Design preferences tend to change over time, and when you’re looking back at vintage interiors a lot of them can seem, well, strange. But it’s also true that a lot of “new” trends are really just ones recycled from the past—things that a few years ago would have seemed odd, are now suddenly all the rage. And a lot of times my own reaction to strange old trends is less “that’s so strange” and more “why don’t we still have that?”. Here are five weird old trends I’d love to see make a comeback.
Colored bathroom fixtures
When it comes to bathrooms, we’ve become very cautious about color. Toilets are white. Sinks are white. Tubs are white. But who says they have to be? Colored fixtures are beautiful, they’re unexpected, and they can be surprisingly perfect in a modern bathroom. I’m gunning for them to make a comeback.
They’re cozy, they’re sexy, they’re cool, and they elevate conversation over TV watching. That last one might be why conversation pits eventually died out—that, and the fact that, while sunken living rooms might be pretty, they’re also a bit of a tripping hazard. I’m willing to concede a handrail, if it means bringing back the conversation pit (and also conversation).
Colorful cabinets in the kitchen
Arguably color is already creeping its way back into the American kitchen, but we’re still a bit cautious, preferring to use color in little dashes on backsplashes or accessories. I would love to see a return to the full-color kitchens of the past, with colored appliances, cabinets, the whole shebang. Doesn’t this kitchen I found via Kitschy Living just look like an incredibly cheerful place to cook?
The wall-mounted refrigerator
I can think of nothing more brilliant than this wall-mounted refrigerator, which meant no stooping to get to any food, ever. I’m not sure that these were ever a trend, per se, but the last time I mentioned this fridge, in a roundup of vintage kitchens, quite a few of you mentioned that you had seen ones like it. Pam over at Retro Renovation hypothesized that these had fallen from favor because the storage space (around 10 cubic feet) just wasn’t big enough, but I can see these being a big hit in today’s smaller, more urban households.
I’m afraid this choice will be a little controversial, but what’s a list like this without a little controversy? I’ve heard plenty of people say that they think sunken tubs are weird or gross or just impractical, but I LOVE them. (Especially surrounded by beautifully patterned terrazzo like in this 1950s bathroom spotted on Midcentury Living. Terrazzo is coming back!) I love taking baths, and I love swimming pools, and a sunken tub is like having a tiny swimming pool right in your bathroom. What’s not to like? (The water bill, maybe.)