American vintage style: 1950s American design makes a come-back in the home, in the kitchen and on the table

When we think of vintage style one of the first images that springs to mind is undoubtedly that of American diners during the 1950s and 60s, with their brightly coloured décor featuring a sinuous and rounded design, padded stools and couches and the must-have jukeboxes.

American vintage has profoundly affected the recent history of decorative arts and interior architectural style, introducing into the design of furniture and everyday objects the influences of important artistic movements, such as Andy Warhol’s pop art.

For some years now, the shapes, gaudy colours and major contrasts of American vintage style have undergone a highly successful revival: a large number of furniture, housewares, household appliances and kitchen accessories brands are replicating the styling of 1950s/60s America, often reinterpreting it in an original and innovative way.

diner american vintage

Do you like American vintage style? Do you want to customise your home or perhaps just your kitchen with a retro touch that mirrors the design of the legendary diners on Route 66? Follow our advice, you just need a few details to renovate the premises and coat them with some fun vintage style!

And if you think it's too expensive and demanding to change the style of your furniture and appliances, you can opt for a table set with American vintage taste to celebrate a special occasion: colourful tableware, textiles with large optical or geometric patterns and fun decorated glasses from the Aloha collection by Decover.

American vintage style, the origin of modern design 

1950s American style is the "cradle" of the modern concept of design: after the war, the feeling of renewal and the desire for colour and vibrancy that had spread among the younger generations also invaded their homes and public venues.

For this reason, the best artists and "designers" of the time were appointed by furniture manufacturers to restyle and design furniture and accessories that would accommodate this new taste, and these were mass produced in large-scale series to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding market, while the economic boom was in full swing.

The rigorous style, natural materials and craftsmanship skill which had characterised furnishings during the early 20th Century were abandoned: the style which we now refer to as "American Vintage" in fact boasts distinctive features such as gaudy and contrasting colours, large geometric patterns such as squares, diamonds and polka dots, new chemical materials such as plastics and fibreglass, and curved, rounded silhouettes.

The very first household appliances were being introduced into the home: refrigerators, washing machines and the first food processor models, genuine "cult" objects which changed everyday life and the way of life of women and families forever, furniture fetishes with an unmistakable design that went on to become an icon of the American Vintage style.

Decorating the home in American vintage style 

If you want to replicate American vintage style in your home, start with the walls and textiles: dare with gaudy colours or geometrically patterned upholstery, which can be mirrored on curtains, throw cushions and the inevitable upholstered footstools.

Fabric reigns supreme: on square-shaped sofas, on dining chairs with upholstered seats, on floors covered with long-haired rugs or on fitted carpet for those of you who feel brave (and not allergic!).

Choose your lighting and housewares carefully, including vases and ornaments, which must be strictly made of metal, coloured glass or plastic.

For perfect American vintage style, you cannot forego some really "old fashioned" touches, such as the liqueur/bar cabinet, incandescent light bulbs with large originally-shaped bulbs (now also available in the LED version!) as well as a fun jukebox cabinet!

Decorating the kitchen in American vintage style

Whether it's an open-plan setting or a separate room, your American vintage style kitchen has to be colourful: tiles, doors, shelves, curtains in bright colours or featuring patterns such as squares or small diamonds are a must!

You could choose from the many complete vintage style kitchens featuring the typical rounded shapes which have in recent years been reintroduced by numerous brands in the industry, or you could customise your existing furniture with the details of "old America".

You can decide to redecorate with "plastic" effect glossy paints or cover the wall with adhesive paper: create the right 50s diner atmosphere using tin cans, pots and a tin breadbox, old advertising signs which can be easily found in junk shops, posters and a few high stools with a padded seat.

If you have a counter or a snack table, you could place vintage style cocktail glasses in plain view on a shelf or shelves above them, ready to serve your guests a lemonade or iced soda: choose themed decorated glasses such as those from the Aloha line by Decover.


Setting the table in American vintage style

For a party or an original picnic, choose vintage style tableware: plastic or straw place mats, checked textiles or featuring other geometric patterns, coloured glass bowls and containers and printed glasses and bottles, like the wide range of products in the Aloha line by Decover.

Aloha glasses, which are available in various models suitable for water, wine, soft drinks and cocktails, are enhanced by prints in gaudy colours reminiscent of the graphics and fonts used in American advertising during the Fifties.

The original prints, which are dishwasher proof - even at high temperatures -, are available in the Tropical, Surfing and Beach variants: ideal to bring the warmth and fun of Hawaiian vintage style to your table.

aloha conic bibita

The Aloha range of Italian high-quality glass tableware is completed by practical bottles with a snap-top and screw cap, which were very popular in the 50s for drinks and milk, breakfast cups with or without handle and the fun mug with lid and straw, to carry your favourite drink around with you without the risk of spilling it and allowing you to drink it directly from the mug.
All these items feature a rich décor that combines the Tropical, Surfing and Beach themed prints: a genuine, colour-packed explosion of tropical vintage style!

If you set a vintage table for a coffee break, in addition to the fun Aloha glass cups by Decover, the table would not be complete without the glass sugar bowl with steel dosing spoon and a café-style napkin dispenser: your American coffee should be served black and hot from a Vintage-design glass kettle (these are also easily available from the housewares stores), together with a stack of pancakes with maple syrup, soft doughnuts or a generous slice of American cheesecake.