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20 retro yellow kitchens from yesteryear: Sunny midcentury home decor

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Vintage yellow kitchen

Pink is dead: Style trend in housewares features yellow (1956)

Better repaint your pink pots and change; your turquoise towels, ma’am: The stylish new housewares are all yellow.

A unanimous trend toward yellow, for everything from rolling pins to garbage cans, was shown at the furniture market in Chicago and confirmed by the International Housewares Show in New York.

Yellow has even nudged out red, the number one housewares’ color for years.

Plastic housewares expert Irving Levine of Forth Worth, Texas, summed it up this way at the New York show: “Yellow is going to new heights, red is going down, and pink is dead. The pink-and-charcoal combination is very dead.”

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Levine also said copper finishes are “laying an egg” this year, at least in plastic items.

LIFE Mar 9, 1953 Yellow teal kitchen tile

Pink and charcoal disappear

Displays the Housewares Show backed up his opinion. Not a single booth showed any pink-and-charcoal, and most put turquoise where pink used to be.

As for copper, it was overshadowed by plain familiar chrome. Brass wasn’t as obvious as it used to be, either.

The move toward yellow in small kitchen items, including the trim on clothes-driers and the handles of brooms, matched the new yellow kitchen schemes shown in Chicago by all the big appliance makers.

The Housewares Show also displayed at least one other new style trend, and a variety of new gadgets. The style note was for black on the table — especially in serving dishes, plastic salad sets, and accessories such as pepper mills, pottery and figurines.


Yellow retro kitchen decor with black & white check floor (1959)

Retro yellow kitchens - decor with black and white check floor (1959)


Yellow kitchen with red countertops and flooring (1950)

Yellow kitchen 1950


Yellow kitchen with aqua walls and turquoise green countertops (1950)

St Charles Kitchen 1950


A basic all-yellow kitchen with white sink and appliances (1940)

kitchen planning with Curtis 1940 yellow


1960s midcentury kitchen in red and yellow

Kitchen in red and yellow - 1960s


A simple yellow steel kitchen and appliances with stainless steel countertops and pink accents (1957)

A simple yellow steel kitchen and appliances with stainless steel countertops and pink accents (1957)

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A butter yellow kitchen and matching appliances 1956)

LIFE Sep 17, 1956 ge yellow kitchen


A rustic yellow kitchen with red countertops and pine windows and ceiling (1951)

Retro yellow kitchens - 1951


A small yellow kitchen with green and blue accent walls and accessories (1957)

LIFE Jan 21, 1957 GE kitchens


Retro yellow kitchens: Do it in a day with Frigidaire appliances!

No muss — no fuss — no waiting! You bring breathtaking new beauty, time-saving ease, work-eliminating convenience into your kitchen with your very first 1962 Frigidaire appliance. In most cases, it takes only minutes to install.

Retro yellow kitchens and appliances from 1962 - Frigidaire Flair pull-out range and ovens with glass doors that lift up


Yellow midcentury kitchen decor (1955)

More features than ever before in this all-new Capitol steel kitchen! Choose from twelve house and garden colors, including six new color-flecked finishes. New rounded contour design includes extra quality features like self-closing drawers, self-aligning doors, sit-down sinks, choice of handles and countertops.

Yellow kitchen Capitol 1955


Muted butter yellow kitchen tile and cabinetry (1940)

1940 yellow kitchen Armstrong

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Yellow and green kitchen home decor (1940)

LIFE Sep 14, 1959 Hotpoint yellow kitchen


Retro yellow kitchens with aqua cabinetry & blue accents (1956)

Retro yellow kitchens - by Republic Steel Corporation 1956 pastel yellow aqua


Kitchen of pine accents and yellow cabinetry (1951)

Youngstown Kitchens 1951 yellow


Yellow kitchen decor (1959)

Kitchen paint 1959 - red and yellow home decor


Kitchen cabinets in yellow, with pale blue upper cabinetry (1956)

Retro yellow kitchens - Yellow and blue kitchen colors


Retro yellow kitchens & midcentury appliances (1959)

LIFE Sep 14, 1959 Frigidaire kitchen appliances yellow

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