Real estate agents get a unique opportunity to see homes and design trends ebb and flow as they show property, take listings, and search through the MLS. Wallpaper and popcorn ceilings, orange shag carpet from the 1970s, the gray, gray, and more gray color palette of recent years make up a history book of design changes.

Design and remodel firm Bath + Kitchen summarized the kitchen design trends by decade*:
  • Kitchens in the 50’s were known for bright pastels, bubble-shaped appliances and colorful linoleum.
  • Kitchens from the 60’s were all about bright, kooky colors, everything from mod orange to lime green.
  • The 70’s were about earth tones and muted colors…The natural, wood palette
  • Laminate cabinets emerged in the 80’s and many kitchens adopted the “Euro-style” cabinet, which was a white cabinet with a wood trim….U-shaped kitchens with continuous Formica countertops
  • Oak cabinets with light laminate or tile countertops were a mainstay in kitchens from the 90’s. Light oak finishes and all-white appliances were on trend. And many people put away their countertop appliances and knick-knacks in exchange for a simple fruit bowl. 

If you are considering selling and are worried that your 1980s kitchen will deter home buyers, we want to dispel that myth! Homes sell with outdated kitchens and bathrooms all the time. Especially in today’s market, where homes are selling quickly and above asking price, buyers are willing to overlook the cosmetics.


The steps to selling your home are not: think about selling, remodel your home, then call your agent.  

The earlier your real estate agent gets involved, the earlier they can advise you on the best strategy to sell your home. Often the cost of a remodel, time, and stress that goes into getting your home up-to-date don’t pay out a return on investment when you go to sell.


Curious about whether your home could benefit from some light cosmetic fixes before you list or whether it is better to list As-Is (wallpaper and all)? Call us today! Our office has real estate agents working all throughout Southern California — Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside counties.


Home Design Dilemmas

One person’s favorite home design trend is another person’s nightmare. What do you think of barn doors, floating shelves, and pallet wood walls?

Although installing floating shelves without cabinet doors can seem like a great way to cut down on clutter and stay organized, done wrong it looks sloppy.

Barn doors and pallet walls were a favorite DIY trend partially because they could be done installed at a low cost and by homeowners.


This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.