March 28, 2011

A stellar 1950s example of effectively using grey in home decor

Day 87 of Vintage 365


Grey is having a moment right now (though, to be fair, it's one of those hues that, to my mind, never goes out of style). It's been huge trend for nails, seen splashed across the display windows of shoe stores, and put to work on a myriad of accessories over the past few fashion seasons. Naturally that means it's also permeating the home decor world.

Yet, despite the fact that so often when a certain colour in limelight is treated as if it's only just been discovered for the first time, there is nothing new about grey. The love child of white and black, this colour is elegant and friendly, for it pairs every bit as well as either of those hues with just about any colour under the sun (including the sun itself; grey and yellow can make for a really standout colour combo!).

I think grey is more a exciting home decor option than beige. Though generally a mellow colour, it seems to have the kind of personality that positively comes alive when you match it up with brighter, notice-me shades (like royal blue, kelly green, coral, and marigold). The last time grey really had an interior design moment was the 1980s, but that was no means the first period in which grey captured the attention of home decor fans.

While we often think of houses from the 1950s as being sprinkled with delightfully confectionary-like hues such as soothing turquoise, butter cream yellow, marshmallow white, and taffy pink (and certainly many homes were decked out in these beautiful shades), there are plenty of lovely examples of homes from the fifties that dared to delve into using bolder colours, too.


Take for example, this engaging 1950s kitchen. Though somewhat small in size, its layout manages to effectively squeeze in a lot of different decor elements, from a fully stocked fridge to a utterly delightful writing desk nook (and don't even get me started on how cute that built-in magazine rack is!). Here we see a medium strength grey woven through a room that comes alive thanks to punchy pops of strawberry red and snowy white.

While the designer (or home owner) could have just as easily painted the walls white or cream, they went with grey and the look absolutely works. White and red alone might have made this perky kitchen (the image of which comes via saltycotton on Flickr) too taxing on the eyes, but thanks to the introduction of cool grey, the palette becomes grounded and liveable, but still enjoyably exciting.

If I could, I would snap up the layout and colour scheme of this appealing vintage kitchen in a heartbeat, ensuring that both the colour grey and that seriously awesome magazine rack were part of my kitchen's look. Is grey a colour you're feeling - whether in home decor or fashion - this spring, too?


  1. Oh wow, I love this SO much! Living in a small space I really appreciate the dual use of that room, too. Amazing!

  2. I WANT that home office. Want it. Want it. Want it. Am inspired to try to find a way to put usable office space in my living space. Oh, and the colors are fab.

  3. Wow! I love this Jessica honey! I hope you had a great weekend friend. Have a fabulous Monday. Kori xoxo

  4. I would love to have this as my kitchen area.