Vintage Kitchens

1930s: “Modern Kitchen” Era

In these times the kitchen suffered a transformation from the old to the “Streamlined-Modern Kitchen”, with improvements to ventilation and organization and new appliances advertised  in the  magazines as part of  the “all-electric kitchen”. The mixers were designed to be multifunctional and able to sift flour, squeeze lemons, shred, slice and chop vegetables, and others . The color most used in those times in the kitchen was the so called “Depression Green”, replacing the already old fashioned white and black.

Gray and Red, Silver and Green, Pear Pink and Blue were popular combinations too, besides the checkered patterns used on textiles.

In 1935 an institution was established (National Modernization Bureau) to promote modernization throughout the country. Color began to make its way into the 1930s kitchens; people were advised in magazines on how to asimilate the kitchen into the rest of the home (kitchen were beginning to gain as much attention as the rest of the home) and advised on color schemes. Appliances were available in different colors  and styles (“japanned”) such as canister sets, cake savers, bread boxes and waste baskets.

1940s: The Colorful Era

The Post War kitchen of the ’40s became a family gathering place, with chrome based furniture, linoleum or plastic tops. Kitchens began to replace separate formal dinning rooms and became dominated by primary colors. Combinations of red and black or with green and yellow were popular as well as brightly colored textiles, curtains and table clothe , together with the on vogue flowers  and fruits found on the shelves. Appliances kept on being produced with rounded corners and in smaller proportions and they were even combined (like the washer/dishwasher), alongside with the introduction of garbage disposal and refrigerators.

1950s: The Atomic Era-Pastel

Kitchens would change dramaticaly as the ’50s came with the so called “atomic era” or “space age” designs and materials. The kitchen of the fifties featured plastics, colors like turquoise or aqua, Formica and chrome tables and chairs to match the formica kitchen counters, all of which made it easier to clean. After the war there was enough free time to promote accessories for picnics, barbecues or parties.

The colored TV made it possible for the people at home to see all the products they have access to. The end of the Second World War  came with a new generation of plastics, which replaced the glass, ceramics and tin products in the kitchen. Products like the Melmac and Melamine dishes, Lustro-ware, Tupperware and “thermowall” were a huge succes. A new widely used material was wasthe vinyl (in brightly colored tablecloths and dishcloths) and the boomertang and abstract shapes became popular. The decoration pattern included poodles and roosters, tea pots and coffee pots, apppliance covers and linens. The appliances came in the specific ’50s colors: turquoise, pink and soft yellow.

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