Late this past summer, while worker dudes were at my home adding more insulation to my attic, a momentous thunderstorm swept through town. It was so fearsome that everyone stopped whatever they were doing and gathered in the garage to watch. We were there for just three or four minutes when BOOOOOM, right across the street a super-powered thunderbolt pounded into my neighbor’s front yard right. At least, it seemed that close… it was so fast. You could feel the strike deep into your reptilian brain.

Initially, there seemed to be no consequences. But when I drove down the lane on an errand a bit later, I saw that a humongous, old tree had been hit and fallen three houses down, at the intersection leading toward town. The entire DPW and firetrucks and gosh, everyone, was buzzing, it was some excitement.

Moreover, that night, when we went to watch TV: Nothing. No signal on two of the three TV sets in the house. Darnit, another project. Fast forward a couple days and a couple of service guys, and it seems the lightning came right through the (unground) cable and electrocuted the TVs. Today, we are proud owners of a big honkin’ flat screen with surround sound and high def and some variety of better cable service with 600 channels and which will be dissatisfying us by next year, I’m sure.

Our old TV was very old, so my husband likes to say, we have now left the 1990s and entered the 21st century. But not so fast. The first thing I want to look up, once I learn to triangulate the three remotes, is: Portlandia — a brand-new TV show where, yes, they they still dream of the 90s. It looks pretty funny. I like my satire. Note: Comedy/satire can be offensive… no political statement intended, not the purpose of the blog… and actually, in its way, I think this video actually pokes fun at all/both sides… Also, there is one reference to anatomical parts. Be forewarned.

Hey! My first post on the 90s!

I was bigtime decorating obsessed that decade. As I recall, the top trends included, (in no particular order):

  • Pine furniture….
  • Shabby Chic…
  • Oversized slipcovered sofas…
  • Corian countertops…
  • Apron sinks…
  • Arts & Crafts furniture…
  • White kitchens with ivy trellis wallpaper…
  • Huge prints of a pears…
  • “Bringing the outside in” with architectural ornamentaion…..

What else, readers? I bet most of us were there! Note: BE NICE, everyone! This is not a post intended to diss the 90s.

  1. Laura says:

    That’s an interesting point, Patty, and one that I think about all the time. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and even when I was young I had an affinity for things ‘vintage’ and ‘antique’. But when I consider the 80’s and 90’s decor there is very little that I can say was interesting. There was much even at the time that I didn’t like, though it was new and fashionable.

    Most of what I have in my house came from Goodwill and Estate/Garage Sales. The ‘new’ items I purchased are retro or classic in design, such as my sleigh bed. Lately it feels as though I’ve been drawn to mid-century pieces, whether decor or furniture, but I don’t feel as though I’m limiting myself to them, I just pick out the things that appeal to me aesthetically (and will definitely work in my house) and I don’t worry about if they are particularly trendy. But I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really an item want it if it is new.

    I guess what I’m trying to figure out is this: Do I find the items more interesting because they are more than thirty years old, and therefore more rare? Or did I always know that things made before 1980 were far more interesting than things made after it? Because I do tend to like things that are older, will there come a time where I’m longing for hunter green and burgundy? I tend to think no, since I’ve kept SOME from that era as well as having hung on to my mom’s cast-offs and the items I bought second-hand.

    Sorry for the rambles.

  2. gsciencechick says:

    HA! I had the tile top farmhouse table with windsor chairs IN hunter green! It is at MIL’s house. Really need to donate it to Habitat.

  3. Lexi's Mama says:

    I live in a home built in 1993, and really prefer the features of the mid century modest homes much more. The 90’s……lots of oak woodwork EVERYWHERE, ceiling vaults, wallpaper borders, stencils, lots of wreaths/plaid furniture/white walls/shiny gold.

  4. Jill says:

    Hey! I happen to LIKE seafoam (mint) green and peach. That’s what my downstairs bedroom is, with dark green carpet. It’s very relaxing.

  5. pam kueber says:

    Toile de jouy (sp?) — matched with checks. I wrote a story about this for the Ann Arbor News Sunday Home section!

  6. L. Fremont says:

    In the kitsch and chachkies department, I would have to say Beanie Babies seemed to rule the universe for a bit. I think it was about this time that nets attached to the wall at the corner of bedrooms became the place to store all those plushy dust magnets.

  7. lexi's mama says:

    In the last few years I have actually become more tolerant of all of the 90’s golden oak in my house…don’t know if I am just getting used to it, if the “love the house you’re in” idea has rubbed off on me, or if heavier grain woods like alder making a reappearance in design trends has done it?

  8. Amy Dietz says:

    Let’s talk jeans. I wore boot-cut jeans, always in a ‘relaxed fit.’ They were 100% cotton, so by the end of the day, they sagged in the rear. Also, the pant legs were the same width from thigh to ankle. I’m 5’1″, so I sort of looked like I had short, thick, denim fence posts for legs.

    For me, this was a vast improvement over the high-rise jean of the 80’s. When I wore those, a wrinkle of denim would form across my hips along my zipper, making me look, er, masculine. Even if I wore a belt.

    As I recall, 90’s boot-leg pants were a reaction to the tapered leg jean of the 80’s. We were told that a tapered-leg pant made our butts look wider in contrast to a narrow ankle. A high waist would also make our rears look larger, a lower rise was the answer.

    Modern skinny jeans are now mid-rise and narrow at the ankle and knee. I guess this is the industry’s latest take on the perfect jean.

    I read this blog because it reminds me that nothing’s perfect. We shouldn’t believe that the home design/remodel industry has the power to make our homes perfect.

  9. James Cobalt says:

    Every decade has great design, but most of us aren’t surrounded by it during that decade. What survives the ages are the great pieces and collections that defined that decade in pop culture; not what defined our own apartments and houses.

    Think of what your home looked like in 1985. Then look at these 1980s spaces:

  10. Kiwi says:

    When I close my eyes and return myself to the 90’s, I am surrounded by; “country blue” with peach accents, hunter green plaids, honey stained oak, brass trim and light fixtures, all sorts of beige, vertical blinds with fabric valances, light beige or bone colored appliances, faux marble ceramic tiles, vaulted ceilings, and over sized sectional sofas with recliners, pull-down cup holders and hidden compartments for 30 remotes and/or the TV Guide. There were also entertainment centers with spaces for VHS tapes (usually in a honey oak laminate finish), whirlpool jet tubs and recessed can lights everywhere. My favorite visual reminders of the 90’s though, are the Star Trek TNG episodes. One of the best things to ever come out of the period.

  11. Ed says:

    Gotta figure out how to incorporate some of those pneumatic sliding doors into my tiki bar. “I wonder why Starfleet only issued me one red uniform?”

  12. Midge Brock says:

    I like sea foam green and peach too! I tend to equate it with Art Deco , as I once lived in a fabulous 1920’s apartment with that color scheme in the bathroom. I loved that bathroom so much that I want to replicate it, so that we can transform my current, very 1970’s bathroom ( think “Liberace’ gold accessories and cultured “marble)…

  13. Joe says:

    Seafoam & peach, with terra cotta accent. Little animals stenciled on the walls, especially cats and ducks. Hunter green everything. Light-oak wood. Brass fixtures. Dusty rose (mauve) and muted blue. Aspen/Navajo white on all the walls. Cheap sheet vinyl. In short, nothing I would even countenance today. Butcher-block laminate countertops and almond appliances made a quick exit.

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