design history. You have to understand the origin of home decor styles of the past to fully appreciate which design trends we’ll be obsessing over next year, right?

It’s probably too late in the semester to enroll in an interior design course, but you get a jump start with the help of HomeAdvisor’s look at the 500-year evolution of living room interior design, which is here to answer all of your burning questions on the subject. For instance, where does that weird couch that everyone’s grandma owned fall on the timeline? Which trend followed the Miami Vice-meets-Golden Girls era of beachy, pastel living rooms of the 1980s? 

According to HomeAdvisor, all these formerly glorious ideas began with Ancient Egyptians, who were apparently the first to decorate the interior of their homes. The homeowner digital marketplace created an animation and poster set that offer us glimpses into living rooms from the past, beginning with the 15th and 16th century Renaissance in Europe. 

The design of the Renaissance living room features a palazzo-shaped cabinet and a Turkish rug, a popular home accessory during the time. Next up is the Baroque period which was characterized by opulence. Commonly used materials included ivory, marble and tropical wood.

Skipping ahead a bit to the Neoclassical era, the living room aesthetic transitioned into a sort of “less is more” approach by following design principles set forth from student artists at Rome’s French Academy.

The year 1930 marked the start of the mid-century modern era (your grandma’s couch probably fits in here somewhere). Rattan, wicker and bamboo were hugely popular as well as a more liberated approach to using color. 

Obviously, we’ve come a long way! It’ll be interesting to see which future design trends borrow from today’s most popular living room interior design concepts.