Illustrations Portraying British Interior Design Trends by Decade (1950s to 2010s)

Recently UK-based company titled Harwey Water Softeners has released an infographic consisting of illustrations which portray the British interior design trends by decade, from the 1950s to the 2010s. Not only that, the infographic includes the information explaining why the look of British home has changed dramatically throughout the decades.

Below you’ll find the 7 illustrations portraying interior design trends that has been prevailing in each decade from the 1950s to the 2010s. It’s really amazing to see how the major changes in economy and culture occurred in the last 50 years have shaped British interior design and modified the arrangement of the home in Britain.


In the midst of the atomic age, Britain was experiencing the highs of the post war boom. Consumerism became rampant. People had money, families, and homes to fill with furniture. 50s interior design is typically characterised by modernism, open living spaces and appliances upon appliances for literally anything.



The swinging 60s saw the free love movement flourish underneath the dark spectre of probable nuclear annihilation. Striking out against modernism, the 60s sought to radically combine elements of the past with the new, forming post modernism.



Despite recession and mass unemployment, the 70s did see living standards and homeownership in the UK rise. The house was the crucible for the family. With economics leading to DIY culture and ‘built to last’ furniture.



The decade of excess introduced a number of bold and startling approaches to design. In its extremes it is remembered for stark coloured geometrical nightmares but for most normal homes it meant beige and teal colourings along with the prevalence of carpets and wall to wall wallpaper.



The 90s provided sobriety after the heady excesses of the previous decade, introducing Britpop and New Labour. Interior design was toned back for a more minimalist look with natural colours and lots and lots of pine furniture.



With the arrival of the millennium, interior design re-embraced the theme of colour into the home, with spaces becoming more personalised. The popularity of flat pack Ikea furniture reached dizzying new heights, whilst the technological revolution saw devices getting smaller and taking a higher priority in room arrangement.



In an era coloured by always online individuals and social media, self expression has come to define the approach to interior design. Home owners like to wear their influences and inspirations on their sleeve for all too see. In terms of the uncertain future of the economy, homeowners are making use of smaller living spaces and furniture with built in storage.


Information and illustrations are taken from the infographic.