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5 Complaints of 1980s and 1990s Homes

Homes from the 1980s and 1990s were a distinct era in home design. Who can forget the bland beige and soft pastels color palette? Remember country style or shabby chic? From floral prints and long, fabric drapery, preppy style with blue and white stripes, to geometric modern and sleek décor, there was something for everyone over the span of two decades. While the 1980s and 90s are a distant memory, if your home is a time warp back to these trends, it may be time to update. Mountainwood Homes remodels many homes dating back to the 1980s and 1990s so we hear the same complaints over and over about these homes.

Here are 5 complaints we hear from homeowners looking to remodel their 1980s and 1990s homes:


1.) Remove the carpet in the bathroom.

Dated 1980s master bathroom with large tub and walk-in shower

Wall-to-wall carpet in the bathroom is a confusing design decision. You can freshen up the bathroom by replacing the carpet with tile to create a cohesive, and cleaner, look. It’s inevitable that moisture will soak into the carpet and pad like a sponge, and it stinks. Get rid of the carpet to help with mold, mildew, and allergens. Worried about warmth? Installing radiant heat on the bathroom floor will keep your toes toasty.

2.) The oversized bathtub with tile surround has got to go.

Large angled bathtub with jets

You know the scene – that huge built-in bathtub overwhelms the space.  Whether it’s an angled tub in the corner or the drop-in tub has an oversized tub deck, the bathrooms of yesteryear often feature a huge soaking tub with tile surrounding it. Not only does it look outdated, but it also takes up valuable real estate in the bathroom. Plus, there are so many grout lines! If you’re a tub person, installing a freestanding bathtub creates a sculptural focal point and makes the room feel so much larger. If you don’t want a tub in the bathroom, you now have more space to consider other layout changes such as increasing the shower size or vanities for your bathroom remodel.

3.) It’s time to upgrade the failing kitchen appliances.

Dated 1980s kitchen with old appliances and cherry cabinets

Upgrades to appliances are not only for looks but there are many new features and technology that can assist you in your kitchen creations. Some remodeling upgrades are out of necessity. Replacing broken kitchen appliances is one of the most common renovation triggers. Replacing an appliance is often a springboard for a more significant remodel since modifications to existing cabinets or countertops are often needed to fit the new appliance.

4.) The staircase needs a style makeover.

Staircase with old carpet, oak handrail and painted wood balusters

Staircases are often the first thing you see as you open the front door. What does yours say about your home? The staircase can look outdated quickly once you start updating the other areas of the home. And while the orange-oak handrail with decorative ‘acorns’ was in style when your home was built, times have changed.

Depending on how far you want to take it, you can refresh your staircase by replacing, refinishing, or painting the handrail, spindles, treads, or newel posts. Many of our clients with homes from the 1980s or 1990s include a staircase overhaul into their remodel plans and end up going with a more modern wrought iron staircase to make a bold statement.

5.) Refinish yellowed hardwood floors.

Home with oak hardwood flooring and white carpet

Staining existing hardwoods can create a whole new look in your home. The oil-based finish used in homes built in 1980s or 1990s cause the hardwoods to yellow over time. Now, we use a water-based finish which is better for the environment, doesn’t stink, and doesn’t yellow over time like an oil-based finish. If a flooring project is on your list, consider adding additional hardwoods to areas that were once carpeted. Popular rooms to lace in new hardwood to include a family room, living room, hallway, staircase, or den.


Do these complaints about 1980s and 1990s homes sound familiar? 

Does your home date back to the 1980s or 1990s? If your place has beige, suns, and stars, it may be time to remodel and update your décor. and Addressing some of these common complaints will revitalize your home and give more life out of your home. If any of these scenarios sound like you and your home, reach out to us to discuss what’s possible in your home.



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