Kitchens of the Twentieth Century - Part III

KITCHENS OF THE 1970s, 80s, and 90s

As we marched into the 1970s all hell broke loose in the kitchen. Overnight kitchens seemed to go from soft, pleasant colors to loud and overbearing.

As I looked thru photos of kitchen there was one comment that truly hit home.  It said, "Who doesn't want their appliances matching their dress?"

The latest kitchens of the 1960s seems to have begun leaning towards the darker wood cabinets with lots of them, both upper and lower. I suppose the color gods thought it too dark and what the kitchen really needed was avocado green and harvest yellow to brighten up our lives.

Don't forget, your coffee pot and pots and pans were the same colors! Add to that wallpaper and paint that splashed not only those colors but burnt orange and purple across the room.  The kitchen was a wild ride.

Enter the 1980s and the kitchen seemed to change overnight.  I think it dawned on someone, somewhere, that the 21st century was fast coming their way and the kitchen began to reflect a more streamlined and modern look.  Of course, there were still the hideous colors in appliances hanging around but the kitchen began to become rather bland.

Note the track lighting and the microwave on the counter.  Counters became full with all sorts of gadgets. The clutter was at times endless. The 1980s kitchen was held onto so many things of the past while trying to enter the future, with little success. Although there are those that delight in the 1980s kitchen, there is a much larger audience that shudders, "oh the horror".

The 1990s was that magical decade before the turn of the century. It was the years when the internet truly blew onto the scene and mobile phones truly took hold.  The American kitchen also experienced huge changes.

The 1990s saw the birth of the McMansion and the size of the kitchen grew exponentially. No longer was it just for breakfast and lunch for the family but it became a full blown social gathering place for friends and family. Gone also were the doorways to the kitchen.  

The 20th Century shows drastic changes in the kitchen.  From a small boxed in room meant only for cooking to an open air entertainment center of the home, it has changed the way we think about food, the way we interact, and the basic way we live.

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Daye is an avid collector and researcher of all things vintage.

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