The times are always changing, from culture and fashion to trends and tech. This includes the color palettes used that defined the essence of each decade. What colors do you think of when you picture the 1920’s or the 50’s or even the 80’s? Each decade was known for their own qualities and way of life. In this blog, we’re going to look at each color palette that defined the decade and the significance it had. Let’s look back through the decades, and see how color palettes have changed and evolved over the years.


This roaring 20’s was a time of great prosperity, as well as cultural exploration and celebration. From architecture to fashion to graphic design, gold was a color that was used to represent wealth and prosperity. White kitchens, neutral walls and muted tones were sometimes accented with jazzy colors like brick red, jade and teal, which represent the indulgence of the decade. 



The stock market crash of 1920 led to The Great Depression in the 30’s. This era featured dusty colors like blush pink, blue-gray, sage green and butter yellow, along with sophisticated, deeper tones like forest green and maroon. It was also a time of affordable means of entertainment, and film, board games, comics and magazines were created during this period, thus reflecting more colorful palettes. 



This decade was an era of patriotism, fear, and uncertainty due to World War II. Primary colors such as blue, navy, red and yellow were widely used alongside muted military colors such as olive, brown and tan. The style was pretty similar to the past decade, with chrome becoming a prevailing trend.



The War ended and people were starting families as soldiers were returning home. This decade was all about pastels,which were associated with American housewives to convey youth, warmth and joy. You saw it in the home, fashion, and even cars. Lilac, mint green, aqua, pink and soft yellows were the décor colors of choice for trendy homeowners.



The 60’s was an era that defined a radical time in history and American culture. This decade was all about exploration, psychedelics, love, art, and music. Color names such as burnt sienna, harvest gold and avocado are strongly associated with 1960’s interior design. Brilliant earth tones and natural desert colored hues with pops of orange, cyan, yellow, fuchsia and chartreuse were commonly used throughout home decor.


As TV made a significant transition from black-and-white to color, Americans celebrated color from glowing dance floors to brightly-colored polyester pants. However, colors became more mellow in the home as people started to incorporate more earth tones like avocado green, harvest gold, deep brown and rust. Wood paneling, shag carpet and geometric patterns were the decor trends of the decade.



The 80’s was a vibrant decade filled with new tech and pop culture. Electric and neon colors became popular during this decade, celebrating the new breakthroughs in technology. Flamingo pink, Caribbean blue, denim blue, warm beige and peach all were commonly found in this era’s home décor color palettes. Colorful bathrooms with coordinating tubs and toilets also defined the interior trends of this decade. 



The decade right before the turn of the century defined the 90’s grunge scene that brought darker, subdued colors into style. However, home décor and design styles reflected a more sophisticated and rustic look. Tuscan influences were trending, bringing beige tones along with terracotta, earthy tan, sage and gold into the mix.



The 2000’s was a time when the internet and music industry was turned on its head. This decade’s color palette is modern and fresh. Warm tans and beige, coastal colors gained popularity in interior home design. Stainless steel was perhaps the most popular color trend of this time and was used everywhere to promote a clean, luxurious look. 



The most recent decade is known for nostalgia, hipsters and minimalism. Interior design trends include rustic wood finishes, metallic or stone surfaces, polished copper and brass accents, green tropical plants, and white walls. The typical decór perfectly captures the eclectic, more casual styles with home design trends ranging from the ultra-modern to country chic, with grays and whites becoming the prevailing color trend.

The beginning of the new decade has brought back a resurgence of popular colors from the 90s and sophisticated muted tones of the 70s. Many bright colors are still used to capture the attention of millennial and gen z consumers, however interior design has incorporated more calm, softer hues to create a relaxing space due to the heightened anxiety as a result of the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how the colors we use in our homes evolve in the next 8 years. 

We hope these tips helped you feel more prepared for your next painting project! At J&S Painting Plus, Inc., we are fully licensed and insured painting contractors, offering the highest standard of quality workmanship for exterior house painting and all your residential painting needs at the most affordable prices. Contact us today via our website for a free quote to get started: