How Kitchens Have Changed: Kitchens Over The Years - Modern Homes

by Tina Riley
4 months ago

As we mark 55 years in business, we couldn’t help but take a nostalgic wander through the evolution of kitchens over the years. Our homes have always been a canvas for changing styles and trends, and nowhere is this more evident than in the heart of the home itself—the kitchen 

From its humble beginnings to its current status as a social hub, the kitchen has witnessed plenty of dramatic transformations with each era leaving its unique imprint on design and functionality. 

So, join us as we explore how designs and layouts have evolved, with a sprinkle of inspiration from the past that you can incorporate into your own kitchen today. After all, who can resist a touch of retro charm? Definitely not us! 

Kitchens in the 1930s

In the 1930s, kitchens tended to be compact spaces, carefully designed for efficiency amidst economic challenges. Built with durable materials like wood or metal, cabinetry offered ample storage with pull-out drawers and sliding shelves keeping clutter at bay. Countertops made of wood and gas stoves, often with integrated ovens, took centre stage. While refrigerators were on the rise, some households still relied on iceboxes.  

Despite the constraints of the era, 1930s kitchens were all about resilience and ingenuity, turning practicality into an art form! 

Kitchens in the 1940s 

Image credit: YouTube 

When we think of vintage kitchens, the 1940s immediately come to mind. This era was all about patterns—patterns everywhere! From curtains to tablecloths to flooring, if there was a print, it managed to find its way into the kitchen. We think it looks rather cosy. Bursting with cupboards and pull-down drawers, 1940s kitchens were bustling and visually striking. 

Kitchens in the 1950s 

Image credit: The Spruce 

Continuing the pattern craze of the 1940s, the 1950s brought bright, vibrant colours that illuminated homes. Wooden cabinets made way for metallic steel, bringing an edge and shine to kitchens. English Rose, a manufacturer based in Warwick, offered a stunning range of metal units during this time, some of which are still in use today, proving that quality manufacturing never goes out of style! 

Kitchens in the 1960s 

Image credit: House & Garden 

If the 1950s were about bright colours, the 1960s were about pushing the boundaries. Home decor became synonymous with uniqueness and individuality. From orange flowered wallpaper to lime green walls, nothing about 1960s kitchens was subtle. Yet, amidst the bold designs, practicality remained key, with stainless steel appliances and minimalist furniture reigning supreme.  

Kitchens in the 1970s 

Image credit: Pinterest 

In stark contrast to the psychedelic ’60s, the 1970s embraced earthy, neutral tones. Bright orange cabinets made way for darker shades and wooden worktops. The cosy, golden hues of ’70s kitchens still resonate in today’s home decor trends. 

Kitchens in the 1980s 

The 1980s saw a shift towards sparkling white surfaces, a departure from the darker tones of the ’70s. Built-in appliances became popular, marking a significant turning point in home decor. The era of the microwave on countertops began, paving the way for modern minimalism. 

Kitchens in the 1990s 

Image credit: Huffington Post 

Building on the serenity of the ’80s, the 1990s favoured light-coloured doors, worktops, and appliances. Warm wooden accents added a touch of cosiness to minimalist designs. With the rise of kitchen islands, the ’90s transformed the kitchen into a social hub within the home. 

Modern day kitchens

The dawn of the 2000s brought about huge changes in home décor that were fuelled by the rise of smartphones and social media. Homeowners began to prioritise personal style over fleeting trends, opting for kitchens that suited their lifestyle and house age. Plus, the easy access to the Internet meant there was more options and inspiration than ever before. We can thank the 2000s for helping homeowners say goodbye to formal living rooms and welcoming open plan social space kitchens! 


The kitchen is the room that is always moving forwards, both in design and in purpose. To ensure that your kitchen is always keeping on trend and evolving with the times, why not get in touch with our friendly team? We’re always ready to help you out in any way we can in helping you create your dream home!