The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Interior Design and Style - Fifties Kitsch

fifties kitsch style radioWhen it comes to decorating our homes, nothing can beat the colour and style of a typical 50's inspired home. It brings to mind the rock and roll music of the era, the big American cars and the age of the cinema. Add to that the full skirted girls and the leather jacketed boys and you have a style which will continue to live on for generations to come.

The 1950's was a time when prosperity was returning the country after the long hard years of the second world war. Rationing was mostly over and the government was encouraging people to buy their own homes. This new era of home ownership led to domesticity on a scale never before seen. Women across the world were embracing everything from new washing machines to Hoovers. Fewer women were working past marriage and the baby boom was in full swing.

This modernity was reflected in home furnishings and more designers than ever were aiming their useful and modern looking products at families. The home was the domain of women and they reflected that in the colours they chose, from baby pinks and blues to florals and ginghams.

The 1950's was also the era of new materials, in particular plastic and metal were being utilised in the home in a new way. Materials such as formica become the modern way to top your counters or to eat your dinner from. This practical and durable material could be patterned to fit in with the style and colour choice of the homeowner and certainly released women from the drudgery of scrubbing an oak table.

Patterns weren't just confined to table tops. Walls and furnishings were also adorned with patterns, in particular florals and designs inspired by the new space-going modern age, such as stars and moons. Animals also featured heavily, but in quirky and interesting designs. When it came to furniture; sleek and modern said it all. The use of metal tubing for furniture legs became popular and curves and height were introduced to all furnishings.

1950's homeowners entertained their friends and family in a way they could not during the war. This meant that crockery became important as did other items of entertainment, such as radios and record players. These were more than just music makers, they were pieces of furniture themselves. Crockery become incredibly ornate. Pastel colours were utilised and patterned crockery became all the rage.

No 1950's home would be complete without a huge range of appliances from refrigerators and washing machines, to ovens and even dishwashers. Women took great pride in these appliances and they were proudly shown off as part of the kitchen, rather than being hidden away.

Recreating this 1950's styles nowadays is even easier than you might imagine. Most of these furnishings can be collected at antique stores, market stalls and boot sales. They do fetch a premium due to the popularity, but it is possible to buy a few items and create the look on a budget.

Paint your walls in pastel shades, buy some poodle fabric and get a retro double fridge and you will be half way towards the perfect 1950's look.