The 1950s and the Dawn of Mid-Century Modern

The 1950s introduced the very popular Mid-century Modern interior design style. Pastels became popular while incorporating bold designs from fruit to polka dots. Linoleum floors had fun new designs to choose from and wall to wall carpet was now an option. Living rooms were filled with Scandinavian furniture and had big, beautiful large windows to tie the interior and outside scape. Kitchens had fancy new chrome appliances and formica tables were introduced with matching chrome legs and colors and patterns of all sorts.

Color was definitely a big consideration when decorating a home in the 50s. Pastel colors that were most popular were pink, turquoise, mint green, pale yellow and blue. If families wanted brighter colors in their homes, they tended to lean towards vibrant yellows, electric blues, orange, red, black and white. No matter which shade of colors were chosen, there were almost certainly abstract designs incorporated, or fabrics with flowers and fruit patterns.

If you liked even bolder designs and were a fan of science fiction, you may have chosen some atomic graphics to decorate your home. These patterns were inspired by science and space travel, with galaxies, planets, and a very popular boomerang pattern that began popping up everywhere.

The walls inside a home started getting covered with knotty pine paneling and floral wallpapers, which is quite a combo! The floral patterns bled into the furniture with flowery patterns covering overstuffed armchairs and sofas, and were often accompanied by Chippendale and Queen Anne accent chairs. Scandinavian furniture was also a big hit in the 1950s, with its modern and minimalist look. And, if the upholstery wasn’t covered in flowery patterns, it would likely be earth greens, browns, and tans.

1950s wood paneling

Bathrooms in the 50s were pretty iconic. They were usually covered in almost all tiles, in two colors, such as black and white, baby pink and mauve, baby blue and dark blue. And the fun tiles weren’t just saved for the bathrooms. Kitchens incorporated some personality with the floor patterns, either in tile or the more affordable linoleum. The black and white checkerboard pattern was one of the most popular of the decade.

You might also find the now iconic Formica kitchen table and matching chairs in a kitchen as well. If you walk into any vintage furniture store, you’re likely to spot a beautiful set, and in any of the colors of the rainbow. The legs were often chrome and the top was usually a light gray with some wisps and marbling patterns on top, although fancier tables tended to have matching colored tops to the chairs.

The 1950s brought some pretty fantastic trends into homes, some so good they’re still holding strong today. And if you’d like to incorporate some into your living space, have no fear! We have a great selection of products to help get you started!

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1950 mood board
1950 mood board

Do the 1950s speak to you? If not, which decade speaks to you the most?

Let us know in the comments!

Or, are you interested in a different decade? Find the years that speak to your design style in our blog:

Home Trends throughout the Decades

Jessie Ellis

Jessie Ellis

Wife, friend and dog mom with 18+ years of education and 12+ years as a commercial design professional. Always inquisitive, creative and empathetic; trying to live each day with intention.

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