Designers over at Harvey Water Softeners have created an illustrated guide to the evolution of interior design, covering everything from lava lamps in the ’60s to the Memphis Group’s bold geometric shapes in the ’80s to the Ikea flatpack takeover of the aughts.
The accompanying text is best left ignored. (“The swinging ’60s saw the free love movement flourish underneath the dark spectre of probable nuclear annihilation.” Huh?) But you don’t need any prose to glean that while the function of the furniture in these homes doesn’t change–each image features a chair, a rug, a clock, a lamp, a shelf, and a plant–the colors, shapes, and materials evolve to express vastly different attitudes about what sort of place a home should be. It reminds us how design can reinterpret a single object in near infinite ways.