2019 Design Trend Closer Look: 1950s Daydream

What comes around, goes around… especially in the design world. This Spring and Summer, design is paying the 1950s a visit, taking inspiration from the playful colors and soft lines of the suburbs of yesteryear. The 1950s were marked by a feeling of positivity and exuberance for the future. Similarly, this reimagining of the interior design of our parents and grandparents takes an upbeat and forward looking approach, pairing bright pops of color with feminine silhouettes and materials built to last. Let’s take a closer look!

Architectural Details

The 1950s are making a comeback in a big way. Luckily, the 21st century take on retro design moves away from knotty pine kitchens, and a focus on function over form. In this nostalgic reimagining of 1950s style, look for softer lines and a playful aesthetic.

Wall coverings and papers will be subtle in pattern and color, adding texture to the room. Acrylic fixtures such as door handles act as a nod to the functionality and plastics obsession of the 1950s while colored grout modernizes the use of this design trend in bathrooms and kitchens. Color schemes in the 1950s featured marked contrast in colors, especially in living rooms and kitchens. This year, vibrant colors will still be prevalent, but look for tone on tone color schemes with layers of the same or similar colors, especially in kitchens. Also in kitchens, look for open cabinetry, displaying the cast iron pans and melamine dish sets within. In bathrooms, retro glam will be everywhere. Scandinavian pastels and Hollywood-esque orb lamps will make powder rooms and master baths glamorous escapes fit for Marilyn Monroe.

Interior Details

Furniture in the 1950s ranged from traditional upholstered to futuristic. Vinyl dining chairs, chrome legged furniture, Formica table tops, laminated plywood furniture designed by Charles Eames, and atomic age motifs were everywhere.

This year, skip chrome based chairs for wood based chairs. More natural materials will be used. Look for leather back seating, lush channel tufted furniture, and wood based furniture. Mixed materials will make an appearance too. Glass and wood will work in tandem. Cork and metal combinations will appear in tables and chairs. Metal furniture won’t be totally out of the question: coated metal will pop up in end tables and desks . Ceramic light fixtures in modern shapes are a nod to the forward looking design of the 50s but, this seasons designs are certainly more aesthetically pleasing.

See some of these design elements in our designs, below!


Patterns can truly tell the story of a design scheme. This year, look for irregular geometric patterns , playful plaids, flirty florals, chevron, circular cookie shapes, banded retro stripes, and other nostalgic, multi colored patterns.


In the 50s, modern and forward looking color schemes were the rage. Color schemes were bright, clean, and vibrant. In this year’s re-exploration, keep an eye out for romantic pastel shades and vibrant, bold colors. Combinations of poppy red and azurite will stir up memories of the 4th of July in suburbia. Look for it in playful plaids and florals. Pastel pink, soft lilac, and sea foam will be softly layered with avocado green to bring a modern touch to the reemergence of enamel, melamine, and molded plastic in design.

Photo Credit: Crimson Design Group

How To: 1950 Revisited

  1. Geo Prints- The easiest way to bring the 1950s to life in your home? Bring in some geometric patterns to your design. All over geo prints in your bedding, pillows, and even accent tile work or wall coverings should do the trick!

  2. Pillows, Linens, and Romantic Synthetics- Bring 1950s textures to your space with washed out pastel linens, and romantic synthetics such as chiffon. Ribbed cotton and pleated throws combined with multi patterned throw pillows can elevate the look of your newly retro-fied space.

  3. Desk Details- Your retro-chic space can be as large or as little as you desire. Why not start with your desk? Utilize a sculptural organizer, painted planter, and terrazzo coasters to liven up your work space.

  4. Mirror Mirror- For your 1950s glam bathroom, utilize rounded mirrors over your sink or a standing mirror with rounded corners in your dressing area.

  5. Kitchen Kitsch- Bring elements of the “domestic bliss” of the 50s into your kitchen with colorful enamel cast iron cookware, retro inspired appliances, or melamine dishware!

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Further Reading