When Home Appliances Were Pastel


There’s no color more optimistic than pink, right?

That may be one reason soft pink and its cousins—soft yellow, turquoise, and mint green—were so popular in homes during the better-living-through-science 1950s. While the war years, with their drab khaki and navy tones, had been all about sacrifice and living with less, the postwar era was about abundance.

As one author wrote, “Post-war hues turned to exuberant and confident new ‘Atomic age’ colors. Poised pastels were juxtaposed with joyful primaries.”

As suburbs with single-family homes sprouted across the land, many of their kitchens were filled with pastel appliances like this one:

A 1957 General Electric stove

The Henry Ford Museum

A 1957 General Electric stove

You may have noticed: These days you can also pick up a turquoise (it’s more robin’s egg, admittedly) stove like this one:

Big Chill retro stove

Big Chill

The 36" Retro Stove

Before the earthy tones of the 1960s and ’70s (who isn’t eager to blame that era for the avocado, mustard, and rust shades that prevailed?), colors such as Stratford Yellow, Sherwood Green, Cadet Blue, Wood-tone Brown, and Petal Pink were the rage.

Pink was especially popular—so much so that there’s now a movement afoot to save the “Mamie pink” bathrooms, which were plentiful in this area. (The rosy shade was a favorite of President Eisenhower’s wife.) A 1950s pink refrigerator was a wee bit harder to come by.

A 1950s two-door Frigidaire

Vintage Appliances and Restoration

a 1950s two-door Frigidaire

These days, it’s pretty easy to pick up a pink fridge.

Northstar retro refrigerator

Elmira Stove Works

Northstar refrigerator

And, lest the little guys feel left out, rest assured: We have now re-entered the era of the small pastel appliance: the mixer and the toaster.

KitchenAid stand mixer


Artisan® Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Smeg retro-style toaster


50s Retro Style Toaster

Don’t worry, though. You can still get most of this stuff in stainless steel.