Kitchen Colors of the '50s

The modern pre-World War II kitchen was gloss white to contrast with the wood walls and cast iron stoves of the 19th century. The 1960's kitchen went to earth-child tones of avocado and harvest gold. In between, the chic kitchen of the 1950s was a riot of brilliant jewel-tone shades meant to shake off the deprivations of the war era and embrace the bright new future of electric-utility-supported progress.

  1. Peach and Pink

    • Pink, in shades from warm blush to bright rose, and peachy orange tones were both warm, sophisticated options for a welcoming 1950's kitchen. The Jubilee house model in the Levittown developments was offered with soft copper-pink appliances and identically-colored cabinets, offset with wood countertops and a bronze checkerboard tiled floor, a color combination that reflected the bronze paint and pink leather interior of several luxury cars of the era. Interior designer Michael Hallward devised a warm peach kitchen with white appliances and draperies set off by a glowing plum floor and wall accents. Hallward's peach kitchen also included modern task-specific cabinets like a sandwich-making center.

    Yellow and Green

    • The yellow and green kitchen color combinations of the 1950s were nothing like the drab olive and harvest gold shades of the next decade. The 1950's versions were pure light and cheer. Levitt houses were available in bright pastel shades of sunshine yellow walls, honey-toned floors and green-blue appliances and cabinets. A private kitchen named by House Beautiful magazine as one of the "pace setting" kitchens of 1950 retained the gloss-white cabinetry and appliances of the pre-war era but added pale green walls, a forest green linoleum tile floor and brilliant yellow vinyl and chrome chairs, along with bright yellow countertops and accents like bowls.

    Red, White and Black

    • The classic diner colors are represented on the Sear's 1950's Harmony House paint chip palette as Cherry Red, Gloss Black and Oyster White. These colors are the ideal foil for chrome small appliances like blenders, coffeemakers and large shiny toasters. Find smaller accessories like plant stands, magazine holders and coat racks made from black, white and red plastic-coated wire, suggests BBC Homes. Cover up your fireplace and take down dado rails, cornices and moldings, BBC also suggests, as these look too old fashioned for the modern 1950's kitchen.


    • Sea coast shades of turquoise blue dominate the kitchens featured by House Beautiful magazine in the 1950s. Whether dominating the walls and cabinetry, or as a cool accent shade for brick and wood in a more rustic interior, turquoise blue looked clean, fresh and modern. Sear's 1950's Harmony House color chips include more shades of blue and green than any other color, with suggestions for custom-mixing even more for a full range of powder blue, aquamarine, teal and bright navy blues.

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  • Photo Credit George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

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