American Decor in 6 Decades
The decor of American bedrooms has been in constant change over the past six decades. From the bright pastel colors of the 1950s to the expansive bedrooms of the 21st century, how our bedrooms are decorated says a lot about the times we live in.
In the 1950s, American culture was much more conservative, and so were our home furnishings, especially in the bedroom. Married couples sleeping separately in twin beds was a popular theme on television, even if that idea didn’t quite translate to real life. Siblings did share bedrooms more often in those days, however, as most American houses only featured two bedrooms.
The 1960s saw many radical changes in popular culture and more Americans were taking it upon themselves to design bedrooms that matched the times. With psychedelic designs and far out posters and furniture, bedrooms were becoming an outlet for creative expression as well as comfort.
The 1970s were all about earth tones, but that didn’t mean things weren’t bold as well. Beds got bigger, waterbeds were common, and wood grain paneling and wallpaper was at the height of popularity. The excesses of the ’60s seemed to be welcomed in the ’70s and that was evident in home decor.
American Decor: The 80′s and Onward
Houses got bigger in the 1980s and consequently so did bedrooms. Designs became brighter and more futuristic in look. The number and size of our bedrooms got even bigger and so did the number of gadgets we put in them. TVs, video game systems and VCRs were all welcomed into the bedrooms of America.
In the 1990s, the ‘bigger is better’ theme continued with new homes containing even more bedrooms and more space. Luxury mattresses also gained in popularity, as did silk and satin sheets.
Today, our bedrooms are our own private sanctuaries. They’re big, they are full of technology and they’re quite luxurious when compared to past decades.
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Floral themed fabric is a London specialty that dates back to the 19th century. These British prints, styled in both cotton and silk, were inspired by eastern motifs and elegance; and were enormously popular with fashionstas in old-time London.
Floral Prints in Bloom for Your Bedroom
Nowadays they’re getting trendy once more, cropping up in everything from clothing to home decorating accessories. Floral print fabrics originate with the London shop of the same name, which was one of the first stores in the western world to carry eastern silks. The shop sells paisley, florals, pastels abstracts and other patterned prints sewn in a variety of ways, from fabulous silk scarves to cotton purses. Another super chic item on the menu is Floral Print bed sets. The Emilia bed set, which comes with sheets, a duvet and a pillowcase, is illustrated with light blue floral motifs, perfect for the spring and summer. Other bed sets exhibit floral patterns with soft pinks, greens, and yellows – great for lightening up just any bedroom in your home. While floral print fabrics are trendy now, they also display a characteristic vintage look that hints back at this fabric’s storied history.
Making decorative crafts for your bedroom is a great way not only to hone your crafty side but also to give your space a personal touch. After all, what better shows off your individuality than crafts that you’ve made by hand? The projects below don’t require a lot of steps, or a lot of materials, but look very professional once completed. Armed with these crafty hacks, you’re bedroom will be looking super cute in no time.
Organize by upcycling. Desk drawers get messy; that’s just a fact. If your drawers have a tendency to get out of control, consider making drawer dividers using old cereal boxes. Simply cut the bottoms off of a few from your recycling bin, cover them with wrapping paper or wall paper and then secure the paper with glue or tape on the bottom. Sure, you could just go out and buy dividers too — but they won’t be as cute as these! Moreover, because you’re upcycling boxes, these drawer dividers cost almost nothing to create.
Add some floral notes. Add some indoor flowers to your room with a couple of clever tricks. Fill a glass container about 1/3 of the way with either clear glass marbles or stones. Place a tulip bulb on top of the stones, pointed end up, and add further support to the bulb by adding a few more rocks or marbles around it. Finally, pour water into the container. The water line should be close to the bulb, but shouldn’t touch it. With your tulip in a glass container, you’ll see the roots develop in a fascinating and artistic way.
DIY furniture. Do you want an extra place to sit in your room? Make a custom bench with cute fabric to go at the foot of your bed. Take a trip to Home Depot and buy four legs, a piece of wood, four chair leg plates and some screws. Then go to the craft store to pick out some padding and choose a few yards of fabric. Wrap the padding and the fabric around the piece of wood and staple with an industrial stapler to secure them in place. Drill a hole through the center of each leg, and attach them to the wood using the the chair leg plates and four sturdy screws. When you’re finished, you’ll have an adorable and sturdy extra seat.
Decorate a headboard. Are you thinking about changing your headboard? Consider making one of your own with fabric that matches your bed’s color sheme. You’ll need fabric, mattress toppers, wood and a thin backer board. All of these can be found at Wal Mart or craft stores. Also go to Home Depot for screws and a wood board. Measure your headboard space and cut your wood board to fit. Then cut the wood again into even squares. Cover each square with a piece of mattress topper and then fabric, then staple into place. Finally, secure your fabric squares to the backer board using screws or a hot glue gun. And then — voila, you’re finished! Depending on the type of fabric you choose, you can either totally remake your bedroom’s look, or simply add a little bit of crafty flair with this neat trick.
If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to your personal space, but don’t have a lot of time to invest in decorating, there are nonetheless a variety of ways you can give it a decent makeover by simply rearranging or adding accessories. Read on to get some tips on how to make your room visually pop with minimal effort:
Add something seasonal. Switch up some of your decor pieces four times a year in tune with the seasons. For example, you could celebrate spring by hanging floral artwork above your desk, or welcome a warm summer by exhibiting turquoise pottery on your vanity. For the fall, bring out a pair of red curtains and for the winter, a thick fur coverlet. Mixing up the accessories in your room when the seasons change will keep it looking fresh and visually appealing.
Experiment with pillows. Pillows, especially the decorative ones, add a lot of dramatic colouring. In fact, buying pillows for your bed (unlike painting the walls or changing the light fixtures) is one of the easiest ways to experiment with your bedroom’s colour, as you’re not making any heavy changes to your room when you do so. If you buy pillows that are wildly different colours , say red and black for example, you may find that they add a lot of contrast or depth to the color scheme of your room. Then again, depending on your room’s size and wall paint, that might not be the case at all! But by buying pillows and experimenting, you’ll know for sure one way or another. Experts also recommend that you use three or more pillows on your bed (the more the better). One or two pillows look small and flat, and won’t do the colors you’ve picked out justice.
Accessorize in odd numbers. Arrange items in threes or fives on a vanity, nightstand or or on your wall to create a layered effect. Better yet, arrange items with varied sizes, like three candles or five coloured bottles that exhibit different heights. The Rule of Three is a principle used in various aspects of design, not only interior decorating but also photography, graphic design and architecture. In general, the rule states that details and items grouped in odd numbers are more visually appealing, memorable, and effective on the onlooker than even-numbered arrangements.
Is furnishing a new bedroom putting a strain on your wallet? Consider using a couple of smart upcycling techniques to save a lot of money on either pieces of furniture or accessories. Upcycling is the practice of taking old objects doomed to the trash bin and transforming them into something both useful and gorgeous — while remaining, of course, dirt cheap. The following upcycling bedroom ideas, the brainchildren of several crafty bloggers with an eye for interior design, prove that chic doesn’t have to be costly.
Big persian carpets add a unique dimension to a bedroom, but a nice one can be expensive. Instead, try painting a colorful design on some spare carpeting or an inexpensive rug. Design blogger Lydia Pudel crafted the carpet below by cutting out a stencil, tracing the stencil over the carpet, and then using wall paint to transform the rug from a boring white into a dreamy, Moroccan themed piece.
Do you have an old door lying around somewhere? You might not expect it, but old doors make wonderful new ‘shabby chic’ bookshelves. The Craftaholics Anonymous blog features a corner bookshelf made out of two halves of a door. The crafter used a circular saw to chisel the door in two. She then nailed the two halves together, perpendicular to one another and added shelving. The result is a one-of-a-kind piece that makes the entire room pop. Craftaholics Anonymous is not the only blog that is repurposing old doors, however — check Pinterest for more ideas on how to transform old doors into viable pieces of furniture. Other ideas include coffee tables, desks, cupboards and even wall sconces.
Tablecloths are made from sturdy fabric and don’t just have to be for the table. You can use a new tablecloth or re-use an old one for inexpensive curtains in your bedroom. Simply iron out any wrinkles and clip them into place on the curtain rod — no sewing necessary. In fact, tablecloths are very versatile — check Pinterest for more ideas on how to use them for new chair cushions, pillows and more.