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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mid-century kitchens

Kitchens changed dramatically in the years immediately following World War II. Many young couples were buying their first homes, and they wanted something new and fresh that fit their lifestyle. Kitchens, which had been small and dedicated to food preparation in the past, expanded to include a place to do laundry and a place to eat, and the open floor plan became popular.

Many kitchens in the 1950s included a table and chairs, as well as countertops with barstools, which very often eliminated the need for a formal dining room. Also, the kitchen had to expand to accommodate the larger size of modern refrigerators, as well as the dishwashers and freezers that every housewife wanted. Wall ovens that were separate from range tops became popular. Laundry was often done in the kitchen or in an attached laundry room.

Design elements like knotty pine, Formica and vinyl were used frequently. Colors were bright and creative. While the very clean lines that we now associate with mid-century modern were popular, industrial designers like Russel Wright and Charles and Ray Eames had to compete with the affection many housewives still had for the Colonial period. Early American design was still found in many 1950s kitchens.

For more wonderful photos of mid-century kitchens, visit the Mid-Century Home Style website. I only showed you a few of their great pictures in this post.

Text and images from
Early American kitchen, 1951
Brown, orange and apple green kitchen, 1953
Republic Steel kitchen, 1954
Armstrong kitchen with copper accents, 1954
Kitchen dinette, 1955
Geneva cabinets, 1955
Armstrong Corlon, 1956
Hotpoint kitchen, 1956
Youngstown, 1956
Armstrong kitchen, 1956

I'm as fascinated with the details of these photos as I am the overall kitchen designs. The rooms are filled with fantastic lighting fixtures, furniture, cookware, fruit bowls, clocks and dinnerware. So much to love!


  1. lovely post,...i had such a topic in mind for a while now. :) thanks for sharing....will read through the post and comment again :)

  2. I love seeing vintage ads! Such bold colour schemes!!

  3. Yes please. I would love any of those kitchens over my ordinary country kitchen. Yawn.