Friday, April 3, 2009

1950s: The Atomic Era-Pastel Color-Space Age Kitchen

Atomic Age

Dramatic changes would occur in the kitchens of the 1950's as space age, atomic era designs and materials entered the scene. The fifties kitchen featured plastics, pastel colors such turquoise or aqua, pink and yellow (cottage colors), Formica and chrome kitchen table and chair sets matched Formica kitchen counters and were easy to keep clean with messy little ones. After the war there was more time for leisure promoting kitchenware's and accessories for picnics, barbecues, parties and the home bar.

T.V. and the 50s
The introduction of color T.V. in the 1950s brought full color into America's living rooms where homemakers could now see all the exciting products and appliances available to them. Following World War II, there was a new generation of plastics and time for "gracious living" and entertaining. Photo of pink kitchen canisters, courtesy of www.
The set shown is a great retro look!
Transitioning to Plastic

Kitchens and homes saw the transition from glass, ceramic and tin products to numerous types of plastics which made casual living easier. Melmac and Melamine dishes, Lustro-ware and Tupperware storage accessories and "thermowall" for picnics were a huge success. Vinyl was used for tablecloths, chair covers and furniture and bark cloth with boomerang and abstract shapes was popular. Tablecloths and dishcloths continued to be brightly colored and souvenir textiles were added to the home with tropical, Southwestern and Mexicana themes.

Poodles, roosters and designs with kitchen utensils, tea pots and coffee pots decorated potholders, appliance covers and linens. Appliances were built-in and came in fifties colors such as turquoise, soft yellow, pink and copper.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

Email me at

Visit my website,

Dianne is a member of: The American Society of
Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.

Visit the Fabulous Fifties Group at

Plastic kitchenwares courtesy of Chris Lankford collection. Additonal photos are from


  1. Fabulous blog Dianne! I have added you to my "take me away" blog roll. It was good to talk to you and I will work on sending the photos to photo bucket for you. ~ Lynn

  2. i love, love love your stuff! here is a lamp you may like.