1950s Kitchen

The 1950s kitchen 3D image

The 1950s witnessed the birth of the kitchen that we know today in terms of its decor, convenience and overall look.

Before the First World War, kitchens tended to be designed for and run by servants while the interwar years saw an uneasy transition where the woman of the house found herself spending long periods of her day in a kitchen that was neither designed for her, with her own mind or with any thought for her convenience.

After the Second World War kitchens began to evolve into the form that we see today. Thought was given to both the decor and the way in which the kitchen was laid out to make it as labour-saving and easy to use as possible. Throughout this period, kitchen gadgets arrived as quickly as snow to make the preparation of food easier. A lot of thought went into the placing of kitchen units to cut down the amount of walking involved in making a meal. One thing that did happen, which is very noticeable, is a sort of streamlining in the provision of work surfaces. Prior to the 1950s work surfaces consisted of the tops of units but this decade saw the introduction of the ‘wall-to-wall’ work surface which, single-handedly, changed the look and flow of kitchens right up to the present day. The work surface also helped to create the smooth, single-colour look which we still see used today.

The image above is designed to represent a kitchen in the latter half of the 1950s. It offers an easy to clean linoleum floor of warm coloured squares to help give the room size and character. The room itself is far larger than were most kitchens which were simply existing small kitchens on the back of houses. This decade saw the beginning, in an admittedly small way, of the kitchen extensions which were to be so much a feature of the next and succeeding decades and which are, more or less, expected to be found in British property today. There is in evidence a work surface stretching along both sides and a tiled wall. Both of these features were designed to make for easy cleaning and quick food preparation.

The kitchen units are comprehensive and any 1950s housewife would have been more than delighted to have been presented with a kitchen of this size and with this many cupboards. Remember that the 1950s were the beginning of the end for daily shopping trips to the local shops which were undertaken by most suburban housewives.

One feature which seems to be so little appreciated today but which was so important is the introduction of cheap, colourful and easy to clean kitchen furniture which allowed the housewife, and often the children, to eat in the kitchen. The table and stool shown here are representative of the kind of inexpensive kitchen furniture that was available. This furniture is durable, quick to clean and much of it was so well made that examples still exist today.

Kitchen gadgets that we take for granted today such as those for the cleaning of clothes were also appearing and one of the new circular spin dryers is shown at the extreme right of the image.

Although this kitchen is not representative of the small, cramped and often unsatisfactory kitchens in the British houses it is an area that shows the birth of modern kitchens and, I believe, makes for a nice looking image.

The image was made and rendered in Cinema 4D and, so far as I can see, everything in the image was made by me in either this program or Shade 15.

A full size image is on my Flickr page which is here.

About Mike
I design and create 3D interiors and mid-century inspired surface patterns

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