What Made The 1950s a Revolutionary Time for Kitchens (and how it can help you design the ultimate cooking space)
When we look back at the early 1950s, America was in a time of black-and-white wholesomeness. The dress was modest and heavy, the entertainment was inoffensive and family friendly, and the county was enjoying a post-World-War-II economic boom that allowed returning GIs and their families the chance, for the first time, to invest in homes of their own. Despite this seemingly white-bread-milquetoast-paradise, change was bubbling below the surface and American society would soon experience a cultural and political revolution like it had not seen before. Though the music would soon get faster and louder; the clothing would become more colorful and risqué; and the voices of the American youth would be heard louder and taken more seriously than they ever had before; a revolution of another kind was taking place right in our very homes – and it was happening in the kitchen.
Changes in the Kitchen
The 1950s brought monumental changes to the kitchen in some obvious and some not so obvious ways. Things were take for granted now, like non-stick pans (first introduced in 1954), were futuristic and untested developments then – a far-reach from their status now as must-have items in kitchens around the world. Not only were the ways in which we prepared our food on the cusp of major change, so was our food itself, with the introduction of Rose Redi-tea (the first instant iced tea in 1953), Dow Chemical’s Saran Wrap (1953), and the popularization of frozen foods of all kinds throughout the decade.
The kitchen revolution of the 50s wasn’t all about technical innovation either, it also changed the way we use and think about kitchens as spaces in our homes. For the first time, kitchens were serving a dual purpose – not only as work spaces, but also an epicenter for dining and entertaining in our homes.
Many of the innovations and inventions of the 1950s kitchens have become so commonplace in our culture, we forget about their importance, and the way they revolutionized our favorite space in our house . As you consider undertaking bringing a brand new kitchen design in to your Phoenix home, let’s look back 60 years into the past and see what great lessons, tips, and techniques we can learn from the renaissance era of kitchens, and how we can best include them in your brand new modern design.
What We’ve Learned From The Kitchens Of The 1950s
1. Apply your Appliances
The 1950s were a decade of turning the manual into the automatic, and the countless number of customization options available today make incorporating your favorite timesaving devices into your kitchen a no brainer. Try dedicating a special portion of your kitchen to your favorite single cup coffee maker or espresso machine. These items are compact, will last a long time, and take up very little room on the counter – making them a great option to utilized awkward angles or overflow space in your kitchen. The same idea works for other small appliances like electric mixers (first introduced by the Kenmore company in the 50s), toasters, and water coolers.
A 50s innovation that is a great item to fit right in with your cabinetry is a microwave. First brought to the market in 1955 by the Tappan company, microwaves have evolved to become an essential part of all of our lives. Modern microwaves are multipurpose and even serve as convection ovens, giving you an extra cooking option when preparing meals. You can even match your microwave to the cabinetry you select when discussing designs with your remodel team.
Incorporating your favorite appliances into your design is a great way to make your kitchen more functional, more fashionable, and build on the innovative precedent of the post-war generation.
2. In Living Color
Though the 50s will always be enshrined in black and white, it was really the decade of color. For the first time, bright, bold colors were used in everything from wallpaper, paint, and countertops to General Electric appliances (which were introduced in color in 1954). What applied then, applies now; bold colors are back in style, and your remodeling specialists will show you how to turn your tastes into an awesome design that you’ll love. Custom color options include tile, countertops, cabinets, appliances, paint – just about anything you’d like to customize, the experts at ReBath & Kitchens can do.
3. Living Social
Thanks to the post-war construction boom, kitchens, for the first time, were moved from a small space in the back of the house to a more prominent focal point in the house’s main thoroughfare. Not only were the locations of the kitchens changed, so too were their layouts, creating a more inviting space to entertain guests, socialize with family, and turn kitchen to a family affair.
Modern kitchens have continued this in this trend, and today’s designs are all about making your cooking space an attractive centerpiece of your home. Consider making your design more guest-friendly with additional seating such as a coffee bar or small dining table. Islands can also be utilized for additional seating, and can be incorporate another great 50s innovation: a separate gas stovetop.
The biggest lesson we can take from the kitchen revolution in the 1950s is that traditions, and standards, can always be changed. Things changed in the 1950s because housewives wanted their kitchens to reflect their youth, their love of their family, and the times. Your brand new kitchen can do the same for you, and the experts at ReBath & Kitchens can help you do it. Whether you’d like to go full retro and steep your new kitchen design in the products and esthetics of a time passed, or incorporate the best of every generation into an ultra-modern sleek design that lives on the cutting edge, the ultimate tribute to the trailblazing housewives of the 50s is getting a design that truly becomes something unique to you, and something that represents exactly what you want – a revolutionary idea then, and an essential one now.