5 of the History’s Worst Home Decor Ideas can be found anywhere. Visitors to Elvis Presley’s home in Memphis get the privilege of enjoying 1960s and 1970s decor in all its hideous glory. The electric blue dining room is bad enough, but nothing surpasses the Jungle Room. In addition to covering the floors with green carpet, Elvis also covered the ceiling with the same green carpet. The fur-upholstered furniture and the tiny monkey statues may have been fit for a king 50 years ago, but they look dated and dreadful to most of today’s decorators.
However, some of you may not need to travel to Tennessee to experience these decor horrors. If your home or apartment is overrun with dated décor, you might be better off just starting over; click here to purchase house plans and start creating your home from scratch. Your other alternative is to salvage your space by fixing someone else’s really bad ideas. Take a look at these five terrible home decor ideas and some DIY fixes.
Avocado-Colored Kitchen Cabinets
When America’s baby boomers purchased their first homes in the 1950s, the only electric appliances available were white and drab. After a while, manufacturers responded by delivering brightly colored appliances in shades such as Coppertone, Harvest Gold, Turquoise Green and Petal Pink. In the late 1960s, homeowners went crazy for Avocado ranges, refrigerators and dishwashers, and they often painted their kitchen cabinets to match.
Fortunately, kitchen cabinets are easy to update with a coat of paint and some new door pulls. You can also replace the cabinet faces with glass panels or replace ugly cabinets with open shelving.
Matching Bathroom Tiles, Sinks and Tubs
Someone once thought that parachute pants were a good idea, and someone else thought it was a good idea to install pink, green and turquoise tubs and sinks with matching bathroom tiles. Removing tile is no small project, so your best bet is to paint your bathtub and, if possible, just replace your sink.
Epoxy bathtub painting kits work on fiberglass, ceramic or porcelain surfaces. Just make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated while you’re working because the epoxy produces fumes. Wear a painter’s mask and some goggles to protect your lungs and your eyes.
Metal Window Awnings
Metal window awnings were created with the best of intentions. They’re designed to provide shade, keep rooms cool and protect windows and doors from rain and snow. Unfortunately, these awnings are ugly, and they have no place on the exterior of your home.
You can take them down and replace them with shutters, but that only works if you have enough space on both sides of your windows. If you don’t, add some colorful trim, and attach some window boxes. Plant some eye-catching plants in your window boxes to beautify your home’s exterior. If you can’t find boxes that are the right length, then try building your own.
At some point, humans stopped hanging elegant tapestries on their walls and started stapling and gluing industrial carpet to them, just as Elvis tacked carpet onto his Jungle Room ceiling. The toughest thing about removing carpet from walls is making sure not to damage the plaster, paneling or drywall beneath the covering.
Check to see whether the carpet is attached to the wall with staples or with adhesive. Either way, remove the carpet slowly and carefully, then apply a skim coat to the wall after you’ve removed the carpet. If you can’t cover all of the flaws, use a textured paint treatment or strategically placed photos. No doubt, anything you choose will be better than carpet.
There may be worse things you could do than put carpet on your ceiling. In fact, most decorators would have strong and unkind words for the inventors of the popcorn ceiling. Popcorn, which is actually a spray-on or smear-on coating of stucco, was heralded for its white appearance, its noise-proofing and its ability to hide imperfections.
Unfortunately, many of these dust-loving, spider-magnet coatings were made with cancer-causing asbestos fibers, so scraping the popcorn off of your ceiling could be dangerous. Instead of trying to scrape the popcorn away, clean your ceiling as best you can (and relocate the spiders). As long as the surface isn’t crumbling, you can install ceiling tiles over the popcorn. You can choose paintable Styrofoam or faux tin tiles for your project. Just don’t cover the ceiling in wallpaper. That’s almost as bad as popcorn.
Graceland Jungle Room image by Lindsey Turner from Flickr Creative Commons.
Metal window awning image by Infrogmation of New Orleans from Wikimedia Commons.
Popcorn ceiling image by BarelyFitz from Flickr Creative Commons.