Home decor trends

by July

The Worst Decor Trend From The Year You Were Born

This room evokes a mixture of nostalgia and horror from my childhood.

What are your thoughts on the good, the bad,and the ugly decorating styles through the years?


155 thoughts on “Home decor trends

  1. Jeez, the mid 70 really were the low point in so many things. Cars, clothes, home decor…

  2. I still remember my parents’ brown and orange plaid couch which they probably bought the year I was born (1977). We were visiting my FIL in Pittsburgh over Memorial Day weekend and his house (which was his parents’ house) looks like it hasn’t been touched since the 70s. A lot of plaid and browns and there is carpet and wallpaper in the bathroom (shudder).

  3. God almighty… Trump’s current decor is as old as me?!? Melania needs to step up her game as a decorator. Her house is her calling card (to quote Gunnila Garson Goldberg (i.e. Maggie Smith in one of her finest roles)).

    Though I think I remember the movie this is from… the name is escaping me now…

  4. the movie is Arthur, right?

    I have to say, my mom had (and still has) great taste. If you looked at our living room from the 80s it would look dated, of course, but not shockingly so. She has a very classic manner of decorating, and she’s one to constantly tweak. Rarely (only if they moved) a whole scale overhaul, but a reupholstered chair here, a fresh coat of paint there, new window treatments a few years later. Her style is consistent, so a new fabric on one chair is never going to throw the whole room off, but her rooms never look dated or out of style. I’m trying to adopt her approach.

    The one mistake she has made over the years is taking my dad with her a few times. He has the WORST taste, and strong opinions. She should have put her foot down a few times, but she tried to accommodate him and then both she and the affected room suffered.

  5. Our house was built in 1970 and it has those ceiling beams from 1970. We finally had them painted white about two years ago so they aren’t so noticeable.

  6. Our house was built in 1970 and it has those ceiling beams from 1970.

    In our old house over in the Bible Park neighborhood, we just had those beams removed entirely. They bugged the snot out of me.

  7. That’s the 1972 picture.

    We’re just south of there RMS. We put up with them for 15 years before we got around to painting them. They don’t bother us enough to have them taken out.

  8. I don’t think that any of those trends were ever as overdone as gray is today.

    “the mid 70 really were the low point in so many things. Cars, clothes, home decor…”

    Definitely agree about the cars. The only thing that really bothers me about the clothes is the wide open collars, and then a collar growing outside of your jacket.

    On the other hand, the music of the 70s — and I wasn’t around — but OMG. Country and rock have never seen anything as good since.

    If they’ll play another love song,
    And if that Miller High Life sign stays dim,
    If you’ll keep this glass full of whiskey,
    I’ll whisper words I wish I’d said to him.

    I don’t want to hear your sad story,
    We both already know how it goes,
    So if tonight you’ll be my tall dark stranger,
    I’ll be your San Antone Rose.

  9. RMS & DD,

    Denver was in the midst of an energy boom in the 70s, right? I imagine it has more than it’s fair share of 70s vintage architecture and design.

  10. Mom’s taste was slightly more modern, and the accent color was apricot, not pink. But I was a child in home with white carpet and sofa and lots of plastic covers on everything.

  11. Funny about ceiling beams. In the English house hunters many people like a updated modern interior but love those ceiling beams in the country houses they are buying.
    Another requirement I noticed with the English house hunters is that they wanted a part of the house or annex that they could rent out.

    Our first house was an 80s house. It still had colored carpet and wall paper everywhere.

  12. Aren’t those beams making a comeback? I seem to remember them on the HGTV shows I catch now and again… And I don’t recall the decorators trying to hide them or remove them.

    Thanks for the movie name.

    RE: the 70s… if the cars, decor, and clothes were horrid, shouldn’t something have compensated? Music seemed like a good place. Most of the movies from the early 70s are forgetful (except Soylent Green…)… though the end of the 70s brought us Star Wars, Jaws, and Star Trek (the motion picture), just to name a few….

  13. 1963
    There came a time when striped couches became extremely popular and no one knew why.

    Well compared to the pictures of the few years before and after, 1963 was a pretty good year!

  14. My elementary school best friend, his Dad was probably 10 years older than my parents, and when I was about 7-10 is when he kind of peaked in life, before alcoholism cost him his job and identity, and my friend and I lost touch toward high school.

    Consequently, because he was successful in the late 70s and through the 80s, he’s always my image of yuppie success in that era. He had a convertible ’71 Malibu from his younger days that he polished with a diaper. His daily car was an early-80s Mercedes 300 Diesel. He had a car phone!, something that was so exotic and completely out of the question for my parents’ budget. He had a sailing yacht from the late 1970s. They lived in a California Contemporary-style house with white furniture. They had a waterbed. They went to Neil Diamond concerts.

  15. @Meme – that looks like it could be a photo of my great aunt’s house in St Louis. Exact same color scheme and furniture. Everything. Just missing the layer of cigarette smoke wafting through the air.

  16. OMG. That 1966 one is the kind of room I literally have nightmares about — the giant block wallpaper, not just patio furniture but fugly froofy patio furniture, the whatever-it-is curtain over the counter. About the only thing tolerable is the blue glasses.

    OTOH, I kinda like the 1972 room — could do without the print sofas, but it’s a masterpiece of understatement compared to its friends. And I almost like the wallpaper in 1967. 1969 reminds me of my elementary school and the Deer Park public library (except the background of the latter was in that white plastic-ey stuff — and, come to think of it, I was there in probably ’70-’72, so that would be appropriate).

    But I think I might have to shoot myself if I had to live with 1974 or 1975.

  17. And so my Grandma clearly decorated her home in 1953 — that is almost a dead ringer, except it was the couches that were pea green, and the vinyl runners and plastic covers made it look significantly less chic. :-) And 1984 is dead-bang-on — I had so many friends whose rooms looked just like that.

  18. My house was a post-WWII suburbanization cape cod. It was transformed to a colonial in the 80s and 90s, and when we purchased it in 2008 was still sporting some trends from that era. The kitchen was late 90s/early 2000s, the bathrooms were mid 90s (textured wall paper and turquoise green tile), and the rest of the house was that early 2000s love of rich dark color on. every. god. foresaken wall. When your main floor ceilings are 8.5 feet high, that dark brown color made the house look like a damn tomb.

    In the last 9 years, we’ve replaced all the appliances in the kitchen and painted, so it’s not terribly 1990s. The main bath has been completely remodeled and is quite modern (complete with Milo’s hatred of gray! BUT I LOVE IT!), all the rooms have been painted (7.5 gallons of primer later…). And while we love color, they are bright light-reflecting colors that make the rooms feel larger. We’ve also removed all the carpet on the main floor and have hardwoods everywhere except the bathroom.

    The kitchen and upstairs bath still need a reno, but I don’t have the money yet…

  19. Agree on the gray, although we just painted a room Benjamin Moore’s “Gray Owl.” I was reluctant because of the gray trend, but it is the most perfect color. In this room it actually shows up as more of a very, very soft blue, but with no hint of baby-boy-blue. Every other blue I tried looked more like the right color for a nursery.

  20. “They went to Neil Diamond concerts.”

    Neil Diamond played to a huge crowd last night at Madison Square Garden. Boomers, I would guess.

    As one may expect of a Neil Diamond anniversary tour, the two-hours-plus performance focused wholly on the best-sellers of a career that has yielded more than 120 million records sold — better than Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder or the Beach Boys. “Love on the Rocks” was steely and firm, with cameras fading to create a noir-like setting around Diamond’s long, smoldering (yes, smoldering) gazes. His crystalline delivery and tone have held up well.

    He sat and sang his 1968 story-teller “Brooklyn Roads” while childhood home videos played on a jewel-shaped screen above him, of little Neil getting a bath in a sink, playing baseball and swinging on a playground. The audience, many of whom have worshipped music’s “Jewish Elvis” all this time, were very appreciative of the glimpses backward and cheered warmly after the mellow segment was done.


  21. I kind of like gray walls. And easy to change since the trend is dying out. I hate the current trend of different upper and lower kitchen cabinet colors. Or having the cabinetry around the vent hood a different color from the rest. It is going to be dated very quickly and expensive to change!

  22. My high school friend was commenting the other day that my mom didn’t really decorate our house. The walls were white, the furniture was plain (but solid wood!), we had minimal artwork around.

  23. That table holding the Christmas tree is an encyclopedia table. Came with the 14th edition of the Britannica. Made of mahogany. I got it refinished and it’s upstairs now. I still love it.

  24. Oh, and when my friend’s family went on vacation, often to the Bahamas, they took an actual limousine to the airport. Like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman.

  25. “Gray is not always gray”

    Not all gold was necessarily Harvest Gold…

    But point taken. My mom did half their downstairs in a gray that is kind of a blue, depending on the light.

    “Grey is still better than beige”


  26. I think gray looks best with white trim and beige looks best with wood stained trim. Gray needs quite a bit of light to make it reflect the underlying hue and often looks kind of depressing with lots of wood.

  27. Because I hate beige? The only beige I like is a sandy color, when married with a beautiful blue, so it’s like Greece, with the sea and the sand.

    Some taupes are ok, too. As long as they’re not too beige.

  28. I love gray, although my husband does grumble every time I repaint that it looks like every other room in our house. My main floor and upstairs hallway is BM Moonshine which looks like a warm green gray in most lights. I have Gray Owl in the guest bath and Dior Gray in my guest room which actually looks like an eggplant purple.

    My sister and I are planning on painting my dad’s house this summer when we’re up there and we’re going with some sort of blue I think. I love following paint trends.

  29. When my grandmother died, we cleaned out her apartment and the great grand kids couldn’t believe some of decor. Lots of green and orange in her kitchen because it was 60s and 70s decor. Her kitchen was original so mid because they moved in when the building was new. Appliances were obviously built to last because her stove and gas cooktop were original. They had to be 45 to 50 years old. It was a rental, so the landlord only replaced refridgerators through the years.

    I don’t miss the green, orange and yellows of the 70s.

    I did use a lot of gray, white, blue in my new bathrooms. I like those colors a lot.

    DD has purple in her bedroom and bathroom. She’s heavy into the deadpan/turquoise/purple mix that most of her friends seem to like too. I can’t wait until we can toss an ugly throw rug in her room that she loves. It’s a pottery barn thing that I will be happy to get rid of when she tires of it, but unfortunately she is still in this phase.

  30. Yikes! All of the 70s trends are frightening. That 1970 one is *exactly* like my kitchen was growing up – my parents didn’t redo it until the mid-90s.

    I think we are not far enough away from 2005-now for those pics to be equally as effective. The dark cherry kitchens are the last trend that looks truly dated. The white and grey kitchens will probably look dated soon, but I’m not sure what’s popping up to replace them.

    I agree that grey is better than beige – grey seems cool and refreshing while beige is just kind of sad. (And most offices are still some shade of off-white, which quickly turns beige with wear.)

  31. @Kate: I have always had wood-stained trim with grey — or, more likely, taupe — walls. I think the difference is that I like warm reddish tones, like cherry and fir, and so you get a taupe with just a teensy bit of beige in the grey and the wamth of the wood brings out the warmth in the taupe — it’s almost like there’s a little of the reddish reflection — but the grey still keeps it cool and neutral so the wood can pop. I do NOT like yellow-toned wood trim, like oak or pine, because it brings out the yellow/green in the walls, and beige ends up looking yellow, and grey ends up looking like khaki/watery pea soup. I royally hate that particular part of the color spectrum.

    One of my favorite looks is crisp white trim with a dark blue background wall color. But with DH, there shall be no such thing as painted trim. :-)

  32. “(And most offices are still some shade of off-white, which quickly turns beige with wear.)”

    THIS. Beige just looks like white that got old, tired, and dirty.

  33. LfB – I think you are right wrt the wood tones that look good with gray. Our old house had the ugly toned wood trim and I could never find a paint color that worked well. We eventually had the trim painted white. A huge project!

  34. My house growing up resembled 1953 decor. Wall to wall carpet was not done, just tile and area rugs and carpets. No A/C. The emphasis was on light furniture, light colors.
    Sort of like RMS’s house.

  35. Oh, those are so great! I especially liked 1972 because we had friends in Boulder with that exact same living room. And 2005 is good too – the whole “kitchen as funeral home” look

  36. No Scandinavian design though! That is what my parents had in the 70’s. My parents had almost exactly this coffee table, though their rug was a more soothing blue and not shag. They had a modernist chair, though, in the same shade as the rug in the photo

  37. The thing i like about the trend towards grey is that so many of those colors look different depending on the light and what’s around them. It’s possible to find other colors like that too, as described here, http://designsixtynine.co.uk/2017/04/10/front-door-makeover/#comment-30 but there seem to be a lot of greys that do that. Idk if that’s inteinsic to grey or if paint companies have just decided to produce more greys that do that than other colors that do.

    I remember my sister’s childhood room–shag carpet with several colors of pink and one orange color, wallpaper was bright orange and pink 70s-stylized daisies. Fabulous, even though it was not suited to her personality. Otherwise, my parents did very little trendy in their decorating. The formal living and dining rooms have not changed significantly since I was in first grade.

    Rocky, I have “decorated” Or place either. That would be a kind of settling in.

  38. “the whole “kitchen as funeral home” look”

    haha! That center island does look as if it could be coffin at a wake. I’ve heard it commented that the granite countertop trend made one think of headstones!

  39. We had a full set of harvest-gold appliances in our kitchen growing up. Fridge, dishwasher, and oven. And dark wall-to-wall carpet everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms (mom and dad had shag wall-to-wall in their bedroom, which I guess was the height of fashion at the time). And wallpaper everywhere. It really was pretty awful.

    I go to a lot of open houses around our current neighborhood, and ALL of the houses that are staged have had all the interior walls painted various shades of gray or greige. To me, living in a place like that would feel like living in a rainy day, every day.

    One current trend I don’t like are the super-fancy tile or glass backsplashes in the kitchens. Some of them are so busy that they give me a headache just looking them. I’m also not a huge fan of subway tile — it reminds me too much of, well, a subway station. We actually don’t have a backsplash at all other than the counter stone extending up about four inches up the wall. There’s just a painted wall extending up between that and the kitchen cabinets. The paint cleans up just fine.

  40. 2003 is mission style, which actually was very popular in the late 90’s. My mother was really into that look starting around the late 80’s because she had a craftsman bungalow. She even subscribed to American Bungalow. Her house was amazing, just gorgeous but with all of her quirky style added in as well as her own artwork. Her garden got featured in the local paper.

    In the early 90’s, I sublet a loft in Manhattan which was owned by an artist whose father had collected original Mission style furniture from the 1910’s and 20’s. The loft looked like something out of American Bungalow. It was the best decorated place I have ever lived in.

  41. I think other colors can look different depending on the light but with gray the effect is more pronounced. Northern light turns color cool and southern light warms it up.

  42. Our current living room look is “IKEA and Target furniture covered in Magic The Gathering cards and swords”.

  43. Mooshi, that table & chairs are cool. If I had a house big enough, I’d have a breakfast nook with that kind of lounge furniture in 1970s overdone oranges and pinks to drink coffee and eat parties in. But it would have to be a very big house, with several other places to eat.

  44. “We actually don’t have a backsplash at all other than the counter stone extending up about four inches up the wall. ”

    That’s what we have. I think we ended up that way because of decision fatigue and we just did not feel like choosing another thing for our remodel.

  45. I am considering getting rid of the sofa and loveseat in the living room and replacing them with chairs. The thing is, when people come over, they will wedge themselves to the ends of the sofa, and then the middle cushion is unused. Unrelated people don’t like to share the loveseat. I have enough church and political committee meetings that not everyone is best buds. So maybe I’ll just have, like, eight comfy chairs. What do you think?

  46. That should’ve been
    Rocky, I haven’t “decorated” our place either. That would be a kind of settling in.

  47. Rocky, my first thought is that it would look like a doctors waiting room, but I definitely get your point about guests not wanting to crowd into a sofa. Do you have a particular chair style in mind? I think grouping some of the chairs into twos or threes could create a nice look.

  48. RMS, lol at your observation of people’s behavior on couches and loveseats. You could hold your meetings in the meditation room, with floor pillows. ;)

  49. RMS, when I saw that photo, at first glance I thought you had posted a photo of me! Because we were often renting temporary quarters, we often lived in places that looked just like that. We either rented furnished, or got stuff from the Salvation Army. That is why, when we finally bought a house, my mother went nuts with the Scandinavian Design look.

  50. NoB – lately the builder houses that I see online are really pale grey (instead of all white with off-white, which was more 3 years ago) with white trim. Do they look darker in person?

    None of the pictures correctly approximate L’Abbey. The early 2000s and 1990s pictures with the giant florals correctly represent the curtains that were here. We also have some tone-on-tone wallpaper in the formal hallways, kind of like this except all white, no gold or anything: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66850375690472294/
    And then that same wallpaper in red in the events room.

  51. Rocky, setting up 7 or 8 chairs in a way that doesn’t look like a meeting (I assume that’s not your favorite living room vibe) is a challenge. You could go the opposite direction, as in the next-to-last photo here, in which no one would have that weird couchy behavior, because everyone would be on the couch, by default. Or just go with the bane of Rhett’s existence, a modular sofa, and pull the pieces apart for meetings. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/all-the-reasons-your-living-room-sofa-is-holding-you-back-223174

  52. RMS – you could mix up the style of chairs by having some with no arms. We have chairs with no arms and they are very comfortable and can be positioned as extra chairs away from the main chair grouping. You could consider 4 chairs with arms/2 chairs without/ a one or two person upholdstered bench.
    Depending on how many people you have you can quickly position the furniture.

  53. Our kitchen has white bottom cabinets, no upper cabinets, and white subway tile backsplash. The walls are painted “Maisy yellow”, which is the yellow in the kids book “Maisy’s Colors”. The counters are a mix of very deep blue tile, and butcher block. We have a big butcher block table in the center instead of an island.

    I love the deep blue tile, which is slightly rough and speckled. Originally, I wanted black soapstone (not the gray streaky kind but the matte black kind), but the adoption went through right at the point when we were supposed to be choosing materials, and it was going to be too hard to find the right kind of soapstone when we had to travel in 2 weeks. But now I am glad we have the tile, because it looks cheerful and bright with the yellow walls.

  54. I like my walls white, or else some bright color. I detest beige on principle, and gray looks prisonlike.

    When we moved into our house, the people who owned it before us (a young couple who were only there 2 years before they divorced) did many terrible things to our Sears house. The more fixable was the horrific color scheme. In our bedroom, they had painted all the walls a very dark forest green. They painted the radiator too, in that same horrible green, and we have never been able to get any subsequent paint to stick, nor could we really strip the green. One of the other bedrooms was done with a different color on every wall. The third bedroom was salmon pink, very dark. Ugh!

  55. The 70s look is definitely what I remember from the 80s. My parents never tried to keep up with current trends. Right now if you stepped into my parents house it would look like the 1994 picture with the kitchen from 2005.

    I do like the crisp look of grey, but I typically prefer warm colors. We need to paint our first floor and I can’t decide on what to go with. I think that if I go with a grey/cooler color look I’ll regret that decision quickly. So in the mean time I have done nothing.

  56. This is a kitchen look I am seeing in all the high design mags now. It is going to look really really dated in 10 years, and in 20 years we will be comparing this color to the avocado green of the 70’s

  57. ” I hate the current trend of different upper and lower kitchen cabinet colors.”

    I do too. I mean, I don’t mind the look. But every time I see it (along with the different color island and different grantie tops for each), I just think about how expensively dated it is going to be in just a few years.

    So I kind of dig the ’53 and ’61 mid-century modern looks.

    The bedroom from ’91 with the big 4-poster bed was my dream bedroom in HS – it looks like my “rich” friend’s room from that time!

    I still love dark sage. (referenced in multiple years as horrible – I don’t care. I’m pretty sure my first couch purchase as an adult was the one pictured in the ’98 photo) I don’t care if they are “out” – I still like warm colors and earth tones. They’ll come back and replace all this cool grey at some point.

    Some of these are pretty big trends and some of them are kind of obscure. Like the orgy couch in ’76 (the year I was born). Doubt there were tons of those. Or the animal heads that were marked as a “trend” in ’14. Then again, monograms did seem to take over all my friends’ houses in 2015.

    My parents still have purple carpet from the early ’90s. It’s pretty bad.

  58. Meme, is that kitchen color what yours actually looks like? I ask because it’s amazing, and because we’ve been looking for a greyish/blue color for the boy’s room (the one I tried at his birthday was very, very purpley on the wall)

  59. Rocky, the pic from 54 has at least 6 individual chairs in the living room, which is done in yet another style for my house of many rooms

  60. I wonder if we’ll get around to the 64-style “big florals” with the current “botannicals” trend.

    The wild 67 wallpaper would be cool in the right place/proportion.

    Didn’t the Brady Bunch have a sunken living room?

    Glass blocks don’t seem like a legit trend to me, more like a useful thing in some places that can easily be too much elsewhere.

  61. I admit – I kinda like sunken living rooms. My IL’s had one in their old house. But their old house was a Tudor from the 20’s. Not 70’s at all.

  62. Rocky, how big is the room? Is there space to have a smallish round table with four chairs around it off to the side? Those would be easy to pull out/put back without changing the whole room around. Like this setup, but probably a different style

  63. “I still love dark sage. ”

    Ivy – No. Not on my living room walls. That was the initial color when we moved in. The back of my living room is what you see on my FB post about the built-in. Imagine the walls dark sage (and I mean dark).

    If I have a chance this weekend, I’ll have to find a way to post my “before” photos from our house.

  64. SM – Yes that is the color. With a high titanium white for woodwork. An off white (and most “whites” are off white) makes it look a bit less cold/cool.

  65. S&M, I really like that living room look. And the coffee table makes me nostalgic for my mommy’s living room. This is a look I would aspire to, but the white sofa would soon be coated with orange Frito debris, and kids shoes.

  66. Meme, sorcery! Those just look so different on the screen. Thanks for the reply. I’ll have to check it out.

  67. I like watching Mad Men and the Americans because the set design folks did a great job finding authentic everyday flotsam from those periods. Betty Draper had my mom’s kitchen canisters and her slippers. Paige Jennings had the Trapper Keeper notebook. Impressive attention to detail. Hard to imagine that someone gets paid to find that stuff.

  68. Mooshi – I owned a similar rug in my first married apartment – purchased 1975. Scarlett – I own the spice rack from Don Draper’s kitchen – it was a wedding gift. Ivy, my mom would be 102 if she were still with us. When she replaced the carpet, I got her to go to a pale apricot. But the sofa was white, with a skirt all the way down to the floor and plastic slipcovers for the cushions. Marble on the coffee table. A plastic runner from the front door to the hallway to the bedroom. Loose plastic raincoats for the wing chairs. SM – It is exactly the same color on the wall and on my monitor at home, a desktop Mac. Yours may look different.

  69. I think Mad Men and the Americans are great shows, but the clothes, car and decor is an added bonus. I think I turned to my husband a few times this season to tell him that I had an almost identical shirt or outfit to the one that Paige was wearing in an episode.

  70. @Rhode – Dark sage on the walls? I agree with you. But for a couch? I still like it. I think our living room is BM “Dry Sage” which is lighter than a dark sage, but definitely still greenish and not grey. We tried the lighter version & it looked far too close to white/grey for our space which is pretty sunny for most of the day.

    We don’t actually have a dark sage couch anymore, but our current one is still an earthier color. Not cool grey.

  71. “I think I turned to my husband a few times this season to tell him that I had an almost identical shirt or outfit to the one that Paige was wearing in an episode.”

    I definitely have. She had a rainbow sweater on one episode that got me looking through my grammar school photos looking for my own favorite sweater from 4th grade.. (Paige is a bit older than me, but I do remember the mid-80’s.)

  72. Ivy – furniture is one thing. Actually, I think I would like a gray or dark colored couch next. Our boys will torture the furniture. My furniture is already showing signs of toddler torture. Though in fairness to the furniture, it’s 13 years old, from Ashley (so not top of the line), survived 3 moves, 1 flood, 3 dogs, countless parties… it’s starting to look sad.

  73. Paige was wearing an Outer Banks t shirt during an episode this season that was exactly like one of mine. Down to the banded sleeves. I could almost smell the peculiar hot plastic smell produced by the iron that the t shirt shop used to apply the design.

  74. I wonder if they scour vintage clothing shops for some of this stuff. I did think that my old park and playgrounds were good stand ins for several episodes that were supposed to be in Russia.

  75. Check out these photos.

    This Pelham Manor home has been vacant since 1969

    What’s most intriguing about this home is not the gas pump, nor its gorgeous inlaid mahogany floors or the unique Adirondack room.

    What’s most intriguing is that it has remained, virtually untouched, since well before Masten passed away at age 86 in 1969….

    Graves didn’t offer an explanation for why this house remained a time capsule, with bills and correspondence dating to the 1950s in a glass-fronted credenza in the upstairs sitting room, nor the vanity table still covered with perfume bottles and brushes in the junior master bedroom. Town and Country magazines from the early 1970s lay on a table as if they were just put down.

  76. ” I could almost smell the peculiar hot plastic smell produced by the iron that the t shirt shop used to apply the design.”

    I rememer that smell!

    @july – That is incredible. They must have gone in and dusted before taking the photos, right? It looks spotless, yet set in time.

  77. @Rocky: One of the things I used to like that Christopher Lloyd did was to create two seating areas, but with a long ottoman kind of thing/backless cushioned bench in the middle of the two [so if the seats were a sqared-off “8,” the ottoman would be the crossbar). You could set up something sort of like that, so you have more human-sized usable spaces when it’s just a couple of you, but then move the ottoman thingy when you have a bigger crew.

    @NoB: I hate that look. That’s also my problem with the all-white kitchens. To make something comfortable, you need to have a balance of color and neutrals; too much color and the eye doesn’t have anywhere to rest, too much neutral and you fall asleep. I like greys and taupes specifically because they *don’t* call attention to themselves and serve as a nice foil for the accent colors and pieces I have. But when you go all-white, or all-grey, or all-grey-and-white, it’s just stark and bland.

  78. Meme, SM – It is exactly the same color on the wall and on my monitor at home, a desktop Mac What I was asking about are the two different colors at the link you posted. The color in the rectangle (the “swatch”) looks very different to me than the color of the wall in the picture of a kitchen, also at that link.

  79. @July – my grandma had that fur scale!! I forgot all about it until just now. Wow.

  80. NOB – that is too too much gray and I don’t really like the true gray paint colors that are that dark – they seem really cold.

    My new kitchen has white cabinets with gray subway tile and quartzite countertops that look like carrara marble so it is all sort of cool colors but I think we have warmed things up with accessories (and no gray furniture). We added red canisters, wooden stools and leather chairs with a red/navy rug in the adjacent family room to warm it up. And our couch is a warm linen color. I love it (although I would have preferred white subway tile but my husband was adamantly against it).

  81. S&M – my friend has a lot of Hague Blue in her house, it’s really pretty. I love navy walls – my husband’s office is Hale Navy and our butler’s pantry is Newburyport Blue.

  82. S&M – one room that’s not toddler-friendly is fine by me. Give me that room any day (though I’d probably have a different wall color). But those built-ins are similar to the ones we just had done. Instead of the evening’s brandy, however, we have a bucket of blocks and a box of legos…though my antique silver tea set is on one of the shelves… makes me feel a little more grown up.

    In reality, I have 6 rooms in my home. I don’t get the option of having non-toddler-friendly. In my next life…

  83. “https://atmedia.imgix.net/32d06bddd11789f06931a723ea4bad4f93e7a808
    Hague Blue dining room. I’ve seen this color elsewhere too. Wish I could figure out how to make the pix work, instead of showing up as links.”

    that chandelier is quite dated… 1980s I’d say.

  84. The design style I wish I knew more about is modern, but not MCM, more like Bauhaus or something. My son like that really sleek look. He always insists that he wants no trim and everything plain white, but in reality he doesn’t notice the details that make things look nice. I need to find a set of rules or something.

  85. Speaking of flashbacks — there’s a guy on Facebook who was two years behind me in high school. He has started several Facebook groups about my old hometown. At my urging, he started a subgroup for the class pictures from all the elementary schools. The pictures are freakishly identical in format, because every elementary school was built the same. Each one had a multi-purpose room, and it would be set up with risers, and the kids would file onto the risers organized by height. Year after year, decade after decade, Palo Alto kids all on the risers, only the hairstyles and clothing styles ever changing. Somewhere around 1960 the photos went from black and white to color. It’s a very odd effect to see them all at once, and half of the dresses from 1966 to 1972 look very familiar to me.

  86. Does anyone have recommendations for mattress toppers? I foolishly agreed to let my friend and his 80 relatives (okay, fine, 7) stay with us for Denver Comic Con, and to house them all I’m going to have to put his brother-in-law in the basement on the futon, but the futon is, like, 30 years old and rock hard. But I’m reluctant to buy an entire new bed just for my friend’s BIL for a weekend.

  87. And DH and I would totally flee and abandon the house to these people, but my poor 20-year-old cat would be left alone with them, and I can’t do that.

  88. NOB, just the vastness alone of that open floor plan would make me not want to buy it. And the gray would have to go asap. Too institutional for me

  89. I thno the grey was a good choice for staging that house, because whatever the prospective buyer was thinking of for furniture, it wouldn’t clash. White is also neutral, of course, but it can make a place look overly bright and echo-y. The grey softens, makes you feel less nekkid on an open plain.

  90. RMS – Amazon has a ton of memory foam toppers that aren’t too expensive, ranging from one inch to several inches thick. You can also get a mattress protector to go over the top of it all so it’s not just a fitted sheet on top of a bare slab of memory foam.

  91. Perhaps this will be my excuse to finally venture into an Ikea.

  92. Perhaps this will be my excuse to finally venture into an Ikea.

    Hey, babe, take a walk on the wild side.

  93. Rocky, you haven’t been to IKEA yet? It’s a great way to spend an hour or two, even if you have no interest in buying anything.

  94. For free tea/coffee, sign up for the “family” loyalty program when you get there.
    Check out my favorite living room furniture, Soderhamm, while you’re there and consider if your committee members would like to sit so low.

    Looking forward to your report on the adventure ;)

  95. Update on my granddaughter. The blood work came back positive for babesiosis, a tick borne parasitic disease (similar to a mild malaria) that is usually asymptomatic in healthy individuals. Her symptoms were 100% congruent with the diagnosis. Although they are consulting on the treatment, it is possible that since she is not immunocompromised, has her spleen, and is not frail elderly, there will be no treatment at all, and they will monitor her and the whole family with blood tests for a bit. Otherwise it is quinine and clintomycin or some similar drug combo. Grandpop is a Harvard trained physician and the public health system in MA and possibly the CDC will be consulted and notified.

  96. @Meme — WOW. So sorry to hear that. Hope she and the family do well.

  97. Babesiosis is fairly new in the Northeast, has increased there rapidly over the last five years as the climate has changed. It was only recently added to the list of diseases that can be checked for in studies paid for by a grant. Apparently, people often don’t realize they have it, so it is very fortunate that Meme’s son and DiL noticed it and got treatment early. I hope everything goes well!


  98. I hope she clears up fast without treatment! What a interesting development – and unfortunately, it’s never good to be an “interesting” patient. Glad for the family that there is some definitive diagnosis and course.

  99. Meme, I’m glad your granddaughter was diagnosed and a good course of action is being taken. Best wishes to all the family.

    Keeping ticks off can be so challenging, especially for kids who like to play in the grass. What can parents do? Keep the kids on the patio? Locally I’m hearing more about yards being treated specifically for ticks, but what about big yards and parks?

    Do you know if her doctors gave any specific advice on preventing tick bites?

    Here’s the other thing. Nymphs can be very hard to spot.

    The parasite typically is spread by the young nymph stage of the tick. Nymphs are mostly found during warm months (spring and summer) in areas with woods, brush, or grass.

    Infected people might not recall a tick bite because I. scapularis nymphs are very small (about the size of a poppy seed) …

    Can babesiosis be prevented?

    Yes. People can take steps to prevent babesiosis and other tickborne infections. The use of prevention measures is particularly important for people at increased risk for severe babesiosis (for example, people who do not have a spleen). If possible, areas infested with ticks should be avoided, especially during warm months. If such areas cannot be avoided, use protective measures during outdoor activities. See the Prevention and Control page for tips, such as checking yourself daily for ticks. The tiny I. scapularis ticks that spread B. microti usually must stay attached to a person for more than 36-48 hours to be able to transmit the parasite. Daily tick checks can prevent disease transmission.

  100. Meme – glad to hear that there was a diagnosis and a roadmap for treatment.

    Another thing to be aware of is that as people vacation or volunteer in different parts of the world, they may pick up diseases/infections which are uncommon. My mother’s friend’s son left the home country to work in Amesterdam. While there he had abdominal pain which the doctors there were treating as IBS. When he came back to the home country on holiday, his symptoms were worse and he was rushed to the hospital. Turns out he had G.I. TB, which home country doctors are familiar with.

    On the IKEA note, I haven’t been to one either. My friend who lives about an hour and fifteen minutes drive from me, said she was going to be at IKEA one of these days, so I could meet her there. It is sort of halfway between where she and I live. I don’t venture to that part of the city often. If we coordinate, looking forward to checking it out.

  101. This disease is spread by nymphs, the size of a poppy seed. And they don’t hurt when they latch on. Probably no more adventures in the woods will be permitted. They do treat the mowed area, but there are acres of fun land to explore behind the house.

  102. From the local sales group (one of the benefits of living in a diverse community)

    “I am moving out from USA at the end of June and have a lot of house staff to sell…”

  103. Sorry, I now realize the joke may not be funny to everyone. Someone wrote “house staff” when they meant “house stuff” on a local nextdoor.com equivalent.

  104. Meme – glad there’s a diagnosis. Hope she won’t need anything more than observation.

  105. Update from Madrid, on weekend bedtimes for the 3, 6 and 8 year old, via WhatsApp on Friday night:

    “OMG it’s 10:15 and the kids haven’t had dinner yet!”
    “Update 11:33 and the kids are still awake.”

    NB: No complaints at all about their behavior.

  106. I hope everyone had a good father’s day. We got together and had dinner outside at a local Italian restaurant. The food was delicious and the breeze was lovely. We commented that it felt as if we were dining on the Italian Mediterranean coast. (Well, it did if you really used your imagination and ignored the occasional train noise from the tracks nearby.) Sadly, a close friend’s father died unexpectedly earlier this past week so that was a reminder of how fragile life is.

  107. When I was a kid growing up in Mass there were tick checks every night in the bath but the ticks were normal sized back then. One of my sisters did have Lyme when we were kids and I had a friend in high school who nearly died of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Two years ago my son was playing near a stone wall at his grandparents house in RI and we found two of the poppy seed ticks on him – they were ridiculously small and if they had been on his head there’s no way we would have found them (arm pit). I have heard you should spray your clothes and am thinking about doing that with the kids since we’ll be up there for four weeks this summer. We were hiking in Asheville before dropping my daughter off at sleep away camp two weekends ago and pulled a regular tick off of her shoulder afterwards. I never think about it down here because Lyme just does not happen in great incidence.

  108. We have been getting a few announcements from kids teachers on moving away. The ones moving away are young women who got married. The teacher retirements OTOH are kept quiet. I feel we don’t get enough notice to say a proper good bye, especially as these ladies have been long time teachers and well regarded.

  109. On playing out in the woods down here – it has not turned out so benign because kids have gotten stung by yellow jackets. The whole experience of seeing kids covered, in a panic and crying has put parents in a tizzy too, with frantic running around and the stinging menaces everywhere.

  110. Louise, that’s too bad. It’s not like they are leaving because of something bad about the school.

  111. Louise – we got stung by yellow jackets the other week too. And then there’s the snakes. We have so far just found water snakes and racers but there are copperheads in my neighborhood. My friends has killed two copperheads with a shovel in the past year. Shudder…

  112. Yeah, I have to say, thanks to Meme’s story, I sprayed up before venturing into the hedge and berry brambles yesterday, but if they’re the size of a poppy seed, what the heck can you really do?

    The good news is that DH’s giant birdcage around the blueberries seems to be working, as we have gotten significantly more than ever this year. Not a great year for my black raspberries, though — better than last, when a swarm of something came through and ate them all, but I think I let the weeds go too long (a/k/a “gee, I need to whack at the berries” “oh, wait, it’s 50 and raining, maybe I need to sit in my comfy chair again”), and some of the berry vines got crowded out. But those puppies are gone now, so next year should be good judging by all of the small shoots. And it is a total bumper crop of blackberries — made jelly yesterday. Unfortunately, those aren’t so great for eating straight up (the thornless variety I bought tends to have a really woody/wooly center that doesn’t eat well), and they are still coming in hand over fist, and I am leaving town tomorrow. But, hey, it’s nice to have fruit!

  113. Copperheads are bad but this article says not too bad….

    They’re bad enough, thanks!

  114. “Copperheads are bad but this article says not too bad….”

    Uhhhhh, sure. It *might* not kill me. Umm, yay?

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