Continuing my lightening survey of period colours, here is something completely different from the Georgian-Victorian-Edwardian vibe: the happy, zappy, 1950s colour palette. If you ever have a chance to see the brochure for t ...
Continuing my lightening survey of period colours, here is something completely different from the Georgian-Victorian-Edwardian vibe: the happy, zappy, 1950s colour palette. If you ever have a chance to see the brochure for the Battersea Pleasure Gardens in the 1951 Festival of Britain, grab it and have a good look through – it is a fascinating social document. And just look at those colours!
The 1950s was a period when we were full of hope for a brave new world where science and technology would change things for the better and make our lives more enjoyable. The Festival was full of exciting exhibits like the Skylon and promised liberation from from household chores so families could just have fun together.
It was an exuberant time and the outlook was positive, despite the Cold War with its looming nuclear threat. The new era demanded new colours and dynamic designs were influenced by science, space exploration and new and improved technologies. Room and furniture designs were innovative for their time—yet endured throughout the following decades because of their modernity and classic appeal.
Colour theory was being thought about on a larger scale for the first time with people discovering the power of certain shades to lift mood or induce sleep. But broadly speaking it was the power of the new and the availability of cheap acrylic paint in an abundance of shades which called the shots. There were three major colour trends in the 50s: paste;, modern; and Scandinavian.
Pastel colours that were particularly popular were pink, turquoise, mint green, pale yellow and blue. Turquoise was extremely popular.
Modern colours were clean and bright and included vibrant yellow, electric blue, orange, red, black and white. The desired result with a modern colour scheme was to create a marked contrast between colours. Black, white and red as a colour scheme was huge!
The Scandinavian colour scheme was sophisticated and heavily influenced by nature. The Scandinavian colour palette included shades of brown, cream, grey and green. This look was probably best promoted by the work of husband and wife design team Robin and Lucienne Day.
Several paint companies have a range of 50s inspired colours, including Little Greene.
If you like this look pop in to Sally Bourne Interiors on Muswell Hill, they stock Little Greene and a wide range of other paints to help you create your perfect 50s look. And, by the way, if you don’t know already, they are our partner this month in our Spot-it! Competition so do remember to enter for a chance to win a voucher for £150 towards any of their tempting products. Follow the link – it is so easy you really should spend just a couple of moments to enter: https://www.prickettandellis.com/spot-it-2/