My 1940s kitchen

It was my birthday on the weekend and my mother-in-law gave me a slow cooker! Like a good ’50s housewife, this was exactly what I wanted, so I was pleased at Carol’s psychic abilities.

Unfortunately, a slow cooker requires a kitchen bench to sit upon and here we have a problem – our kitchen (like the rest of the house) is authentic, unrenovated 1942 style and has no kitchen benches.

Let me describe it to you: black and white checkerboard lino over floorboards, green porcelain small and low sink (made for petite WW2 ladies) under the window, a built in pantry and a cupboard underneath the sink. Very old stove, prone to anti-social behaviour.

We also have a green ’50s kitchenette, and a ’20s Jacobean dining table and chairs – the room is big and quite pretty with yellow walls and tiles, but just short on benches and cupboards. Obviously we need to update our kitchen – but in keeping with the rest of the house.

As inspiration (and hopefully make up for the fact that I’m not showing you our own WW2 kitchen) here are some pics of similar kitchens from around the same time – all of which conveniently share the same colour scheme. A lot has changed in kitchen fashions since the ’40s!

The last pic is 1946 and it looks so much more modern than the rest: the benefits of the post-war era.
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10 comments

  1. Love the images of the kitchens. They had really creative eating areas. Keep your kitchen as it is it sounds amazing! Just put the slow cooker on the floor when you need it!

  2. Well, Nicole, I will agree with Vicky Smart, and urge you to keep as close to original as it will be so rare and valuable. Can you add to what is already there, rather than alter the purity of it? I am sure whatever you do will be with care and lots of thought! I do love the originals, and once it’s gone, it’s gone!

  3. I remember my mother’s kitchen from the 50’s and 60’s. Started off with neutral walls and the kitchen cabinet and formica table. We had a pantry with a stone shelf. We had a stove and Aga even in those days. Later in the 60’s my father and I papered the walls in a very bold pinks and black wallpaper! (what were we thinking!) i’ve enjoyed looking at the pictures of these kitchens’

  4. I just love all of these kitchens! I love the sink full of flowers in the last photo!! Gives me a big smile 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Judi

  5. Thanks for your comments, ladies – it’s great to hear that I’m not the only one who appreciates the vintage domestic style.

    Thanks for the link, Princess Tachana – great pics!

    Judi, I love the flowers in the sink too – actually, that whole kitchen is fabulous. Interesting that it has chairs on both sides of the breakfast bar, so that mum can sit down too, for a change.

    Monika, I’d love to keep our current kitchen but it’s rather impractical – benches are good things – so it will depend on whether we can find more of the same to expand it, but I suspect we’re looking for a ’30s or ’40s kitchen salvaged from an old home. Ours is actually a Depression era style, very simple and quite appealing but already out of date by the time the house was built in ’42.

  6. Hi Nicole, May I add a little note re the slow cookers. If my memory serves me right the slow cooker came to Australia in the early 70’s under the name “Crock Pot”. Mine was a 70’s brown colour which “kinda” matched the decor of our house at that time. I updated it a few years ago to get a smaller one which is now more suitable for us.In the 1950’s my Mum had a pressure cooker which were “all the rage” did a fabulous job for her, I had one of those when we were married in 1967 and still have it, but it doesn’t get the use it once did with the microwave superseding it. I updated my slow cooker a few years ago. I love your kitchen photo display, memories of my childhood!! Regards, Angela

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