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Reminiscing the best 90s interior trends

Spice Girls, Blur, Oasis… Nokia 6110s with Snake, Super Mario Kart, Poptarts… Gladiators, TGI Friday and The Big Breakfast… Have we zapped you back in time to the 90s? Great, because that’s exactly what we’re reminiscing about in this episode of the Let’s Colour Podcast. 


Spice Girls, Blur, Oasis… Nokia 6110s with Snake, Super Mario Kart, Poptarts… Gladiators, TGI Friday and The Big Breakfast… Have we zapped you back in time to the 90s? Great, because that’s exactly what we’re reminiscing about in this episode of the Let’s Colour Podcast.

Of course, more specifically, we’re looking back of the interior trends of the 1990s. One particular 90s classic that has a special place in Marianne’s heart is the hit TV show, Changing Rooms. It’s actually what inspired her career in interiors, so she’s very much looking forward to the return of the show, as are we all!

If you watch episode 3 on YouTube, spoiler alert! Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has joined them in the studio. Well, a cardboard cut-out of him at least… Otherwise, you can listen to the episode on your favourite podcast platform.

Remember to subscribe and review the Let’s Colour Podcast, so we can keep bringing you the latest colour trends and expert decorating tips.

In the meantime, here’s a quick roundup of what we talk about in the episode. 

The before and after effect!

Is there anything better than a good before and after? Makeovers can be so impressive. Some are almost unbelievable. It’s what makes any interior design project so much fun and worthwhile, and what makes the show Changing Rooms as good as it is!

Back in the 90s, the great British public’s sudden interest in interior design was coined the Changing Rooms effect. It’s interesting how lockdown has had a similar effect on us all, as we used the time to transform our homes or create new functional spaces such as home offices

We love to watch the different approaches to the makeovers on the show. Russell and Jordan from 2LG Studio have a lovely, joyous style. Whereas Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has a very maximalist style. We can’t help but admire Laurence’s skill for bringing the story of his designs to life, too.

Did you know that we actually have Dulux Select Decorators on the show bringing the designers vision to life? They’ll be putting their decorating skills to the test against the clock, and we can’t wait to see how they get on.

The new series of Changing Rooms will be hitting our screens Wednesday 18th August at 8pm. Every week, we’ll be updating the Changing Rooms Hub  with our insights, highlights and our favourite home décor trends following the most recent episode, so make sure you check it out!

The 90s effect

Can you remember what you were doing 31 years ago? Back in 1990, Steph was only five years old! Whereas Marianne was turning 27 that year. It turns out that Steph’s favourite fashion item at that time was her prized purple trousers. And you know what, even at the young age of five, she was on to something! Purple happened to be one of the decade’s most popular colours for living room schemes – and the focus of our first podcast episode of this series, which you can check out here.

People in the 90s sure had a penchant for purple walls, which was only rivalled by an intrigue in special effect designs. DIY enthusiasts loved sponging, stippling, and rag roll painting their way to metallic finishes, paint marbling, and glimmer effects. You can check out the result of some of these 90s interior trends and special effect techniques in the Anniversary Book.

Another top home décor trend of the 90s was textured walls. And believe us, there were many creative and let’s say, interesting, ways to experiment with getting different texture designs.

For most techniques, people would thin down emulsion paints and apply it to the wall with something that has a texture. This would essentially create a variety of broken colour effects. In the 90s, it was common for people to use natural sponges to apply colour, but that’s not environmentally friendly. We’d now always recommend you use synthetic natural sponges instead. But there are many other tools you could use, as well as sponges, to create a whole host of interesting textures:


A stippler is a dense block with stiff bristles. It’s used to drag an acrylic transparent scumble glaze on top of a solid colour, leaving an eggshell type finish. This is a great technique to hide an uneven surface.


A softening brush is used to eliminate any brush strokes and can be used to create a marbling effect.


This is a long bristle paddle like brush that can be dragged through the paint to create a scratchy texture.


If you like the marbling effect, you can use the tips of a feather, or break the feather open to for fuller feather like prints.


Put an old t-shirt to use in a technique known as ragging. Simply crumple the t-shirt up and dunk it into the paint and apply it to the walls.


With a rubber sleeve roller and you can create a fake shammy type effect. Alternatively, a ticking roller can be used to create a specific wood grain effect. While a big roller covered with plastic bag and rubber bands can be used to create a broken colour effect.

Using sponging to create statement pieces 

That popular 90s sponging technique isn’t just for walls. It can be used to decorate drab accessories too. In this instance, we put the technique to the test on a vase. Want to watch the transformation in action? Then check out how we did it on YouTube. Here’s a quick step-by-step of what we did:

Step 1: We popped some masking tape on the top of the vase before painting it with a quick drying primer.

Step 2: We chose a quick drying satinwood paint in Olive Tree from Dulux Heritage. Using a small rolling tray, we mixed a small amount of the colour and a small amount of white paint, along with tablespoon of water, to create a consistency of pouring cream.

Step 3: We dampened our synthetic sea sponge before popping it into the roller tray. To help ensure the paint was evenly spread across the sponge, we pressed it against the side of the tray.

Step 4: To create the textured paint design, we simply pressed the sponge lightly on the surface of the vase, equal distances apart.  

Dr Dulux, aka Marianne, is back again this week solving your decorating dilemmas. Here’s a quick glance at her top tips…


Dr Dulux: How to bring a beige living room scheme to life 

Jamie from Manchester asks Dr Dulux: “I need a living room scheme colour which is warm but beige so I can add accessories to it – help!”

Beige is anything but bland. If you like the idea of neutral décor, there are still plenty of hues, shades and tones to consider. Think of it in terms of food, like mocha, cookie dough and caramel latte. Pretty tasty, right? To complement these kind of shades, we’d recommended Egyptian Cotton to keep the colour scheme light, bright and neutral. That way, you can get colourful with your accessories, and even cycle the colour of your accessories to keep the space feeling fresh, without having to redecorate.

In need of a some living room ideas? Then why not head over to the Dulux Instagram page? Here, you can get an insider glimpse into how other homeowners are styling their spaces or brush up on decorating know-how, so you feel more colour confident. 

Dr Dulux: The dos and don’ts of redecorating in a rental property

Carly from Bristol asks Dr Dulux: “I want to put a stamp on my home but it’s a rental property. How can I make it my own if I can’t redecorate?”

Lockdown has inspired many of us to refresh our homes, including Carly, who is now a self-confessed interiors addict. The problem is, she lives in a rental property, so those decorating hands are tied when it comes to any big transformations. The good news is, there are still plenty of ways that Carly can get creative and add her own style and personality to the property.

For example, upcycling her own furniture items, such as her dining room table and chairs, can breathe new life into the space, or be styled to create a statement. Smaller design tricks can include painting picture frames to add pops of colour to walls that you’re unable to paint.

These are just two quick tips, but we have plenty of ideas for you in our Micro Makeovers hub – take a look

Watch with us

Will you be tuning into the new series of Changing Rooms? We’re really excited about it and it’s going to be a big feature of our podcast this series.

After each episode, we’ll be updating our Changing Rooms hub page with the interior trends and home décor trends we’ve loved that week.

You can catch us and every Let’s Colour episode on your favourite podcast platform now or just as easily go here.

Remember to subscribe if you like what you hear. Or if you have a moment, leave us a review and tell us what you think.

Speak soon,

Marianne and Steph's Signature

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We’re revisiting one of the most expressive decades, the nineties! Tune in to hear us chat risqué colours and unique painting techniques. 

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