Inspiration – 1950s decor

Inspiration – 1950s decor

What a decade! The 1950s brought us so much. It was in these 10 years that colour TV was launched, Elvis Presley arrived on the scene, Queen Elizabeth was crowned, Lego was invented and Disneyland and McDonalds first opened their doors. Bright, bold and optimistic, this was also the era when ‘the teenager’ arrived, as young people crafted their own identity between childhood and adulthood.

The first full decade after World War 2, it was a period of real change as post conflict rationing gave way to a consumer spending boom. New houses were the order of the day to replace the pre-war buildings that had been damaged or demolished in the war – and they were smaller and lighter than their predecessors, without period features such as fireplaces or dado rails.

This was reflected in their interior design - furniture was lighter and more mobile as open plan layouts became more popular (trolleys, sofa beds and ironing boards are all 1950s inventions), and new fitted kitchens copied the US diner style.

Here are some simple ways to bring a bit of 1950s chic to your home:

Make colour pop throughout
Pastels were hugely popular throughout the home, not just the kitchen. Bathrooms also became more colourful and living areas used primary accent colours too, making a real change from the more muted tones of the 1930s and 1940s.

Funk up your fridge
Huge American style fridges are a must in 1950s design, especially in the pastel and bright colours. Their curved styles were replicated in other homeware items, from televisions (on wheels) to chairs, to mirrors. Make it rounded and make it bright!

This was the decade Sputnik was sent into Space and the fascination with the future was reflected in the fabrics of the time. Abstract patterns often featured science inspired imagery but if that’s not your style, then floral patterns, polka dots, stripes and animal prints were all popular as well.

Consumer spending meant decoration really went for it in this decade and a fifties-style home embraces the kitsch! Think nodding dogs, flying ducks, bright cocktail shakers and drinks cabinets.

The 1950s brought with it a riot of energy and colour but you don’t have to go the whole way in your own interior design. Bright accessories, bold accents and sleek rounded furniture can all give a nod to the era, while keeping it contemporary.