1950s Inspired Interior Design - G Plan
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1950s Inspired Interior Design

As we continue to celebrate G Plan’s 70th Anniversary, we’re taking inspiration from 1950s interior design trends. As G Plan was formed in 1953, we have decided to take a look at home decoration from this decade. Inspired by styles and trends from this time, we have reimagined how interior themes from the Nifty Fifties can be used in modern-day homes.

The Dawn of a Dazzling New Decade

Approximately half a million homes were damaged or completely destroyed during WWII, meaning there was a huge demand for housing, furniture and interior decoration in the aftermath of the war. The answer to this need was mass production, which triggered the start of the ‘mid-century modern’ furniture design trend. New housing was considered utilitarian and small in proportions; this meant that people wanted to fill their homes with more personality and colour, especially after a rather bleak time in history.

Consumerism arguably started in the 1950s – People started to have a little more cash to spare, many households owned a car and homes needed to be furnished. The 1950s introduced a sense of joy and new beginnings; the implementation of G Plan’s ‘Hire Purchase’ scheme also meant that consumers could pick and choose what items of furniture they wanted to include in their homes, as and when they could afford them.  This brought a new wave of tones, textures and textiles into mid-century homes, filling them with colour and a lighter atmosphere.

1950s Colour Schemes

With the 1950s came the inception of bursts of colour. Soft pastel palettes were heavily used throughout the home with buttercup yellows, mint greens and baby pinks being the most favoured colours. 1950s interior style is often referred to as ‘revived modernism’; a continuation of a contemporary trend that began before the start of the Second World War.

Homes began to be seen as decorative, instead of just practical places to reside. Wall space wasn’t just functional any longer, meaning many people turned to enhancing rooms via bold paint choices and vivid wallpaper designs. Geometric, art-deco inspired patterns found pride and place in homes, covering walls from top to bottom.

Paint Vs. Wallpaper

These colour schemes and patterns can easily be transferred into a 21st century home, using a mix of both wallpaper and paint. First identify what colours you’d like to play around with and then match key colours to patterned wallpaper. Little Greene offer a wonderful selection of 1950s paint colours and wallpapers. For example, their Pink Slip paint matches perfectly with the Hencroft Pink Primula wallpaper.

Left hand image: Pinterest / Right hand image: Little Greene

1950s Furniture

It goes without saying that G Plan furniture was highly popular during the 1950s, with the brand becoming a prolific household name. The lighter coloured mix-and-match furniture was a breath of fresh air, compared to heavier darker wood pieces from previous years.

Sofa upholstery of G Plan sofas during the 1950s echoed the paint colours used throughout homes. Scandinavian designs paired with airy pastel fabrics were easy on the eye. Sofa structures were also often made up of a light oak picture frame sofa arm or traditional turned leg. This ‘mid-century modern’ furniture style took design trends by storm and is still heavily used throughout sofa and furniture creation today.

The Seventy One in Plush Indigo.

Fashionable Fabrics

Floral patterns were also heavily used on G Plan sofa upholstery throughout the 1950s, adding a splash of feminine elegance to homes. Plush pastel fabrics and delicate florals still feature in our range of fabrics today, meaning you can easily incorporate a vintage 50s element into your new G Plan sofa suite.

Members of our Buy Online Collection are strongly inspired by furniture designs from the G Plan archive. Connie is a beautifully retro and eclectic in design. Each would bring its own vintage personality to your home, but we’re bias and love them each equally. Connie in Plush Airforce is particularly akin to 1950s G Plan sofa styles, however other fabrics such as Meadow Blush and Pure Denim would also bring a sense of 50s nostalgia to your home. You can order a selection of plush vintage-inspired fabric swatches by clicking here.

Connie in Plush Airforce

1950s Ornaments

‘Knick-knacks’ and decorative ornaments become more popular throughout the 1950s, as people had more expendable money to hand. Atomic-shaped lamps and wall clocks became a large part of interior décor, notably the Sunburst Wall Clock, shifting from purely practical items to aesthetic decoration.

Image: Etsy

Amber glassware also appeared frequently throughout homes during the 50s. From vases to drinking glasses and side plates, this richly orange toned glass was not only practical, but very visually pleasing. Amber glassware is something that could be effortlessly incorporated into your home today, bringing with it a retro flare and plenty of 1950s personality.

Image: Saarde

Entertainment, comfort and leisure also become large priorities throughout the 1950s, as modern homeware and technology allowed more free time in the home. Thus came the invention of the bar cart; a quirky and charming item of home decor, that could be rolled out to offer guests a tipple whenever required. A bar cart or drinks trolley can easily be replicated in your home today, and can be filled with any drinks or snacks of your choice. Or, if you’re so inclined, you could always transform a vintage piece of G Plan furniture into a drinks cabinet!

Left hand image: Pinterest / Right hand image: Kookiwood, Instagram

What’s your favourite 1950s inspired interior design style?

It’s very evident that 1950s inspired interior trends wouldn’t look out of place in a home today! We hope we’ve sparked some inspiration and that you’ll incorporate some 1950s style elements into your living spaces.

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