Kitchen styles have had some drastic changes over the last hundred years, from wallpaper to wood to stainless steel and much more. Each decade, kitchens had their own distinct look and feel, which was largely driven by socioeconomic factors of the time.
Since we love kitchens and cabinetry here at Willow Lane, we thought it would be interesting to take a trip down “kitchen memory lane.” Here’s a fun look at kitchen trends, including different cabinet styles, throughout the past several decades.
Ever heard of the Hoosier cabinet? This one-stop cooking station is what existed before built-in cabinets came into play. It was a freestanding cabinet that had blind-corner pullouts and contained a ton of useful items: metal-lined flour bins, a sifter, built-in spice racks, Tupperware organizers, a calendar, cookbook holders, a grocery list, and even nutritional charts!
This cabinet was all about efficiency and helped people be organized in the kitchen and put meals together more quickly.
This decade was in the heart of the Great Depression, so kitchens were simple and primarily focused on functionality. Built-in cabinets stood above stretches of countertop.
Like many of today’s kitchens, stoves and sinks were integrated into the countertops.
With World War II marking the start of the 1940s, many Americans decorated their kitchens with as much red, white and blue as they could to show their patriotism.
In addition to kitchens displaying colors of the American flag, metal cabinets were popular during this decade.
With the ending of WWII, homeowners began to feel uplifted and wanted their kitchen décor to reflect this. Above all else, kitchens during this decade were bright and colorful.
There were, according to Sears Modern Homes, plenty of “turquoise refrigerators, canary yellow cabinets, stainless steel countertops and pink built-in ranges.”
The 1960s was all about showing love and kindness for others and kitchens were built for entertaining. With people also big on expressing their individual style during this decade, they used their kitchens as one way to do this.
Metal cabinets were out, and wood cabinetry was in – along with shag rugs (yes, this was a thing in the kitchen!).
During the 1970s, kitchens took on earthy tones. Think browns, golds, yellows, and even avocado tones. Wood was also extremely popular and was showcased with wood accents, wood trim and dark wood cabinets.
Kitchens in the 1980s had a cleaner and well-furnished look. Many kitchens (and dining areas) featured designs with curved edges, geometric patterns, or big florals.
Neutral tones were popular, with beige being a favorite color. Accent colors included mauve, teal or blue and cabinets were often wood-toned.
1990s kitchens exhibited a more country-looking, simple style, which was a big change from the colorful, flashier kitchens that came before them. Kitchens typically featured light oak cabinetry, white tile or vinyl flooring, white appliances and simple accents.
In the 2000s, the kitchen became a focal point in home design, and prep stations and kitchen islands increased in popularity. This is also when open concept kitchens took off to meet the demand for kitchens to serve as a primary spot for entertaining.
The country feel of the 90s was put aside for a sleeker look, which included stainless steel appliances, dark cherry cabinets and granite countertops.
Kitchens in the current decade exhibit a natural vibe, often mixing contemporary and traditional styles. Open-concept kitchens are still in demand.
How’s that for changes in kitchen trends over the past century? It’s always intriguing to see what was popular at different times in history and compare it to what our own kitchens look like today!