top of page

7 Design Elements That Are Making a Comeback

Updated: Jun 24, 2022


Ceiling Medallions

If you've read my 'Treating Your Ceiling as a 5th Wall' blog post, you know I am a big fan of ceiling medallions. I think they are very underrated but are making a solid comeback. Ceiling medallions are ceiling mounted art pieces, usually circular, that frame a light fixture that is attached to the ceiling. What is great about ceiling medallions is that they aren't used that often in residential applications (The White House doesn't count) and secondly, they are a great way to highlight the light fixture at the center of the medallion. These pieces of art are sure to make a comeback due to the unexpected attraction they provide. What's also great about them is that they are relatively easy to install and they do not have to cost an arm and a leg to purchase.

Photo Credit: @Thecozymodernhome


Porcelain Cabinet Knobs

What I love is when design elements aren't used that often and porcelain cabinet knobs are one of them. These cabinet knobs bring the perfect amount of traditional and upscale modern to either a kitchen or a bathroom cabinet. Porcelain knobs started being less and less common once metal knobs could be fabricated for cheaper and porcelain knobs went off the radar. Well, I'm calling it now. They're going to make a comeback. Just like the photo shows, they can spruce up any cabinetry while not taking away from the cabinet's aesthetic, but rather add to it.


Stained Glass

Stained glass is perfect for either indoor or exterior applications, but either way, this design feature is underrated. When you first think of stained glass, you probably immediately think of solid stained glass church cathedrals, but they are becoming more and more applicable in homes. Stained glass also doesn't have to be just in windows. This feature can be used as either interior pieces of art or I've also seen them as florals (like what GlasenGlas on Etsy has done... amazing!) The light reflecting through this design feature is unparalleled and it makes you wonder, why did this feature lose popularity?

Photo Credit: @Lifeatjemhouse


Interior Exposed Brick

When I'm talking about exposed brick, I'm talking about natural exposed brick on the interior of your home that isn't painted or white-washed. The exposed brick look became prevalent in the 50's and 60's especially in living rooms. This design idea gave the look of a feature wall without having to do much to it like adding artwork or paint. It stood out on it's own. What really gives this exposed brick design a very 50's & 60's look is using a long and narrow brick (like a Roman or a Norman brick size). Yes, there are different brick sizes and types. These long narrow brick types provide a modern style and really mirrored the ranch style homes that were prevalent during these decades. Horizontal lines were in! You see painted brick or dark brick that has been white-washed a lot of the time in homes nowadays, but not too much of the long and narrow brick pattern.

Photo Credit: @thehousethatjambuilt


Colorful Cabinets

This is probably the most 'out-of-your-comfort-zone" item on the list, but hear me out. What I mean when I say 'colorful cabinets' are not necessarily painting your kitchen cabinets a crazy color. If you are adventurous with your design choices, by all means paint your kitchen an unexpected color, but if you are a little more subtle in your design choices, this could just be painting a smaller accent piece of furniture. You see all the time that kitchen cabinets are either white, gray or deep brown / black (my kitchen cabinets included). In the 50s and 60s, avocado green cabinets were not uncommon and yellow cabinets were all the rage. A great modern way to introduce color into your cabinets is painting them a muted color like Costal Plain or Jade Dragon by Sherwin Williams to introduce a twist on an avocado. Or use Edgy Gold or Rustic City by Sherwin Williams. If you are just flat out thinking, "Chels, I am not a green or yellow cabinet person" then, try a deep blue like Loyal Blue. Deep blue cabinets are timeless and bring just enough color to give your kitchen some vibrancy while separating yourself from everyone else's kitchen.

Photo Credit: @aterlierdenver


Patterned Curtains

You all remember your grandma's large patterned floral curtains with burgundy, green and cream colors sprinkled throughout. Sometimes there were even hints of baby pink. I bet everyone cringes when I bring up the patterned curtains, they immediately think of your grandma's curtains. But, unless that's your style, that's not what I'm talking about. Most of the time, your furniture will be neutral colors like grays and browns to where patterned curtains are the perfect way to introduce some color. Now yes, patterned curtains have been used more and more frequently, but in the 50s and 60s they were a staple in everyone's homes. How you can modernly implement pattern is figure out what you want the accent color of your room to be and find curtains that include that color. The pattern of your curtains can be as subtle or vibrant as you choose.

Photo Credit: @Myfabricdesigns


Clerestory Windows

Clerestory Windows are high windows that are typically a horizontal band of windows along the roofline of a home. What's great about these windows is that they allow in ambient light to a room. This diffused light helps to give the room a softer glow and doesn't give harsh shadows too often unless the sun is at the perfect angle. Again, these windows were a staple in the 50's and 60's (and were typically found on the same wall as exposed brick), but they aren't seen as often anymore. Newer build homes are beginning to implement them a bit more, but this window configuration is a classic. The ranch style homes in the 50s and 60s had these windows as a defining element and are timeless even until today. They provide the perfect touch of modern while still paying homage to their original time period. I have a feeling this element will make even more of a comeback for newer homes and remodels alike.



bottom of page