By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

1980s floral wallpaper kitchen

This post continues our look at the various pros and cons of homes throughout the decades. In the last post, we talked about homes from the 1900s-1970s and in this post, we’ll focus on homes from the 1980s through the modern day.

1980s

home living room from the 1980s

Things got a little weird in the ‘80s, with shiny brass accents, more popcorn ceilings, and floral wallpaper everywhere. The transitional home came on the market just as, ironically, most homes were getting larger. Colonial homes were in mode.

Pros:

  • Floor plan more open
  • Larger kitchen with plenty of cupboard space
  • Small kitchen islands
  • Improved (typically fiberglass) insulation
  • Safer electrical systems
Our team at JP&CO redesigned a 1980s home to give it a more modern, spacious feel

Our team at JP&CO redesigned a 1980s home to give it a more modern, spacious feel

Cons:

  • Lots of cheap materials used
  • Rooms may be overly-large, hard to maintain and heat/cool
  • Laminate, faux wood, plush carpeting, and Formica everywhere
  • Shiny brass hardware
  • Subpar windows
  • Wall-to-wall mirrors
  • Polybutylene (a kind of plastic) plumbing

 

1990s and early 2000s

mcmansion home in the 1990s and 2000s

The housing boom brought us the great room as we know it today.  McMansions were born, characterized by a lot of house with not a lot of personality.

Pros:

  • Modern plumbing and electricity
  • Skylights and use of natural lighting
  • More-than-adequate storage/closet space
  • Kitchen islands are popular
  • More bathroom space for families

Cons:

  • Wasted space to heat or cool (with cathedral ceilings, two-story entryways, overly large rooms, etc.)
  • Fiberglass shingles (that crack, rip, and tear)
  • Open, but often inefficient kitchens
  • More house to maintain
  • Lack of attention to detail (especially concerning quality of materials used)
  • Houses built on slabs

 

Today

A new small-home movement is characterizing the way homes are being built today. We are seeing more optimal layouts for the way families live. Kitchens are becoming entertainment/gathering spaces.

Minneapolis urban modern kitchen

A chic urban kitchen with plenty of storage solutions that the JP&CO team designed

Pros:

  • Huge infrastructure improvements
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Homes include spaces and wiring for modern appliances
  • Many homes are highly customizable
  • Wired for today’s technology

Cons:

  • In the recession, many construction companies cut corners (see our blog post from March 18th for more information on this)
  • “Factory feel” in some homes
  • Less architectural detail and charm
  • Smaller lots/yards
  • Some new features have not been tried and tested over the years (like with old construction).

 

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Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

Author: Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.

Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.

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Written by Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the...
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The Perfect Place Blog | Shopping for a New Home: Tips from the Pros

[…] 2. Know your “decade range.” Homes built in a particular decade will typically have features that are true to that era, unless they’ve been completely updated. Homes built in the 1930s, for instance, will likely have nice woodwork details and built-in furnishings. Or homes built in the ’50s might have soffits in the kitchen. If you favor features from certain decades over others, that will help with your detective work while you’re hunting for the perfect home. We wrote a couple blog posts about homes throughout the decades–one on homes from the 1900s to the 1970s, and one on homes from the 1980s to the present day. […]

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