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Millennials Don’t Understand These Boomer Design Trends

Photo Credit: Aladdin Color Inc./ Getty Images
Photo Credit: Aladdin Color Inc./ Getty Images

If you watch HGTV as much as we do, then you know that old home trends are slowly coming back into style. When we were growing up, our parents had our homes decorated with wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpeting, and motivational signs in virtually every room of the house. Although we love our parents, as millennials, we truly can’t get behind some of these outdated interior design trends that may or may not be becoming popular again.

1. Carpet in the bathroom

Bathroom interior with shag carpeting
A view of a bathroom interior showing a sunken blue tub and wall-to-wall yellow shag carpeting, circa 1985. (Photo Credit: Frederic Lewis/ Getty Images)

Clearly, we’re starting off strong with the carpeted bathroom trend. Carpeted bathrooms seem like a completely unsanitary home trend that, as millennials, we simply cannot get behind. We also cannot lie. When we were younger, we did think that carpeted bathrooms were the height of luxury. Luckily, we have now grown out of that notion.

A Reddit thread tried to answer the question of why carpeted bathrooms were ever a thing. No one really had a solid answer. One user suggested that older homes have carpet in the bathrooms to minimize the fall risk for the elderly who could slip on wet tile. Another user simply responded to the question by saying carpet in the bathroom is “comfy.”

From a historical standpoint, if you look back at the 1960s and ’70s, carpets were seen as a luxury finish. In those days, people tried to have every inch of their house covered in carpet. Luckily, at this point, the world has come to its senses about carpeted bathrooms. It might be “comfy” but it also is surely mildewy.

2. Wood paneling

We can’t think of one good thing about wood paneling. This design trend was popular in the 1950s – ’70s, but truly it never enhanced the inside of a home. Ever. We have been pushing our parents to get rid of that paneling for years.

We will admit, we believe that real wood accents have the potential to enhance a room – if done in the right way. Wood accents could bring both a retro and rustic vibe to a room. Just make sure to stay away from fake wood paneling!

3. Living, laughing, and loving

Motivational home sign
Photo Credit: Ty Williams/ Unsplash

We’re all for motivational quotes. After all, everyone needs a little motivation every now and then. However, we are more about speaking motivational quotes rather than having “live, laugh, love” decor scattered throughout our homes. At this point, any of this type of decor has become a meme. Businesses have capitalized on this boomer catchphrase, stenciling it onto every piece of decor imaginable. Pillows, wall decals, cushions, picture frames – all are potential canvases for the words “live, laugh, love.”

To us millennials and Gen Z’ers, “live, laugh, love” has become the catchphrase for basicness, and it is associated with Karens who want to speak to managers everywhere. We can see how at one point, “live, laugh, love” decor was a reminder of things that were important in life. Sadly, the sun has set on this design trend.

4. Tuscan kitchens

Tuscan kitchen with island
Photo Credit: Nancy Hugo via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Why go out to eat at the Olive Garden when you can just eat in your very own Tuscan kitchen? The Tuscan-style kitchen came into style throughout North America during the 1990s, meaning millennials essentially grew up with this style. Tuscan-style kitchens focused on large scale, heavy textures, chunky, and dark wood, with a mix of bright reds and yellows.

Now that millennials are grown up and buying their own homes, they tend to steer clear of Tuscan kitchens. The general consensus seems to be mainly that this type of kitchen is not so cool, and the dark colors make the room feel rather dingy.

5. Popcorn ceilings

Popcorn ceiling
Photo Credit: Doggo19292/ Wikimedia Commons via Public Domain

Did anyone else ever let go of a balloon when they were younger only for it to immediately pop when it hit the popcorn ceiling? Boomers seem to love those popcorn ceilings, but in reality, they are hard to clean and paint and look tacky overall.

At one point, popcorn ceilings were the standard for bedrooms and hallway ceilings across North America.  Luckily, popcorn ceilings can be scraped off relatively easily – a task that is pretty satisfying to do.

6. Patterned wallpaper

Patterned wallpaper in a 1970 home
Photo Credit: H. Armstrong Roberts/ ClassicStock/ Getty Images

One of the questions that haunt us as we close our eyes and try to sleep each night is “why don’t people just use a solid color for their walls?” Baby boomers seem to love using patterned wallpaper in every room of their homes. What’s worse is that boomers chose different pattern wallpapers for different rooms, so the entire home has absolutely no flow and is completely chaotic.

One final thing – isn’t it difficult to match furniture and decorations to patterned wallpaper?!

7. Shag carpet

Shag carpet in a loving room
Photo Credit: H. Armstrong Roberts/ ClassicStock/ Getty Images

Wondering what is worse than carpet in the bathroom? Easy: shag carpet in every room of the house. Technically, we could place the blame for this one on the parents of baby boomers, as this trend seems to have started primarily in the 1950s and 1960s.

The bottom line is that whoever decided on the shag carpet trend covered up beautiful hardwood floors that would have looked way better than carpet.

8. Waterbeds and circular beds

Circle bed at a hotel, 1960
Photo Credit: Aladdin Color Inc./ Getty Images

A waterbed would give us legit seasickness, and our feet would hang off of a circular bed. Beds are for sleeping, so we are wondering who in their right minds invested in waterbeds and circular beds – or something even worse – a circular waterbed.

More from us: These Historic Homes Were Built Out Of Spite

As with so many baby boomer interior design trends, we think both circular beds and waterbeds are extremely tacky. Also, imagine sleeping in a waterbed and having it pop in the middle of the night! Not only are you awoken from a slumber, but also your entire bedroom would be flooded!

Madeline Hiltz

Maddy Hiltz is someone who loves all things history. She received her Bachelors of Arts in history and her Master’s of Arts degree in history both from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Her thesis examined menstrual education in Victorian England. She is passionate about Princess Diana, the Titanic, the Romanovs, and Egypt amongst other things.

In her spare time, Maddy loves playing volleyball, running, walking, and biking, although when she wants to be lazy she loves to read a good thriller. She loves spending quality time with her friends, family, and puppy Luna!