30 Vintage Kitchens from Atomic Age to Disco Era

youngstown-catalog-sm-after

After World War II, Americans found themselves flush with cash in a booming economy, and nowhere was the new era more evident than the kitchen. Seemingly overnight, new appliances entered the home, and the kitchen ceased to be just a functional room where mom slaved away – now, it could be a dazzling spectacle of innovative décor and technology.

By the late sixties, the novelty had perhaps worn thin. Women started entering the workforce, having less time to bask in the splendor of their shiny new appliances. The kitchen was no longer the proud centerpiece of the working class home, but reverted back to being functional. This occurred at a time when Boomers were more than ready to cast off the shackles of traditional aesthetics, and experiment with new ideas for interior décor. Thus, the optimistic enthusiasm of the Atomic Age kitchen gave way to basic functional kitchens with bold designs (which perhaps haven’t aged very well).

So, let’s have a look at a kitchen miscellany – images gathered from advertising and other ephemera from the 1950s through the 1970s. Enjoy.

 

vintage kitchen

(1) The apple pies in the oven, the neatly arranged spice jars, the ill-tempered cat, the sparkling new appliances – it’s the Atomic Age Homemaker’s slice of paradise.

1972 kitchen

(2) With this design you can observe the Modern Housewife in her natural habitat behind a glass enclosure.

corn flakes advert

(3) This cornflakes advert (and the first kitchen pic on this list) illustrates the love for the eye-scalding red kitchen.  For more see: Seeing Red In The 1970s: Seeing Red In The 1970s: A Decade’s Fixation With The Colour Of Death, Fear And Regret

vintage kitchen (2)

(4) And more red.  What home was complete back then without its bowl of fake fruit? I well remember the ubiquitous glass grapes.

1970 La Cuisine Salvarini

(5) This woman is literally tingly with emotions over her new kitchen cabinetry.

Armstrong ad Better Homes and gardens February, 1956.

(6) This 1956 kitchen was, for some reason, painted the color of Strawberry Quik.

vintage kitchen 3

(7) Perfect.  Everything is neat and tidy, befitting a Cold War Kitchen… except a painting which is wider than the wall.  WTF?

Kitchen Crochet 1954 Coats & Clark's Book No 304

(8) I’m all for DIY decor… but the swirling ketchup/mustard theme has got to go.

kitchen

(9) The kitchen area is nice, but the patio furniture lost within an obnoxious wallpaper eyegasm just isn’t doing it for me.

166_Sphere Magazine

(10) These obnoxious designs became popular in the mid-seventies… until people realized that they’ll have to actually live in these spaces.

Publicité Advertising 1971 La Cuisine Patricia Patriarca

(11) It’s 1971 – every good key party begins with some fondue.

Pages from Homeowners How To Vol 04 No 1 Jan-Feb 1979 {PDF}_Page_4

(12) From 1979 – hence the omnipresent wicker and brown (the official color of the seventies)

26_Domestic Science in Action

(13) The “Domestic Science Laboratory”

25_Domestic Science in Action

 

1974 kitchen

(14) A rather bold kitchen from 1974.  For more 70s kitchens see: Those Fabulous and Frightening 1970s Kitchens

retro kitchen

(15)

retro kitchen 2

(16) This may be ugliest of the bunch.  It looks like the dinner party couldn’t even stay long enough to eat their melons. Can you blame them?

078_Youngstown Kitchen Catalog 1947

(17) A few pages from a Youngstown Kitchen brochure from 1947

074_Youngstown Kitchen Catalog 1947

076_Youngstown Kitchen Catalog 1947

 

094_Her Glorious Kitchen

(18)

1968 kitchen

(19)

vintage kitchen 1

(20) This 70s kitchen design is pretty groovy – I wouldn’t mind having a kitchen like this today.

vintage kitchen (3)

(21) If anything blue enters this kitchen it will instantly explode.

1958 kitchen

(22) I’m in love with design.  I want to live here.

Good Housekeeping May 1989 (3)

(23) I couldn’t help it – I had to let an 80’s kitchen into our list… especially when it’s this level of strange.

1976 kitchen

(24) Kitchen ’76

psychedelic kitchen

(25) The rule when you’re eating in this kitchen – whatever you do, do not look up.

31_Better Cooking Electrically 1963_0003

(26) Better Cooking Electrically 1963

Phoenix Magazine June 1970 (5a)

(27) From a 1970 issue of Phoenix Magazine – this looks a lot like the Brady Bunch kitchen.

vintage kitchen (4)

(28)

Pages from Homeowners How To Vol 04 No 1 Jan-Feb 1979 {PDF}_Page_5

(29) From 1979 – I can’t help it; I actually dig this.

retro kitchen (2)

(30) The kitchen’s so spacious you’ll have room to cook.. and randomly start painting the houseplants.