18 Things Your Parents Had in Their House That We Don’t See Today

Our childhood homes looked drastically different from those in which our own children will grow up. Decor from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s would simply look out of place today! For a trip down memory lane, join us as we remember 18 things your parents had in their house that we don’t see today!

Corded telephones

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While they still exist in office environments, corded phones have long since disappeared from our homes. Everyone has a cell phone now, so landlines are a thing of the past, but even those who do have a house telephone use a cordless one. Whilst less convenient, we’re kind of sad to see these go!

Avocado bathrooms

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If you grew up in the 70s or 80s, chances are your childhood home had an avocado bathroom. This was a huge trend, with entire bathroom suites featuring a green hue, usually complete with matching sage tiles. If you didn’t have one, you at least knew multiple people who did!

Black box television

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If you showed Gen Z a photo of a black box television, they would have many questions. Apartment Therapy remembers that flat screens were introduced in 1997 and soared in popularity in the early ‘00s, making black box televisions become a thing of the past. What a relief, they were so heavy!

Bathroom carpet

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The idea of carpet in the bathroom in the 21st century is kind of gross, as while it would be lovely to step out of the shower onto warm carpets, carpets are not designed for high-moisture environments. Despite this, carpeted bathrooms were very common in the ‘70s… imagine the mold and mildew!

Toilet rugs

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If your ‘70s bathroom didn’t have a carpet, you likely had a toilet rug instead. These certainly kept your feet warm, but once again, they were so unhygienic! Regardless, it was very common for them to come as part of a set with a matching toilet seat cover. What was all that about?

Hand whisks

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Whatever happened to hand whisks? Although the electric whisk was invented long before our parents were born, our childhood homes still always had a handheld whisk. One day, it seemed like they just disappeared overnight, with stand mixers now becoming the household whisk of choice.

Fax machines

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Before email, there was the fax machine, and most American homes had one. You could hear a fax coming through from the other side of the house, and it was never particularly quick, either. Some offices still regularly use fax machines, but households threw them out a long time ago.

Floral sofas

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Everyone had a patterned sofa in their childhood, and usually, it was floral. Sadly, interior design has become a lot more futuristic and minimal in the 21st century, making it increasingly rare these days to see a quirky, floral sofa.


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During our childhood, it seemed like everyone smoked, and even if our parents didn’t, they’d still own an ashtray. However, Jama Network happily shares that smoking has been in a constant decline since 2022, with just 4.9% of the US population actively smoking. Understandably, this has made household ashtrays very rare.

Porcelain dolls

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The stuff of childhood nightmares, porcelain dolls were once very popular in family homes, but they’re slowly disappearing. They still felt pretty creepy back then, but at long last, people have started to stop displaying their collections due to the fear many people associate with them.

Water beds

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Back in the ‘80s, water beds were everywhere. Everchem predicts that at one point, water beds made up 22% of all bedding sales, yet now, even a 1% market share would surprise us. We certainly don’t miss the leaks or the sloshing sound every time we roll over!

Shaggy rugs

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The iconic shaggy rug was classic household decor in our childhood, particularly popular in the ‘70 and ‘80s. They were huge for a long time, and everyone loved their cozy designs. What the heck happened to them? We’d love to see shaggy rugs come back!


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Typically covered in dust and still sitting there long after they lost their smell, decorative bowls of potpourri were always in our childhood home. The dried, scented flowers were huge in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but you don’t see it today. Now, they’ve all been replaced by the reed diffuser.


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Where did tinsel go? The Christmas trees of our youth were fully decked out in tinsel, yet it has recently seemed to be harder and harder to find. As it turns out, Medical Daily reports that this is due to it being considered a safety hazard… yikes, that isn’t very Christmassy!

Decorative borders

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Decorative borders were an iconic interior design in our parents’ house. Featured in most rooms as an easier alternative to wallpaper, floral designs danced just shy of our ceilings. This home design feature has fizzled out as the years have passed and never appears in modern homes.

Gel candles

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Never lit and always gathering dust, gel candles were a novelty item used for decor rather than scent or light. Usually found in the bathroom, gel candles looked good for five minutes, but then they started collecting debris that was difficult to clean. Honestly, we’re glad to see the back of them!

Tape or CD towers

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Finally, your childhood home probably had either a tape or a CD tower, and if you are a ‘90s baby, chances are your parents had both at one point. These towers were great for showcasing your music taste, but sadly, modern streaming platforms have meant these charming towers no longer serve a purpose.

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