1950s Kitchen Design Inspirations

Kitchens in the 50s had such an optimistic look about them.   I think that’s why they appeal to me  so much.   All those delicious pastel colors and those cool space age appliances. The war was over, the economy was booming, people were into entertaining.  Their home decorating was a reflection of their postive outlook  on the future.    Maybe that’s why we don’t see so much of that type of cheerful decor anymore!

Here are some scans of 50s kitchens for design inspiration, in case you’re inclined to do a makeover, which I highly recommend.  It’s always nice to come home and unwind in an uplifting retro environment,  after a tough day of  trying to hold onto your job!  And if you can get someone to greet you at the door with an ice cold martini, that would be nice as well.

1956 kitchen. Love the combination of aqua cabinets on top, yellow on the bottom and red floor.

1956 kitchen. These are steel cabinets and I'm loving the yellow and aqua color combination with the red floor.

Cozy little kitchen nook with fabulous 50s dinette set.

Cozy little kitchen nook with fabulous 50s dinette set.

1956 dishwasher. No need to bend over to fill and empty.  My back would like that!

1956 dishwasher. No need to bend over to fill and empty. My back would like that!

1956 Fooderama by Kelvinator.  Anyone whose refrigerator and freezer are that organized need to be heavily medicated.

1956 Foodarama by Kelvinator. Anyone whose refrigerator and freezer are that organized needs to be heavily medicated. But look at all the scrumptious colors it came in.

Note the hanging gelatin molds, which are a very cute  design element for a retro kitchen.  But whatever you do, don’t ever use them! I mean, really, did you ever see some of the nasty, gut curdling stuff that spawned from those molds?  Things like this.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Anyway, back to 50s kitchens.   I  recently happened upon this fun and informative website called Retro Renovation.  It is  full of great design ideas for decorating in vintage style, with sources for where you can get some of the stuff you’ll need to give your space that authentic retro look. For example, I’ve been trying forever to find that metal edging that wraps around 50s counter tops and they’ve tracked down a company that supplies it.  Pretty much made my day.

By | 2014-02-17T09:09:51-04:00 June 2nd, 2009|retro decor|1 Comment

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Joseph June 5, 2009 at 11:41 am

    This is a very interesting blog–and interesting at a lot of levels, really. I remember the Polio Vaccine first hand, as I was in junior high school at the time it was announced. I remember the March of Dimes contest we had in our school to see which class could raise the most cash and so forth. And I remember getting the shot when they were finally available.

    You also have some interesting comments on kitchens. I feel very strongly that people should design their kitchens for themselves, as opposed to thinking only of the resale value or, even worse, going with whatever is “hot.” A basic rule of physics is that whatever is hot will eventually cool, which is fine for soup that burns one’s lips, but rather detrimental for a kitchen remodeling that has cost forty thousand dollars or more!

    I don’t share your enthusiasm for 1950s kitchens, but that’s just me. I will say, though, that I have seen some wonderful recreations of this period. In the end, though, it’s an aesthetic decision, which necessarily means that it cannot be right or wrong, just different for every person who considers it. Even so, I was particularly interested in what you had to say about kitchens as a whole and 1950s kitchens in particular.

    I have done my own share of research on the Internet for my blog site and came across the Hoosier Kitchen some time ago. They absolutely fascinate me, as does that whole idea of modern kitchens. What you had to say about kitchens with cabinets coming into vogue in the 1950s was particularly interesting because we moved to Helena, Montana in 1950, and my father, who had once worked as a carpenter, did a lot of remodeling in that house.

    The house itself had first been built in the 1880s, and whenever Dad took out a wall, we found square nails. Also, because of the period in which the house was built, it had a separate pantry that adjoined the kitchen. Tastes had changed by then, though, so Dad closed off the pantry to the kitchen, gave it a different entrance and made it into a sewing room for my mother. The kitchen was of a fair size, and had both base and wall cabinets. There was no dishwasher, of course, and the sink was a single-basin in the beginning. Later, Dad replaced it with a double-basin sink, and we all thought we’d died and gone to Heaven!

    Thank you very much for sharing your observations on that long-ago time. You brought back a lot of memories of that old house and its kitchen and the man who first taught me how to use hand tools. I’m a cabinetmaker now, but whenever people praise anything I might be fortunate enough to make, I always think back to the Old Man. There’s a Jewish saying that sums it up: “If I see further than my father did, it’s because I should. I’m standing on his shoulders.”

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