AdviceInterior design

Call the Midwife: 1950s Interior Design

Long before the end of its first series, BBC1’s Call the Midwife had captured the hearts of Britain. The program follows the work of midwives in post-war East London and we’ve gone all nostalgic for a time when midwives were well-known figures and communities were close. Of course, emerging on the back of the war, we’d be lying if we said that we were poring over the glossy home designing on display.

Actually, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Watch Call the Midwife and you’ll be served up a treat of drab, plain wallpaper in a musky pink complemented by dark furniture.

call the midwife cast

Image Source: BBC via The Telegraph

call the midwife

Image Source: BBC via The Guardian

Move away from deprived areas and step forward a little in time though, and you’ll appreciate why I’ve gone all wistful over 1950s interior design.

Bold use of primary colours mixed with geometric Aztec-esque shapes revolutionised the nature of design. It’s all thanks to that cheery post-war spirit heightened by the 1951 Festival of Britain. The idea was to encourage the redevelopment process of bombed cities through showcasing home designs on a budget.

1950s interior design

Image Source: Tumblr

1950s kitchen

Image Source: Tumblr

Flooring was colourful and patterned as chequerboard vinyl reached the top of everybody’s kitchen kit-out list. Black and white was the most popular of course, with the bright hue of cabinets and kitchen surfaces keeping the look upbeat.

1950s kitchen design

Image Source: Retro Renovation

This kitchen may not be a 1950s interior design original, but the modern day retro style is typical of the time. One pop of colour just wasn’t enough – the aqua and yellow wallpaper matches the aqua cabinets and yellow worktop.

Of all the rooms in the home, the 1950’s kitchen has become the most iconic. While colour was desired all around, it wasn’t all shocking. Colourful kitchens also marked the start of the pastel trend.

1950s bathroom

Image Source: Vintage Style Files

The First Lady of the United States, Mamie Eisenhower, was such a fan of pastel pink that it became known as ‘Mamie Pink’ soon after she fitted out The White House! And what was good enough for her, was good enough for us (and the American public)!

Pink formica counters were all the rage as were cabinets and other kitchen appliances. Anything that could come in pink, did come in pink.

It might all seem a bit over the top now, but they got the ‘let’s bring some happiness to the home’ spot on. I mean, you can’t help but smile, can you?

If you’ve been inspired by 1950s interior design to redecorate one or more rooms in your home, post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.

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