A decade filled with exuberance, the 1950s radiated a positive outlook owing to the triumphant post-war recovery of the United States. A prosperous time for middle class families, households had a marked emphasis on comfort and leisure. More families abandoned the city for the suburbs, where they could have a cozy home with a big backyard.
In the modern 1950s households, the future was in focus. They favored dynamic designs inspired by space exploration, new technologies, and science. The clean design marked by Scandinavian influence started to take the shape of mid-century modern design. Mid-century themes featured innovative room composition and furniture, and maintained an air of futurism that had a classic All-American appeal. Patterned dishware and pastel colors added charm to the cozy kitchens. The colorful furniture and walls in the living rooms made the area perfect for relaxing and watching the tube.
The 1950s home decor has now become a traditional style that retains its popularity in a modern market that lets you be more playful with new materials and combinations. This is definitely an interior design theme you can’t miss. If redesigning the entire home is not doable, you can go for a 1950s bedroom design instead. Catch the following retro home design ideas to have a place that will take you back to the vibrant era.
Recreate the 1950s Vibes with the Right Colors
There were three popular color trends in the 1950s: pastel, modern and Scandinavian.
Pastel colors like blue, pale yellow, turquoise, mint green, and pink were huge in the 1950s. It was common to see kitchens with pastel cabinets, tables, chairs and floors, as well as bathrooms with pastel tiles accentuated by dark-colored accessories. Those who lean more on the sophisticated side were into the Scandinavian color schemes, opting for shades of gray, cream, and brown. Modern color schemes were also quite in vogue. These schemes mostly included electric blue, vibrant yellow, orange, red, black, and white.
Choose a color scheme of your own, and recreate your own 1950s vibes. Whether you go for pastel, modern or Scandinavian will depend on your own taste and preferences.
Choose Furniture Pieces that Scream 1950s
The furniture style of choice in the 1950s varied — from Scandinavian with light-colored wood to futuristic space age pieces and traditional upholstered furniture. Chrome-legged tables with Formica tops and vinyl dining chairs were fashionable. Made famous by the designer Charles Eames, laminated plywood furniture with clean lines were staples in living areas.
Throw in some bedroom furniture into your space and you’ve got yourself a 1950s scene.
Recondition Your Flooring 1950s Style
Linoleum had been considered a utilitarian and lackluster flooring material since its introduction. In the 1950s, manufacturers restyled linoleum flooring to be more dynamic and colorful. They started producing the material in bright, trendy patterns and colors. They actively promoted the product for use in almost every part of the house. Linoleum tiles were made to create patterns by alternating colors. Red-and-white and black-and-white combinations for checkered floors were highly popular.
Hardwood flooring was also still popular then. Carpets that were installed wall-to-wall gained popularity and had started to become available in a variety of patterns and colors.
Adding just the right choice of stylish linoleum or carpet on your floor could easily take you back to the 1950s.
Have a Throwback with Fabric Prints Popular in the Era
Atomic graphics inspired by science and space figures like galaxies, planets, and the Boomerang pattern became popular, and were used on curtains, tablecloths, wallpaper, and furniture fabrics. Bold designs like polka dots, checks, stripes, and stars were also trendy.
You would also find fabrics with flowers, fruits, and abstract designs everywhere. A tight-woven, heavy fabric called “bark cloth” was available in a variety of modern designs and was a popular choice for furnishings like upholstery, drapery, and curtains.
You can indulge the retro nerd in you with your bedroom redecoration by adding space age inspired design. Or you may go for the more feminine floral prints or the edgy bold designs.
Choose Accessories that Scream 1950s
Atomic age motifs started appearing on fabrics, glassware, and clocks made of wood and metal in the 1950s. Plastic was used as accessory material for the first time and became very popular. Lamps also became a decor. Instead of just serving practical purposes, they became interior decorating statements. They used dynamic, sculptural shapes such as that of animals like gazelles and poodles. Some came in geometric and abstract (such as atomic) forms. Lamps were covered with fiberglass parchment or fabric shades in geometric, atomic or solid prints.
This decade was also marked by enamel-coated canisters, colorful Melamine bowls and dishware, and pastel plastics.
Fill your room with atomic age motifs and pastel plastics, plus a decorative lamp to serve as an accent, and you will have the place screaming 1950s in no time. You might also want to add a pink retro rotary dial phone. This classic phone will take you back in time when phone numbers only had four digits in it. You can still find rotary phones with twin bell ringers that work with modern telephone sockets, and that are compatible with cable networks which accept pulse dialing. Nothing screams retro more than this iconic piece.
Achieve the Overall Look
The 1950s design was marked by clean designs with mid-century modern elements like atomic and space age-inspired shapes, as well as Scandinavian influence. This style has now become traditional and continues to enjoy its popularity, although it is now achieved using new materials.
The Western look was also hugely popular in the 1950s. The decors were sometimes influenced by Western movies and TV heroes like cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. The Western style decor was often used in the family playrooms and the little boys’ rooms.
The 1950s marked a prosperous time for middle class families. New families were settling down in the suburbs, away from the city. They had more time to enjoy recreation and to relax. Interior design was vibrant and fun.
Your modern room can easily be “retro-fied” by adding in a few 1950s staples. Have fun redesigning the 1950s way!