Glorious home decor disasters. You won't be able to look away.

I grew up in a household where a doll resembling a Barbie doll, dressed in a frilly dress, kept a tight reign over our (presumably one and only) spare toilet roll.

I also grew up with a 3D Jesus clock, hung on the lounge room wall despite not one of us being even one per cent religious.

There were salmon-coloured walls and silky, grey curtain pelmets at various stages of my young adulthood.

As an adult, I went on to commit similar unforgivable interior design crimes. We renovated a house at the height of the mid-90s that demanded a nautical yellow and blue theme. I was particularly partial to the ‘suede effects’ paints and, to complement this, purchased a luxurious fabric couch in bright blue with built-in recliners. You’re right: I had no shame (or taste).

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But I know I’m not alone, either as a teen, or as an adult who, really, should have known better.

It took me more than a decade and the renovation of at three homes before I realised that really, there’s only one phrase you should remember when decorating: less is more.

It’s a phrase forgotten in these circumstances:

1. The toilet rug.

Someone needs to walk me through this. Which genius thought it would be preferable to have pee-soaked carpet surrounding the bog than easy-to-mop tiles?



2. Rugs made from an actual animal.

Removing the hideous green walls and wicker furniture from this equation, let's focus: THAT is an actual zebra skin. Not cool.


3. Waterbeds

These were big. HUGE. Apart from the obvious unsupported back pain that would eventually result, was no one else a little more than anxious (and seasick) sleeping on what was essentially a big bag of water?




4. The feature wall.

The aforementioned suede paint effect that was big in the '90s covered a myriad of problems. Got a massive hole in the plaster? Covered. For some inexplicable reason, we also thought that if we just had a different coloured wall, it would enhance and distract from the rest of the house.


5. The blow-up chair

One sharp object and these were cactus.

6. Shag-pile carpet.

Seriously, what the hell was living in that carpet? It's not like they had the Dyson sucking power we have today.


7. Carpeted walls.

Why was this ever considered a good look?


8. Indoor wicker furniture.

Always considered good "outdoor furniture", at some point we decided we should move that shit indoors. Mistake.



9. Bean bags.

Granted, these are around today, but they aren't exclusively used as lounge room seating unless you're a desperate uni student. There was a point in time, however, that bean bags were considered to be genuine furniture.



10. Spa baths.

Not only were spa baths the ONLY kind of bath you would consider taking, showers were also redundant.

11. Salmon and grey

Hard to know how this took hold. But someone who had influence told the rest of the world that if they wanted to decorate their living rooms, they needed to use a combination of salmon pink and grey.


It's a time we'd all like to forget. But the memory is seared into our collective brains.


12. Massive entertainment units

I can't even see a television here. But this melamine unit was exactly the same kind I grew up with. It housed EVERYTHING. Our hopes, our dreams and, most importantly, 90210.


13. The wooden kitchen

I did this, so I know the reasoning behind it. It was all about creating a space that we could 'get back to the country in'. It was circa 2003 and it was sensational.


14. The wallpaper border.

Not content with a wall of plain colour? Not ready to go full wallpaper? Thank god for the wallpaper border. Bunnings had a admirable offering, and it's easy to see why many of us got suckered into it.

15. The pelmet.

Why stop at the curtain? You can dress that shit up and look all fancy. Massive in the late 90s, curtain companies must have been thanking their lucky stars.

16. The plastic couch cover.

Still found at grandma's house, this was even a thing for regular folk at one point. The reasoning? "I'm not going to splash all that cash on a couch only to have CHILDREN sit on it"?


17. Coral.

Whether you physically collected it yourself, or simply bought it an overpriced boutique, this fad overtook many an noughties lounge room.


How about you? Did you grow up in or go on to decorate your own home in style you are now mystified by? We'd love to know in the comments below.


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