I just moved on some ranch land about 6 weeks ago. I have to tell you after living in the city for over 3 decades it’s good to be back on a ranch again. I like the funky place I live in. It has old wooden paneling, and the inside looks aged but well kept and just redone. I do not live in a neighborhood anymore and have traded in suburban life for a more rural wonderland and it got me thinking…
Suburban living was really developed in the late 40s and early 50s. It was postwar and there was a great deal of open countryside for vacant land. Developers slowly took farm fields and open land and made paved streets with cute cul-de-sacs, nice lawns and every neighborhood had sidewalks and curbs. Cookie cut out homes were developing everywhere in the 50s.
These spiffy little pop up neighborhoods were everywhere and often referred to as subdivisions. However, what made these houses so classic in the 50s were not the neighborhoods but what was inside of them.
First of all, the 50s had a color trend going on. Pastel colors such as pink, turquoise, mint green and pale yellow. Remember those turquoise kitchens? Some kitchens had horrible metal cabinets. This was the modern day atomic kitchen.
Some of the appliances were even created to match the kitchen color as was the kitchen tables and everything else. Linoleum flooring was the in thing back then as well and floors came in wonderful colors besides white. Though I must admit, white floors sort of matched the odd colors in the kitchen.
Pink bathrooms to this day make my stomach turn. I am unclear why and clearly I no longer question it, I just avoid pink tile! I cannot imagine walking into a bathroom with pink tile, pink toilet, pink tub and pink paint! However, pink was the in thing in the modern 50s bathroom. I am sure that too was postwar and perhaps men trying to get in touch with their feminine side.
Then in the 50s we had what was called modern colors and atomic designs for furniture. Furniture was often bright and sleek and slender. Reds, blacks, turquoise and plaids were familiar settings in the livingroom.
It seems we outgrew these wonderful colors and styles so quickly that many of us spend a great deal of time, energy and money trying to reproduce what we did not honor 50 years ago. We have many of modern day 50s homes today. Only we refer to them as retro houses. I believe that is more politically correct and in today’s times, everything MUST be politically correct even how we refer to yester years.
I loved the style of the 50s and would love to one day own a kitchen table and chair set. I actually just gave my old Wedgwood 1949 kitchen stove to my niece as a gift. I will one day go in search for a 1950s Northstar stove. In the meantime, for those of us who respected the 50s designs and decorations, let’s continue to look for the fun retro stores that can help us one day turn our homes into a 50s paradise. Meanwhile, I will keep searching for my 1954 red Northstar!