Interior design trends in the 1950s
As we celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, let us take a look back at the interior design trends that were in fashion when the Queen came to the throne in 1952, and find out which of these trends we are still lusting after today.
1. Revived modernism
The style of the 50's - often referred to as “revived modernism” - is a continuation of the modernist style that began just before the Second World War and is currently a very on-trend style today. The impact of WWII, when 1 in 3 homes in the UK was damaged and around half a million homes were completely destroyed, was hugely significant to the style. The need to mass-produce, and quickly, in order to replace everything, led to this austere, simple and mid-century modern trend in furniture design. Rebuilt housing was smaller and more utilitarian, ceilings lower and windows smaller, and the furniture needed to be simpler and smaller in order to fit.
Big design names of the time include Ercol and G-Plan. Their designs offered simple, more organic shapes with splayed feet and legs to items like their wooden sideboard, and of course their famous chairs. They also featured easy to clean surfaces and rounded ergonomic shapes.
2. Scandinavian influence
The styles of the period were heavily influenced by Scandinavian furniture; simple, and lighter woods like birch, beech and ash were used, and in order to appeal to the UK, market items were also created using darker woods. This mid-century modern furniture was designed to be completely practical, and make rooms look less cluttered. The Scandi look remains hugely popular today and whilst simplicity and minimalism is still at its heart, it has a softer edge with more of an emphasis on natural tactile materials, such as reclaimed wood.
The war was over, but shortages were still very much in place. Textiles used in the mid-50's were inspired by the emerging Pop Art scene of the time. These were bright, optimistic designs that added huge “pops” of colour to people’s homes (and lives) through the use of designs based on organic shapes and stylised images of normal items. Bold yellows and green, mixed with greys, bright reds and pale blue were all the rage - something we are inviting back in to our home today. A brightly coloured accent armchair is a wonderful way to add warmth, personality and personal style to a room.
4. American retro influence
Towards the end of the 1950’s, future space travel and particularly American culture and the Rock and Roll world of Elvis Presley were significant influences in both fashion and interiors. This look brought chequerboard floors, kitsch touches and colours in bubble-gum hues. Whilst this may not be a look that appeals to everyone, we do still use influences from this trend with a revival of American diner-style seating, benches and wooden dining tables that are now a commonplace design feature in modern dining spaces. Towards the end of this decade we also saw an increase in mass production of items, such as furniture as the new age of consumerism emerged.
Get the look
Whether you lean towards the 1950's style or not, there are lots of modern furniture with a mid-century vibe that emulates this look, but that also perfectly fit into other interior schemes, be that rustic, modern or traditional. Mango wood furniture has a fantastic golden tone that makes it the perfect choice for mid-century design. The Eastwood Rustic Oak and the Farnham living rooms pieces are perfect examples of furniture that would fit the look and don’t forget to check out the Mitcham Industrial Oak collection. Whether you are looking for a mid-century sideboard or a solid wood coffee table, these collections are the perfect example of mid-century design, brought in to the modern age. Will you bring this look into your home?