The fifties saw the rise of the what many have considered the American Dream for decades, with cozy little families springing up in cozy little neighborhoods in cities all across the nation. And as those kids — the Baby Boomers — grew up and nurtured their own dreams, they rested their bones in the luxury of these popular 1950s furniture styles that helped define a generation … and a half-century!
The swivel rocker was the 1950s version of the reclining chair, and a popular crafter item for their homes. They’re comfy but not cozy, with one armrest on each side that can be adjusted to suit your needs. The iconic design is known from its shapely curves and wide seat cushioning upholstered in leather, fabric, or a combination of the two.
Swivel Rockers are still popular today but have been adjusted to suit modern tastes by adding more upholstery colors that span from earthy neutrals and pastels to deep jeweled hues reminiscent of 1950s era styles.
Faux Leather Lounge Chairs
The faux leather lounge chair is a 1950s furniture style that was thought to be the substitute for upholstered sofas. This comfortable seat featured an armless design with padded headrest and deep, plush cushions upholstered in durable faux leather vinyl or fabric. It might have been considered unrefined by some but it was a popular 1950s furniture style.
The faux leather lounge chair is still fashionable and available in many styles, colors, and materials today.
Danish Modern Furniture Style
The Danish Modern fur style was a 1950s furniture trend that caught on in the United States. In fact, it’s one of our favorite styles from this decade. The sleek design features upholstered chairs and sofas with streamlined lines and simple forms exemplified by clean surfaces with no superfluous detail, Scandinavian-inspired shapes, and natural materials such as wood and leather. Contemporary designers like Calvin Klein, Ikea, and Artek have produced pieces that adhere to the original Danish Modern furniture style guidelines of clean lines with minimal detail but also incorporate modern elements.
Console Television Sets
Console television sets were a 1950s furniture trend that refined the traditional cabinet to accommodate TV viewing. The set is placed on top of a long, low table, or directly on the floor, and serves as another piece of furniture in the living room.
Knotty Pine Paneling
Knotty pine paneling was a 1950s furniture trend that brought the outdoors inside. The wood panels, sometimes mixed with other materials like mirrors or brick, were found in kitchens and bathrooms as well as living rooms to create an earthy home environment.
Linoleum was a 1950s furniture trend that made flooring more affordable than the expensive and difficult-to-maintain wood or tile. This type of floor covering is durable, easy to clean, and can mimic natural materials like marble in both pattern design and color.
Upholstered furniture was a 1950s furniture trend that made use of new synthetic materials like polyester and vinyl. They were inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to clean.
Organic design was a 1950s furniture trend based on the movement known as Mid-Century Modernism. This style often features straight lines with sharp corners, natural wood, and light colors.
This trend is still popular today, but it has evolved from very traditional to more modern designs with softer lines and bolder shapes.
Metal furniture was a 1950s furniture trend that used welded steel frames for durability in environments such as schools or hospitals – both of which have high-use furnishings.
This trend is still popular today. It’s usually lighter than wood furniture and resists denting, scratching, or breaking in a way that plastic would not.
Bamboo furniture was a 1950s furniture trend that used this sustainable material as an alternative to more expensive hardwoods like mahogany and oak.
As bamboo is a popular wood among many furniture makers today, this trend is still in vogue.
Wrought Iron Furniture
Wrought iron furniture was a 1950s furniture trend that used metal to produce more ornate pieces with curving lines and accents of brass or bronze. With the introduction of plastics as an affordable substitute for metals during the 1960s, this trend became less popular.
This furniture style is still used today as an accent piece to a room that needs some interest or character without painting the walls or changing out every single piece of furniture.
It’s also been updated over time with materials like stainless steel and aluminum instead of iron for more contemporary looks.
The bachelor chest was one 1950s furniture trend that combined two types of chests into one piece. The back panel of the chest is made with a plain, unfinished wood and is used for storage. In front of it sits a drawer unit that usually includes two or three drawers in addition to open shelving for displaying items on top.
Leather ottomans were all the rage in 1950s furniture styles. These footstools are typically large and plush with a square or rectangular frame that rests on four legs, two of which taper into blunt points at the front corners to provide stability for sitting.
The leather ottoman was often used as an additional seating option, and sometimes as a coffee table. It’s still popular today in some homes, but not universally so.
Chrome Kitchen Tables
The chrome kitchen table was another popular 1950s furniture style. These tables were typically rectangular, with a chromed metal or stainless steel frame and top made of marble, glass, granite, vinyl resin composite (VRC), or some other hard material that can be polished to a reflective shine.
Chrome kitchen tables are still available but they’re not as popular as they once were.
Space Age Modern Furniture Styles
The 1950s also saw the rise of an entire range of furniture styles that are now referred to collectively as “Space Age Modern.” The futuristic look was attributed in part to developments in engineering, aviation, and astronomy during World War II. Space age furniture was typically low, sleek, and often made of plastic with no visible fasteners such as screws or nails.
Space Age Modern furniture is still popular today but it’s more common to see this style in the living room than in a kitchen setting.
(Like 1950s Furniture Styles? Then you might like our article on 1960’s Furniture Styles, click here.)