The 90s trends we forgot we loved

Step back to the future as we explore the interiors trends most popular in the 90s. Perpare to take a trip down memory lane...

1. PSYCHEDELIC LIGHTING

The silver 'Astro' lava lamp is one of Mathmos' most popular designs, and no 90s bedroom was complete without one. Pop yours on now, and it might just be warmed up by the time you reach the end of this gallery...  

Silver 'Astro' lava lamp, £75, Mathmos

 

2. LET THERE BE LIGHT 

Due to the signs advertising beer on the outside of bars and pubs in the 1990s, neon lights surged in popularity. And thanks to artist Tracey Emin, neon signs are a hot-trend once more! You can spot shining motivational messages and quirky shapes on the walls of most Instagram-worthy abodes. 

 

Neon 'Lido' sign, £4,320, Lights of Soho at 1stDibs

 

3. THE DAWN OF FLAT-PACK

Encouraging us to ‘do it ourselves’, flat-pack superstore IKEA first landed on British shores in the 1980s. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the UK fully embraced its pared-down Scandi style, which encouraged us to 'chuck out the chintz' and keep things simple. 

 

4. KEEP IT NATURAL 

Popular interior designer Kelly Hoppen's signature colour was taupe, and as such, soft and neutral shades were the colour palette of the era. Think warm browns, peaches and pale shades, like these from Farrow & Ball and Dulux

     

Paints taken from a selection at Farrow & Ball and Dulux

 

5. SLEEP STYLE

Is it a sofa? Is it a bed? We simply can't tell. Inspired by the interiors of the Far East, futons were a staple in our 90s schemes. Often featuring a wooden slatted frame, overlaied with a thin (occasionally lumpy) mattress, no spare bedroom was complete without one. 

‘Yoko’ sofa bed, £199, Made.com 

 

6. FANTASTIC PLASTIC

Inspired by an 18th-century classic, but crafted from stackable and practical plastic, Philippe Starck’s ‘Louis Ghost’ armchair was an expression of 20th-century creativity. A playful nod to the traditional antique Louis XIV armchair, this classic design has been copied the world over. 

Philippe Starck’s ‘Louis Ghost’ armchair, £213, Heal’s

 

7. IF IN DOUBT, SPONGE 

Any home decorator worth their salt will have indulged in a spot of tasteful stencilling, rag-rolling or sponge painting in the 90s. Encouraged by the oh-so popular home makeover show (who remembers BBC's Changing Rooms?) we can't help but admire these highly creative interior pursuits... even if we do find the ivy and leaf designs a little strange. 

 

8. THE AGE OF ALESSI 

From spring-loaded toothpick holders to colourful plastic containers, classic Italian designer Alessi embraced the mood of the 90s. Focusing on playful colour and form, Alessi certainly divided design opinion - yet throughout the 90s it employed some of the eras most prolific designers, and sales rocketed. 

 

 

‘Gianni’ container, £13.50, Alessi

 

Read the full feature in the November issue of Homes & Antiques (our extra-special 300th issue!). Back issues are available here.

 

Homes & Antiques' December issue is out today!
previous feature article
The best of the John Lewis Christmas collection
next feature article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here