Monday, July 4, 2011

You Have A Right To Define YOUR 50's Style

I received an anonymous comment on an old post I made, about considering putting black and white checkerboard design flooring in my kitchen. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to discuss personal taste...

Here is my original post:

I’d been wondering about what to do with the flooring that needs to be redone in the areas of the house without the hardwood floors: The entranceway, kitchen and bathrooms.

Then I came across this standard black and white checkerboard flooring on eBay:

$10.99 a linear foot. I’m sure I could find it for less. But it is a do-able standard pattern, and I like it. Using it for all the floors that need it would be more cohesive throughout the house rather than a different design for the different rooms/areas.

It would work quite well. A little bit “diner-ish”, but I’ve always loved this pattern. It wouldn’t be “true” to the house, the original Linoleum patterns are impossible to find, and to be honest, they weren’t outstanding patterns at all. The bathrooms were kind of a grey-streaked style, the entranceway a white with black streaks and the kitchen looked like small colored tiles in traditional mid-century colors.

Note I do say it looks "a little bit diner-ish", but I do love the pattern.

Here is the anonymous comment I got about this post:

Oh no....I hope you didn't really put this black and white "malt shop-style" flooring down. If you did, did you get a neon sign to put outside you place that says Mel's Drive In or maybe See's Candy? your research and see what other colors, styles and patterns where around then. You would be surprised what you can create with what's available today.

Well!! Nice to see folks comfortable enough to feel they can express their opinion about what your home should and shouldn't look like!! lol...


This person also included a link to some 50's tile floor designs which, quite frankly I wouldn't dream of using in my kitchen no matter how "traditional" they were. I would have felt the same back when this design was new. MY opinion.

It's MY opinion, that it would be a disaster to put something this busy and dark on a kitchen floor. It simply looks, in MY opinion "dreary".

Now if YOU have floors like this, please don't take offense at MY opinion. Perhaps if I saw your kitchen with one of these designs, I would change my mind!! But I wouldn't dare tell you I thought it looked dreary lol. If it makes YOU happy, who am I to judge? To each his or her own.

But if one really IS to "do their research", you'll be hard pressed to find living rooms photographed from the 50's containing HeyWake furniture, Majestic, Moss or Continental Art Company lamps, bullet planters and even two-tiered fiberglass lamp shades like many modern "50's homes" have today.

In fact, they had very standard lamp shades, non-descript lamps, and Colonial style was all the rage. I don't know a single "modern" 50's style enthusiast that fills their home with Colonial revival.

Yes, people back in the 50's were nostalgic for the "good old days" too, and for them, that meant a style from 30-50 years earlier, just like we do today.

The things we are attracted to today, are things selectively picked from the 50's, that we feel best represents the 50's as seen from a distance of time. As I have said before, the whole "atomic" phenom of today wasn't seen the same as back then. Yes, science and the atom were new and exciting, but the atomic bomb was a real threat.

I don't recall seeing a single kitchen when I was growing up, that had floor tiles like the ones seen in the link, nor as dark as shown in the photo above. Colors were always lighter, less busy. Maybe it's a regional thing?

I also never heard of bullet planters or majestic lamps until I started to see what was for sale, and what was most popular in regards to the 50's, on eBay, as I started to concentrate my focus on decorating and 1950's interior design.

Certainly not when I grew up during the 50's and 60's. Again, maybe it's a regional thing? A class thing? I didn't grow up hanging out with well to do people. Were they the one's who had all these iconic items? Anyone?

But here's MY opinion:

If YOU want pure 50's kitsch, black and white diner style floors, jukeboxes, poodle skirts, Elvis and soda shop stools, then by all means HAVE it!!

We should all decorate our homes any way we see fit! If it makes you happy, then don't listen to a single other person. You have to live there, not anyone else. Fill your house with whatever mid century style you wish! I know I am. :)

Happy July Fourth to all my US blogger friends, and happy Monday to everyone!!!