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DÉCOR THROUGH THE DECADES

July 23, 2014

North Olmsted, Ohio... Remember when brass fixtures and mauve countertops were all the rage in kitchen design? How about the days of shag carpet (yes, in the bathroom) and avocado tile? Fortunately, those particular trends have come and gone. And, whether you embraced them or not, they did have an influence on the space you live in right now. Take a look through the decades to see how décor styles have evolved into the modern kitchen and bathrooms of today.

1930s

America was entering the Great Depression, and while the country's economy was sinking, Art Deco design was giving homemakers hope by becoming more accessible to the middle class. This décor style featured polished lines, geometric shapes, metallic tones... and let mom know it was okay to have some fun with color -- especially in the kitchen. The slow economy also made it a great year for creative inventions. One innovation, which you have certainly used, was the single-handle faucet. In 1939, a young Al Moen was cleaning up after an evening of work when he went to wash his hands at an old-fashioned, two-handle faucet. A sudden burst of hot water made him jump back in alarm and this moment of surprise turned out to be the inspiration for the single-handle mixing faucet -- an invention that would revolutionize plumbing and allow homeowners to get warm water at the sink.

1940s

With World War II ending, the 1940s brought a need for housing that was met with the mass production of simple structures, like Cape Cods. These homes were small, so interiors were kept uncluttered to maximize the space. Kitchen design was all about being practical -- white cabinets helped homemakers spot dirt, while Linoleum flooring and metal countertops were durable and easy to clean. To add a pop of color in the kitchen, the ladies of this decade opted for bright floral wallpaper. As the popularity of television sets increased, Hollywood glamour became a big style inspiration. In the late 1940s, décor went from down-to-earth to over-the-top lavish, like the sets of movies featuring starlets Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman, and homes began incorporating more lush furniture and bold colors with shiny silver, gold and copper accents.

Today's Home

Fast forward to 2014, where decade-old design elements and materials that were once the height of fashion have reappeared in new and innovative ways. When it comes to decorating today's homes, wallpaper is coming back to make a statement, adding texture and depth to living spaces. Geometric shapes and bright colors are also reappearing in home accents and furniture, just paired with neutrals for a more contemporary look. With urban areas gaining in popularity, the smaller kitchens of the past are making a comeback -- only this time they're packed with top-of-the-line equipment including high-speed ovens, induction cooktops, built-in flat screen TVs and charging stations. Additionally, kitchen fixtures are getting smarter. The MotionSense™ pulldown kitchen faucets from Moen add hands-free technology to the sink; making tasks like washing dishes, filling a glass of water and preparing the evening meal easier. MotionSense utilizes advanced sensors to detect movement in two sensing zones, setting water flow in motion, as if on command. It's like having a second set of hands in the kitchen -- perfect for when yours are too full or too dirty to turn on the faucet. While it's fun to go back and look at décor trends and innovations from the past, it's important to remember how they have shaped our current style. Who knows, maybe our idea of contemporary today, will be a future generation's idea of traditional.