How American Kitchens Have Changed Over the Past 50 Years

How American Kitchens Have Changed Over the Past 50 Years

If you take a look at photos of American kitchens in the 1960s and compare them to your kitchen today, you’ll likely see striking differences in the décor, colors, appliances, and style. Certain types of furniture were once considered to be essential in the ‘60’s but have been rendered obsolete by today’s standards. Meanwhile, many modern kitchen gadgets hadn’t even been dreamed up a mere 50 years ago.

In this article, we will explore how American kitchens have evolved since the 1960s and how kitchen style has changed over time.

Kitchen Furniture in the 1960s

Many years ago, kitchens used to be tucked away in the back of the house so that servants and hired cooks wouldn’t disrupt wealthy upper-class families. But as the middle class rose in America, kitchens began to be built closer to the living and family rooms.

Cabinets, walls, furniture, and appliances in the ‘60s were bright and colorful. Wooden cabinets and lively patterns were also common during this time. Harvest gold was a popular color for kitchens in the ‘60’s, and linoleum was the preferred flooring option because it was affordable and easy to clean up.

Kitchen Furniture Today

Modern kitchens tend to be focal points in the home, and this architectural shift indicates cultural changes in our society. Open floor plans have also become popular as the entire family spends more time in the kitchen for entertaining and socializing. This also means that more seating options are required in kitchens now than in the past.

Modern furniture tends to be sleek, stylish, and uncluttered by decorations. Popular features include spotted ceiling lights, neutral or black & white colors, and even televisions making their way into the kitchen. Modern chefs crave additional space with large countertops, extra storage, and a convenient kitchen island in the middle of the room. Lighting is very important in the modern kitchen to highlight high end features with recessed cabinet lights and dropped lighting fixtures above the kitchen island.

Technology and Kitchen Appliances

If you flip on the television late at night, chances are that you’ll see an infomercial for a kitchen gadget that promises to make your life easier and more efficient. Serious and causal home chefs today have lots of pots, pans, dishes, and gadgets filling the cupboards and drawers of the kitchen.

But back in the ‘60s, kitchens were usually only equipped with basic blenders, toasters, and microwave ovens. Yet this is the time when time-saving appliances, like dishwashers, began to grow in popularity because wives and mothers entered the workforce and began pursuing successful careers.

Kitchens used to feature a “work triangle” to allow an efficient space between the oven, refrigerator, and sink. But with larger spaces today and more people in the kitchen, architects have needed to find ways to separate appliances even further and even hide them for aesthetic purposes.

How the Everyday Use of Kitchens Has Changed

It’s interesting to note how the everyday uses of kitchens have changed over the last 50 years. Cooking has become a family affair and a time for socializing much more that it was in the 1960s. While the woman of the household used to be the only one in the kitchen preparing meals, family members and guests now spend time in the kitchen too helping prepare food and reconnecting with each other.

Popular cooking shows on television have also changed our perception of cooking from a chore into a hobby. Cooking is often considered to be a collaborative effort, which requires more space to move around, get creative, and even relax.

The Evolution of Kitchen Style

Just as the uses of kitchens have changed, so has the general atmosphere and style of the American kitchen. Just 50 years ago, kitchens were designed to be happy and lively places that were bright and cheery. But as homes have grown in size, so have the kitchens inside them.

Modern kitchens have been called the most important rooms in a house, and high end appliances, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances have professionalized kitchens in American homes. High-grade equipment is more important than ever before, and kitchen style is trending towards tall cabinets, induction cooktops, high-speed ovens, and flat screen TVs built into the wall. How else would you watch your favorite cooking shows while you prepare dinner? In short, kitchens today have become rooms of luxury and status symbols in many American homes.

At Furniture Barn, we have a wide selection of kitchen and dining room furniture to help you create the eating and socializing space of your dreams. With beautifully designed dining room tables, pub tables, kitchen chairs, bars, bar stools, baker’s racks, buffets, servers, china cabinets, and more, you can transform your space into something that suits your needs and style. We’re your local specialists in all types of home décor, right here in Cheshire, Connecticut!

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