www.thegardens.usSITE MAP


Our home was built in 1952 and I grew up in the 1950’s. It’s a period of time that I can relate to. Collecting old magazines is a way to check out the “latest” in the 1950’s decorating schemes which has returned to popularity in the 2000’s.

Recently, I went to get new clothing patterns and the name of one brand is :THE NEW LOOK. Well, they weren’t new to me at all and I should’ve saved the old patterns form the 1950’s to the 1970’s.

They say that history repeats itself and I guess that is true.

Taking a look at some of the things that I found in these magazines brought back so old memories.

My late mother studied Interior Decorating after her Navy career and the war ended. She always had a traditional but up-to-date decorated home. I asked her about the early 1950’s decorating trends.

She said that there really weren’t that many changes from the 1940’s as the economy was just getting into post-war production of home items from the wartime productions. Locating old magazines of the 1940’s and 1950’s, I confirmed this for myself.

When we moved into this home of 1952, the decorating and style was not updated. We have 1950’s  items that look like some 1940’s things. The sinks in the kitchen and bathroom were like this.

I can remember my mother having a turquoise kitchen in the 1957. Here we had a turquoise living room with rose-colored draperies. My grandparents bought THE FARM in 1950 and remodeled it.

In the upstairs bathroom there were plastic tiles in the shower area-gray, I think. Here there were white plastic tiles in the kitchen half-way up the wall and pink plastic tiles in the bathroom from the floor to the ceiling.

Some of the tiles were coming off in the tub area and……..

Some things had to go– the plastic tiles were the first!


Original bathroom in 1952 was never updated when we bought the house in 1996. Some things have to be replaced and updated; other things can be left for a 1950’s look. Our choice-it ALL had to go!

Like the movie with Tom Hanks in it, “THE MONEY PIT”, this house was beginning to take shape a few years down the line.

Unlike the movie, it was NOT SO FUNNY!


Reproduction 1950’s furniture and accessories in the 200’s consist of the ubiquitous dinette furniture, the kitchen chair-step ladder combo, clocks, and Danish-modern stuff.

Fabrics that reintroduce the colors have come out as NEW in the 100’s when they are in fact retro stuff.

As for me, the 1950’s look is preserved in the basement with the original cabinets from the kitchen, a grey and pink and aluminum kitchen table, and a few other finds. These make up the laundry room theme.

We removed the mahogany wood cornices in the living room and dining room as they were not in my  plans but left the one in the kitchen.

The kitchen is early 1900’s and it goes well with the theme.

Appliances in the 1950’s we somewhat different too. Take the rounded refrigerators and the rotary irons [a.k.a.-a mangler].

[Note: this word “mangler” is not even in the spell-check in this software!]

The rounded refrigerators in the 1950’s colors are available today as I found then in 2005 while looking for a replacement  for our kitchen. They are on special order and not cheap. He mangler, though, is not even sold in the home stores today.

I wanted my mother’s portable one but she said that she sold it years ago. I managed to find one manufactured in Germany in the $2000.+ range but this is not the type that we had back then.

Why were these rotary irons so neat? We could put the folded sheets, tablecloths, pillow cases, and other flat items in the iron and run it through, around the roller to press them with ease.

There are still some of us who love the smell and feel of freshly ironed sheets out here. [I have to add this word to my software dictionary-MANGLER! The spell checker is driving me nuts…..]


Some things that I really hated in the 1950’s have come back  now. They brought back the aluminum glasses and pitchers! UGH!

My brother and I hated those at our grandparent’s picnics. OH! Sure they looked cool but did you ever drink from them? They seemed to vibrate with ice in them on a hot day.

But the worse thing was having your mouth on metal, a feeling that I’ll never forget. Reminds me of chalk screeching on a blackboard.

Now that they are out again, I’ve told the story to a few people and they said the very same thing I did.

Some things are best left to the past…..


JUNE 1957