The Slinky Era: Bring the 1940s Look to Your Kitchen Décor

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Even though the 1940s represent an era of war, I can tell you without any doubt that the kitchen design at that time was filled with color and texture. So, if you are searching for a retro kitchen style, then why don’t you go for the 40s look?

Achieving the 1940 Kitchen Design


How to Design a Vintage-Modern Kitchen - Sunset MagazineDuring the 40s, bold, primary and vivid colors were widely used. And these colors were often applied on the floors, on the curtains and even on the wall art.

  • Greens: Kelly green, dark green and other shades in between were often used at that time. And, let me share with you one quick fun fact: during World War II, the color green was reserved for military use only. However, after the war, the color became so popular that it was used in everything from home paint to fashion.
  • Blue: For the 1940s look, I suggest Air Force blue or navy blue.
  • Yellow: Go for the bright and cheery sunshine yellow color as back then, it was trendy.
  • Red and white: Another famous 40s kitchen color design was the combination of bright cherry or apple red paired with plain crisp white.



Creating a New Old Kitchen - Old House Journal Magazine

If you want to bring the 1940s vibe to your kitchen, you can include the following furnishings:

  • Opt for brightly colored or chrome chairs. But if you don’t want to buy new chairs and want to use what you currently have, then you might try painting wooden chairs in vibrant 40s colors such as sunny yellow or mist green.
  • Look for rectangle kitchen tables with chrome legs.
  • You can also include a metal enamel-painted worktable and some kitchen breakfast nooks.

Cabinets and Cupboards

Staged Cozy 1940's St. Pete Bungalow | Cardinal Designs

Let me give you an insight: during the 1940s, upper cabinets in the kitchen used to reach the ceiling and for those cabinets that didn’t, soffits were used. And, of course, in order to add interest and color to the kitchen, these soffits were often decorated with some nice and colorful wallpaper. In addition, lards, hutches and cupboards were considered as stand-alone storage units that were also viewed as decorative additions for the kitchen.

Countertops and Sinks

Under the Hood of a 1900 Farmhouse - Old House Journal Magazine

Back then, stainless steel countertops were still used, but right after the introduction of laminated countertops, they lost their popularity. Besides, what many don’t know is that after World War II, there was a housing boom, which ultimately introduced new choices to homeowners.

When it comes to kitchen sinks, wall-mounted ones covered with porcelain enamel and made out of molded and cast iron was very famous. The sinks usually consisted of one or two deep wells, a drainboard on each side and the handles were mounted on the high backsplash.


HOA Homefront: Are restrictions on hard floors, outside play Fair Housing  violations? – Orange County Register

Did you know that linoleum was considered as one of the most sustainable flooring choices? Well, you will be surprised to learn that during the 1940s, linoleum was a popular kitchen flooring.

The reasons for the popularity of linoleum flooring were:

  • It used to cost considerably less than hardwood floors.
  • It requires little maintenance and is very easy to clean (in fact, it requires only occasional sweeping and some damp mopping).
  • It is very durable. Some even estimated that, with proper care, linoleum floor can even last more than 40 years. Can you believe it?

However, for all those who decide to switch to this type of flooring, remember that it is vulnerable to moisture and can even turn yellowish (or darken) when it is exposed to much sunlight. Moreover, some don’t recommend the installation of such flooring in bathrooms, laundry rooms or other such areas with high humidity.


1940's era kitchen | Thursday, July 23, 2009 The Henry Ford … | Flickr

During that era, kitchen appliances were usually enameled. However, white was also a very popular color for kitchen appliances.

Back then, wood or coal-burning stoves were still used in many households. But, gas stoves were also very popular, with electric stoves being widely advertised.


Old kitchen with floral wallpaper – Buy image – 12315422 ❘ living4media

Finally, to complete your 40s kitchen look, you can add the following:

  • Vintage hand towels
  • Wallpapers of fruits such as cherries
  • Colorful kitchen tablecloths
  • Glass knobs for cabinets and drawers

Will you follow our tips? Please share your comments!





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