American Kitchen Design Through the Decades

There are countless ways a kitchen is used at this day in age.  The kitchen is a central gathering space for families to share a meal together or socialize during a party.  Perhaps it even becomes an at-home office and homework center from time to time.  Sometimes it's more for show, and sometimes every square inch of space is used to create that one perfect dish.  The way a kitchen is utilized depends on a variety of factors such as layout, functionality, and your personality. 

We learn best through examples in history.  Whether it be the most positive and groundbreaking peaks or the most devastating and iconic disasters, we find value in past examples.  Kitchen design is a prime example of how humans have become more and more in touch with the functionality and ergonomics of their living environment.  We're going to take our readers on a little journey through time addressing certain times in history that once had the most innovative kitchen.  It's pretty amazing to see how far the design industry has come in just one hundred years.

1910's/20's - Freestanding furniture pieces were a staple of this era.  The 'hoosier cabinet' (furniture piece pictured on the right) was a cabinet that created an efficient work space, having flour-lined bins and other organization tools.  Kitchens were often very neutral in color tone, as the kitchen was strictly a place to work and cook.  During this time, all walls were closed off from the gathering spaces with a separate entry door, as the host would never want their guests to see the food preparation areas where the house staff worked.


1930's - As the great depression begins, the art deco era begins to become prominent in middle-high class families.  Housewives would select bright and cheery colors to decorate their homes.  We begin to see more interest in functionality, noticing the different drawer sizes used for utensils, towels, etc.. Built in cabinets also become more popular in this era, while freestanding cabinets and hutches start to feel impractical and outdated.  Another important part of kitchen design becomes highly utilized and coveted in the 30's...electronic appliances!

1930's - As the great depression begins, the art deco era begins to become prominent in middle-high class families.  Housewives would select bright and cheery colors to decorate their homes.  We begin to see more interest in functionality, noticing the different drawer sizes used for utensils, towels, etc.. Built in cabinets also become more popular in this era, while freestanding cabinets and hutches start to feel impractical and outdated.  Another important part of kitchen design becomes highly utilized and coveted in the 30's...electronic appliances!

1940's - Bolder primary colors and two-toned themes were a big hit of this era.  Aluminum countertops and cabinets were desirable because of the clean-ability factor, as the nation was still very concerned with sanitation since diseases were still floating around.  Wallpaper and window treatments finish off the space, as crisp white cabinets create a clean contrast.

“Bolder primary colors”