In Living Color

Color is so much more than it seems. That’s something I’ve learned while working here at Fitterer’s.

Maybe it’s not so much that I’ve learned this concept, but I’ve come to understand just how much color can impact design, emotions and behavior in general.

In the past I’ve talked about color and its ability to affect moods, inspire, open up small spaces or tie designs together – all of which are obviously important. Today though, being “throwback Thursday” and all, it only seems fitting to dive into color trends over time.

Trends are easily in my top 5 favorite subjects. Shifts in style, fashion, music and of course color – they all help shape periods of time. Who doesn’t see a poodle skirt and instantly think, “50’s” ? Maybe a few, but for the most part its an iconic indicator of that decade.

Trends in color often work in that same recognizable way. Each decade , or sometimes multiple decades, seem to come with a unique and popular color scheme. Interior design over the years is a terrific example.

I didn’t necessarily need to research some of these iconic color trends – many of them are easily recognizable. Though I didn’t grow up in the 70’s for example, I immediately associate the avocado greens, rust oranges, browns and mustard yellows with this decade. You’ll see them in photographs, magazines and television from this time, and it simply becomes ingrained as a marker.

Others though, I didn’t know as much about, and that made this little research project all the more fun and interesting. With that, I’m excited to share with you some of the colors of the times starting all the way back in the 1800’s.

Mid 1800’s – Early 1900’s

The Victorian style of this era included beautiful hues, with a heavy focus on purples, reds and burgundys paired with contrasting greens and golds. These tones dominated the beginning of the era and remained popular as it progressed, with color shifting in a more subdued direction.


In the roaring 20’s we see neutrals on walls, but bold & vibrant blues, reds , pinks and greens dominate accent colors. The beautiful color combinations contribute to the glamorous look we associate with this lavish decade.



The 30’s & 40’s took a step in the modern direction. Interior color had a soft and creamy feel, with yellows, blushy pinks and subdued blues, but the deep burgundy and green accents of the previous era remained a staple in style. 


The post war 1950’s is closely associated with what we now call “ mid-century modern” design.
Scandinavian and pop art influence helped shaped the style of the 50’s; pastels were very prevalent with light pinks, blues and purples making their way onto the finish of appliances and kitchen décor. Chartreuse was a popular choice in this decade as well.


The rocking 60’s. This psychedelic decade shines brightly with bold contrasting colors that pair alongside modern & paisley style patterns. This hippie era also favored statement black and whites & geometric shapes.


Here’s that decade of the avocado green. The 70’s brought a heavy focus on colors found in nature, including amber, beige and brown. Mustard yellows and the infamous avocado greens help define this earth focused time. Fun Fact : The first Earth Day was recognized in 1970


When it comes to color, the 80’s are usually associated with gobs of neon, but this decade was more than highlighter yellows and pinks. The 80s also introduced popular southwestern pastels in dusty pinks and blues, particularly when it came to furniture.


The decade of grunge. I think its actually a little surprising that a time associated with grunge music and flannel was a popular time for Tuscan style interiors. However, this was a po pular time to pull clay and beige colors together with deep burgundy, particularly in kitchen areas.


Over the last 20 years or so we’ve seen a few different trends when it comes to color. At the beginning of the millennium, blues, whites and neutrals came together to create a spa look, popular in bedroom designs. Today, grays are often chosen for wall paint.

Though each time period seems to have a general identifiable style, trends tend to change as fast as they become popular. You can spend hours on the web reading what’s “in” for 2019, and many of these trends include bits and pieces from other eras that make their way back around.

However you decide your color scheme when it comes to your home, its important to stay true to yourself and your style. Afterall, your home should be a reflection of your personality!