How to: Ditch 90s decor
90s: All-white square dishes, super modern flatware
Now: Mix it up with colour and pattern. Use those white dishes as chargers for colourful, inexpensive Chinese bowls. Silver is meant to be loved, so stop closeting the fancy heirloom silver and set it on the dinner table alongside your favourite pieces of modern flatware.
90s: Paint the house with off-white trim and contrasting walls
Now: Benjamin Moore's Cloud White CC-40 has long been a ubiquitous colour choice for trim (just check out Style at Home magazine's Where to Find It guide). Why not paint the walls and trim the same colour? Samantha Pynn, host of Pure Design and Style at Home contributing design editor, employed this look with Benjamin Moore's Celadon Green 2028-60, flat paint for the walls and semigloss for the trim at my home to fabulously modern effect.
90s: White MDF kitchen island cabinetry
Now: Exotic wood grains like zebrano or black walnut for a kitchen island, says Crispin Butterfield, interior designer, Urban Theory Interior Design in Brandon, Manitoba. "Bonus points for mixing white or cream perimeter cabinets with rich and deep woods for your island," she says.
90s: Dark red walls, dark wood furniture
Now: It's okay to love the opulence that traditional dark walls and dark wood lends but why not update it with a fresh wall colour, using today's purples or blues? The English paint and wallpaper manufacturer Farrow & Ball says glamorous exotic shades with "a Middle Eastern influence" are hot now, including its colours Pitch Blue and purplish Brinjal.
90s: Mirrored backsplashes, tumbled stone backsplashes
Now: "Consider commercial-grade wall coverings as a backsplash instead of traditional tile," says Crispin. "Add some whimsy with faux leather, geometrics, or Zen-like woven grasscloths – completely wipeable and easy to change down the road."
90s: Wooden Shaker-style cabinets
Now: The simple lines of wooden Shaker-style cabinetry looked fresh in the 90s, but look faded now. White cabinetry, from glossy white lacquer to creamy white-painted wood is what we're seeing everywhere. The good news is you don't need a whole new set of kitchen cabinetry. You can replace existing doors or have them painted to bring your kitchen into 2010.
90s: Faux paint finishes and stencils a la Debbie Travis' Painted House
Now: Remember watching paint goddess Debbie Travis in her overalls? If you picked up a sponge and stencil way back then, it's time to paint over those designs. Even Debbie's moved on, to television shows Facelift and From the Ground Up and her own line of household goods from, paint, natch, to furniture at Canadian Tire.
90s: Hiding your 70s furniture in shame
Now: Displaying a 70s decor scheme with pride. In Los Angeles-based top designer Kelly Wearstler's latest book Hue, harvest-gold leather, low papasan-inspired seating and pink marble have made a comeback. In fashion, the adage goes that if you wore the trend the first time, don't sport it again. However your decor need not heed this rule, so feel free to take a 1970s look to a Scarface-inspired extreme, as style maven Kelly Wearstler has.
90s: Big corner bathtub
Now: Big shower room. If you're racking up six showers a week versus one bath, perhaps that giant soaker or Jacuzzi tub in the corner is space better used as a giant shower stall. For resale value (not to mention that once-in-a-while bath,) place a smaller bathtub elsewhere in the bathroom if you're renovating anyway.
90s: Walls covered in inexpensive framed posters.
Now: Move your spouse's Pearl Jam poster out of sight once and for all and embrace unusual and interesting wall decor. "Look for the unconventional in everyday items," says Crispin. "A set of large woven bowls or laminated bamboo serving trays look amazing when grouped together on a wall," she adds.
90s: Perfectly ironed bed linens
Now: Do the words "hospital corners" sound inviting? No need to slavishly make the bed smoothing every wrinkle – that's old school. We've noticed many stylists are going for a rumpled, easygoing look in the bedroom department. Get the look by opting for a soft duvet cover enveloping a fluffy duvet as opposed to starched-looking bed linens, or just give yourself a new rule: No ironing of sheets, and no more than a couple of minutes making the bed in the morning.