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Jubilee Style: Interior Design in the 1950s
Posted on May 31 2022,
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is fast approaching - and with it, an array of red, white and blue.
6th February this year marks 70 years of service for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. To celebrate, there will be a four-day bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to the 5th June. A special Trooping of the Colour is planned, along with a Service of Thanksgiving, a Platinum Party at the Palace, a Pageant and a Big Jubilee lunch, when people are invited to host and join street parties all over the UK.
Your home doesn't have to be Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. We ourselves have plenty of blues, whites and even a red among our water-based paint range, but the jubilee has inspired us to look further back for inspiration... back at the style of 70 years ago.
What were homes like in the 1950s?
A look through the archives shows that, while the iconic look of mid-century furniture was starting to make an appearance, most homes were still looking quite traditional in 1952.
Utility chic: thinner, more Scandi style furniture was sitting alongside much more traditional, heavy items, with large dressers, fireplaces and three piece suites still the order of the day - but there were changes afoot.
The economy in the early fifties was finally picking up again after the war and the UK was entering boom years. The gradual lifting of wartime restrictions meant people could spend again, and the Queen’s first decade as monarch was witness to the birth of the modern consumer.
Plane travel introduced international influences, hire purchase restrictions meant that people could get their hands on modern household items more easily, and household incomes were rising as more women went out to work. The UK was seeing all sorts of new ideas arrive, from self-serve supermarkets, to teabags to washing machines.
The UK consumer started spending on the home - and it showed. Kitchens in the 1950s leapt ahead of their predecessors with a range of new equipment to make life easier, and took on a lighter, more ergonomic layout that suited the changing lifestyle.
Pastels and bold colours highlighted the optimism of the time and took interior palettes a world away from the darker, more muted tones of the decade before. The US influence was clear as ‘diner colours’ and larger fridges became fashionable.
Bringing the 1950s into your home
The fifties is a fascinating era and the styles are easy to replicate in any home. If you live in a modern house, the simpler mid-century style furniture may work better, but traditional pre-war houses suit this style too, along with larger more traditional pieces.
We're huge fans of the pastel shades that became popular in this time - check out our Smooth Green, Rhythmic Pink and Smooth Blue - and they work really well alongside darker colours like Rock Grey and Hip Hop Grey, if you prefer a little contrast.You may well love the idea of red, white and blue throughout your home - all year, every year! But if not, the Jubilee still provides a great opportunity to reminisce and look at styles of times gone by, that work brilliantly today.