The design world is not immune to questionable trends. The ’80s and ’90s were particularly infamous for a few hideous aesthetic choices—several that dragged us across the shag carpet of the ’70s from the cocooned safety of the conversation pit and into a ceramic tiled manse where fashionable updates to our interior lives included popcorn ceilings, bordered wallpaper, glossy wood trim, beige, overstuffed furniture, towering entertainment units, and the slinky comforts of a waterbed. If all of that (and some very indiscriminate gilding) was not enough, we also welcomed track lighting into the home.
The only value of these former aesthetic crimes is that they serve as a reminder of what’s worth leaving behind. But the past is never really gone. We see this in fashion nearly every runway season, when a designer pulls from a lost era and finds a way to rework some detail, pattern, or cut to create an exciting new look.
Design also reaches into the vault—though the lead time is a bit longer and the impact is far deeper because the home is not the wardrobe. This current mood has seen the revival of design elements and materials that now look incomparable next to their original selves. These are not just foxy makeovers. The five looks spotlighted here have ushered in some incredible craftsmanship, introduced a host of new talents, and set us up for excellent future renditions—so much so that most of these styles won’t be fading anytime soon.