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Decorating through the Decades

C&M Textiles opened its doors in 1948. Some businesses don’t last a decade, C&M has been through 6 of them! Even more impressive, the business is still in the family, handed down from generation to generation. Let’s highlight the best (and worst) decorating trends from each decade C&M has been through.

1950’s – This era was all about ranch style homes, coloured appliances, open spaces and bright colours. Geometrics, pastel kitchens and good housewives. New and exciting things were becoming available to the masses such as washing machines, vacuums, gas and electric stoves and refrigerators, all available in fun colours. Great designers like Eames, Harry Bertoia and Frank Llyod Wright gave this era a distinct style, never to be replicated.

1960’s –The “Retro Modern” era. Psychedelic and bright. The 60’s brought lava lamps, free love, bell bottoms and tunics, late summer nights, music (and some unmentionables). A little different from the decade before which was all about family and apple pie. This decade used huge and colourful floral patterns, everywhere! Polypropylene was becoming more affordable as a furniture material and was available in any colour. Citrus colours like orange, green and yellow were common but a darker, muted version.

1970’s – Wall-to-wall brown shag carpets, plastic furniture, over the top lamp shades and wood paneling on walls. The colour palette was a little darker during this time with heavy use of brown and orange paired with pops of bright yellow, green and turquoise. Teak furniture was very popular and near the end of the 70’s pine was starting to replace teak.

1980’s – Do we really need to go there? This era reminds me of Van Halen. Crazy hair, jumpsuits, and out of control. It was a bit of a confusing time and it showed through the interiors. The minimalist style was on the rise but somehow interiors still managed to be, well, dysfunctional. Overstuffed couches, vertical blinds and pastel colours made homes look more like a dentist office than anything. The whole country look was also on the rise showcasing wallpaper borders, quilts, and floral on floral (on floral).

1990’s – After the 80’s it was time for a fresh start. Minimalism was still a front runner but the look was becoming more refined. Light woods became a backdrop for a worldlier look by using Japanese, Scandinavian and Southwestern accents.

2000 and beyond – It’s hard to pinpoint where we are at now, as we are living it. In a few decades it will be much clearer what the “look” was at this time. I certainly feel we live in a time where “anything goes”. I’m not sure there is one distinct look that represents this time. Every home I go to, every client I meet, is just so different. Of course there are some big trends happening right now, if they stick out decades from now, we will see.

It is amazing that C&M Textiles has been through it all. The decorating and fashion industry is sink or swim. With all the changes that each decade brings, C&M is always changing with the times, always current and a leader in the industry.

Written by: Alicia Hewitt