Five tips on bringing classic 1950s style to your sitting room
The 1950s have been enjoying a revival for a while now – let’s blame Mad Men! If you like Don Draper’s style, look no further than our top five tips on how to bring the fifties home with you.
1. Invest in a cocktail chair
Those chairs that people are always lounging around on in Mad Men are known as cocktail chairs – occasional seating that is perfect to pull out when you have guests over. They come in a wide range of colours and shapes and you don’t have to search high and low for a vintage model, there are plenty of high street options that won’t break the bank.
2. To go with the cocktail chair, you need a home bar
If the words ‘home bar’ conjure up images of giant optics full of vodka mounted on your sitting room wall, don’t worry. That’s not what we’re going for here. The 50s was an era of entertaining and once dinner was over and done with, guests would be invited to kick back with a glass of the host’s finest whisky. To create a 50s vibe in your sitting room, invest in a sideboard which you can fill with liquor and some carefully chosen vintage glasses.
Search for vintage G Plan sideboards at Vinterior and you’ll see they come in a huge range of lengths – from smaller options to 7ft long pieces for much bigger living rooms. G Plan’s beautiful teak sideboards are highly prized and look fantastic topped with a decanter of your favourite tipple and a couple of cut crystal glasses.
3. Opt for a low, long coffee table
The streamlined shapes of 1950s furniture are sleek and chic which is just one of the reasons why the era is in the midst of a revival that shows no signs of slowing down. This rule applies to the decade’s coffee table offerings, too. Look out for models that sit low to the ground, perhaps with a functional shelf underneath for magazines and books.
When it comes to shapes, there are all sorts to choose from, from oval and teardrop to rectangular and oblong – there are even kidney and boomerang shaped tables, too! Formica was a popular choice for coffee table tops, and it’s a great idea nowadays too, providing a wipe-clean surface that stands up to anything modern life can throw at it.
4. Add to the 50s theme by looking for lighting options from the era
Depending on whether you’re looking at a pared back, Scandinavian style interior or for the pastel pink kitsch Americana that also proliferated in the 1950’s, the lighting you choose is vital in keeping the theme cohesive. An elegant teak standard lamp in the corner of a room provides great, low level light of an evening, whilst enamel pendants create a nostalgia that harks back to the Diner-style interiors that have been imitated ever since they emerged out of 40s and 50s America. Choose lampshades with fashionable geometric patterns to add a clever finishing touch.
Use bright colours throughout
Opt for a vibrant, primary palette – these were the colours that were popular in the mid-century era, after all – or you can subvert the style a little by choosing furniture in 50s shapes that has been reupholstered in 2019’s hottest colours. Play around with texture, too, to create interest. In the 1950s and 60s, you might have seen a brown leather armchair alongside a turquoise wool sofa and this is a great way of using more senses than just sight when it comes to decorating.