So near but sofa: When interior design in the living room goes bad

So near but sofaRemember the BBC One programme Changing Rooms? The idea was that two couples would swap homes and with the help of ‘expert’ interior designers and a handy man called Andy (Handy Andy, right? Hilarious) they would set about butchering each others’ homes with MDF and bad design ideas.

OK, so sometimes they would get it right (only just) but the real appeal of the show was seeing the look on hapless victims’ faces as they opened their eyes to be confronted with a zebra print nightmare in pink and orange.

Fair enough, it was only a bit of light entertainment but these were professional interior designers and should have known better. Essentially they were responsible for creating taste and judging by some of their efforts, this simply shouldn’t have been allowed.

Interior Design through the Decades

It is, of course, the prerogative of every design generation to pour scorn on what has come before. That’s why the backlash of the 80s was a backlash against the oranges and browns of the 70s. The utilitarian modernism of the 90s was scorned at by the feature walls and garish wallpapers of the 00s. However, if you look hard you can find elements of interior design in each decade that still stands up.

Going Retro

This possibly explains the trend for retro design and may be the only reason conceivable that you can still buy lava lamps. Everything from 70s sideboards to curtains are making a comeback and if you fancy getting your hands on some original 60s Danish furniture you better have a big bank balance.

Even some of the design nightmares from the past have somehow been rehabilitated. Names like G-Plan and Ladderex once looked fairly well confined to the dustbin of the designer’s studio but they are becoming increasingly popular once again. This is not to say that we know any better today.

There are still plenty of design mistakes on show in living rooms across the country. Laminate floors are definitely falling out of favour after enjoying a good run inside the caste walls of taste. Hang on to yours though because in about thirty years time it will be all the rage again.


Even something as simple as sofas can cause problems in the home if not handled correctly. Corner sofas are a great way to make the most of space and create an inviting area that encourages social interaction but in the wrong sized room they will dominate the space rather than enhancing it.

It seems that no matter how out of favour design falls, it can always come back around. With the very notable exception of more or less anything that happened on Changing Rooms, most of which was white matt emulsioned the second the last BBC production team van pulled out of the driveway.

avatar Name: Sainsbury's
About: This is a guest post submitted on behalf of Sainsbury’s. If you want to avoid DIY faux pas in your home then you need the right furniture. Stocking everything from corner sofas to leather three-piece suites, visit their website today and find the perfect products for your home.
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