Kitchen Home Improvement

Adding A 1950’s Theme To Your Kitchen

By Tim Sousa

Retro is in. Just about everywhere, you see retro designs. If you’re looking to remodel or redecorate your kitchen, you may want to look into a retro styled kitchen. Retro designs incorporate nostalgia into the 21st century.

The 1950s are often viewed as a conservative, prosperous and optimistic decade. Entertainment was revolutionized in the 50s, with televisions being introduced to family living rooms, movies geared towards teenagers, and of course, the beginning of rock and roll.

In the homes, open, airy floor plans were introduced. Kitchens were being outfitted with new appliances with chrome and stainless steel, and sweeping designs. These appliances helped to make cooking quicker and more convenient. Pastel colors, turquoise, aqua, pink, and yellow were popular for kitchen decor. Plastics and formica were featured materials in kitchens for tables and chairs.

Formica countertops, were easy to clean, and came in colors to match the tables and chairs. Vinyl came into use for tablecloths, and furniture covers. Bark cloth was another material used in kitchen decor, patterned in boomerang, and abstract shapes. Entertaining came to the forefront, with home bars, barbecues, picnic, and party accessories. Tupperware containers, melmac, and melamine dishes were popular at the time as well.


1950’s kitchen design may bring back warm memories of childhood for those that grew up in the 50s. If you want your kitchen to have a nostalgic 1950s look, you can find many items with retro 1950s styling available.

1950’s style fabrics, including bark cloth are available. You can build a new countertop in Formica. If you look around, you can find 1950s style table and chair sets, complete with chrome legs, and vinyl seats in many different colors.

Stoves, refrigerators and other appliances, toasters, and drink mixers can be found with 1950s styling, but modern 21st century technology. This way, you can have the retro styling, with the convenience of modern technology.

In some stores, you may be able to find canisters, breadboxes, silverware, and other items in a 1950’s style.

If you just want to add a touch of 1950’s diner decor, you can add replicas of 1950s radios, jukeboxes, and pay phones to your kitchen. Vintage Coke machines, and metal picnic coolers will also fit in well with the decor. You may also be able to find replicas of 1950’s diner and car hop signs to brighten up the walls.

Second hand stores, garage sales, and flea markets are good places to find old furniture that can be refurbished to add to your kitchen. Try to find some old magazines from the 50’s, and look at the kitchens featured in them. Take notes of what you like in those kitchens, and try to find the same or similar tables and decor to add to your kitchen.

For some, a kitchen with a ’50s design will bring back the warm and inviting feelings of the past and of days spent in their mother’s or grandmother’s kitchens. For others, a retro look to the room will provide a unique look that is not often found in today’s kitchens. When it comes to giving your kitchen a nostalgic look, the important thing is to be creative and have fun with it.

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