The retro style has not only made a comeback, it looks like it’s here to stay. The look is everywhere, from clothes, to accessories, sculpture pieces to 1950’s kitchens layouts. If your old style kitchen is long overdue for a makeover and you dig chrome and pastel color, then stylized 1950 style might be the one for you. The right design can merge nostalgic images of the 50’s with the cool and sleek lines of the century.
The Overall Look
The 1950s was a prosperous, positive and conservative decade. The rise in popularity of the TV revolutionized the 50s. The TV was brought into the lives and living rooms of families, and the birth of rock and roll revolutionized what entertainment was about. And layouts had a distinct look that easily separates it from other popular designs of other decades.
Most homes in the 50’s had airy, open floor style and large plans. New models came in stainless steel and chrome and made cooking faster and convenient. Most layouts loved using pastels and accessories often came in aqua, pink, turquoise and yellow colors. Buying plastics and Formica kitchen tables and chairs were also popular.
New materials were being used during this time. Formica was a popular material for counter-tops because they were easy to clean and often match or complement the tables and chairs. Tablecloths and furniture covers were made from vinyl or bark cloth and had abstract shapes and patterns.
And since TV was so novel and popular, entertaining was at the center of many family activities so many layouts were outfitted with home bars. Tupperware containers and melamine dishes became popular as well.
Design and Style Tips
For homeowners who grew up in that decade, this look may bring back happy childhood memories. So for those who want to recreate the understated sophistication of the 50’s, there are several simple things they can do.
Adding architectural elements of that era is a sure fire way to bring back that style. An open kitchen design was popular during this time and you can create this look by adding picture windows, installing skylights or removing the wall between the kitchen and dining room. But if you have a small or narrow galley kitchen, leaving windows bare or minimally covered will work just as well.
Incorporating popular color schemes in the 50’s will bring back the feel of that era. Use pastel colors like pink, turquoise and yellow on walls and door or window frames. Use apple red as an accent color.
This time period also saw people becoming interested in space age ideas so popular wall materials and textiles used bark cloth. It was often used in upholsteries and were designed with abstract patterns and geometric shapes.
Invest in some 50’ss style furniture or appliances. You don’t need all furniture pieces to have a 50’s style. Just choose one or two to use as focal points. For instance, design your countertop so that it will resemble formica table tops or use vinyl chairs with chrome legs. There are even some refrigerators, stoves and other small appliances that have a 50’s look but using the technology of that time period.
Look for replicas of 1950’s jukeboxes, radios or payphones and use them as décor. Put up replicas of 1950’s diner signs to liven up walls or buy 1950’s style canisters and breadbins to use. Flea markets and garage sales are great places to search for old furniture and other accessories that look like they’re from this era. If you’re unsure of what to look for, check out old magazines or search online for photos. Try to remember what caught your attention and look for similar styles and decor.
For some people, kitchens layouts with a ’50s design bring back the warm and positive feelings of their past and memories of time spent in their or grandmother’s kitchens. But for others, a 50’s retro kitchen is unique look and cool. Whatever the reason is, the important thing is to think outside the box and have fun when designing this particular style.