1950s Kitchens Were Much Smaller

October 25th, 2011 · 14 Comments

We recently posted a renovation/remodeling project and the overwhelming response was that there wasn’t enough storage in the new kitchen.

Let’s look at Phoenix kitchens in the 1950s.  Talk about lack of storage.  From a 1954 Phoenix home.

small kitchen plan 1954 Phoenix Arizona home house for sale real estate photo

Barely any counter space.  This kitchen might need a pot rack or two.  And a stepstool to reach the upper cabinets.

small kitchen plan 1954 Phoenix Arizona home house for sale real estate photo

Tags: Kitchen · Phoenix Homes · 1950s

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Picky // Oct 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I was a child in the 50s. My mom had a electric roaster and a mixer. That was it. The coffee pot went on the stove and the rest was done by hand. No appliances to make things easier for her. And she still had and used a full pantry. She also cursed and condemned to a hot place all designers of kitchens. Did you notice the washer hook-up on the left? The washers also shared kitchen space. We have come a ways since then, but we still want pantries, cabinets and counters.Working in my mothers kitchen was an exercise in frustration. The wonder is that I learned to cook and enjoy it.

  • 2 Melissa // Oct 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Now THAT’s a tiny kitchen! Where do the fridge and range go?

  • 3 Jayne // Oct 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Somebody must have added the water hook up for the ice maker where the frig. is. I don’t think they had automatic ice makers in the 50’s, did they?

  • 4 taria // Oct 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    our first house built in ‘49 had a similar size kitchen. at least this one in your photo has a window over the sink if you have to look for positives.

  • 5 Julia // Oct 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Am I the only one who shudders at the thought of scorpions, spiders and other unsavory creatures crawling under that door gap from the outside?

  • 6 Murphy // Oct 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I would nix this kitchen more for the dreaded corner sink than anything else -

  • 7 Jozef // Oct 26, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I know I commented about the lack of cabinet space in the post about the renovation, but to tell you the truth, this kitchen has about twice as many cabinets and surface space as mine! But my house was built in 1912, and is very inexpensive. You’d expect a lot more from a much larger, newly renovated house that you’d be spending a lot of money on.
    And about the storage of pots and pans… are people forgetting that stoves have a drawer on the bottom just for this? That’s where I keep mine, I can’t believe no one else thought of that.

  • 8 El // Oct 26, 2011 at 7:14 am

    My father built our house in 1950 and it has a huge kitchen, so I don’t think the year really has much to do with it. It probably has more to do with who designed it. I’m just amazed that the owner(s) of this home was able to stand using this kitchen for 50+ years. You’d have thought that someone would have remodeled it years ago!

  • 9 AZ // Oct 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Aaaah yes, the good ol’ days when you used the same pot to boil your potatoes, wash your underwear, and soak your feet — so less cabinet space wasn’t a problem.

  • 10 M.L. // Oct 27, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Older kitchens were generally larger than those today, and many included a separate pantry room. The 50’s kitchen show here isn’t that small, just stripped down.

  • 11 violet // Oct 27, 2011 at 7:10 am

    We used to own a house built in 1946. This kitchen was a lot like the one in our house, except ours was more of a galley style. Two counters, sink, and two plugs. that was it. Oh, we had the tall cabinets too (2 of them). I installed shelves on the wall for my kitchen stuff. It was no fun. I don’t know how people did it.

  • 12 kitchen cabinets // Jan 8, 2012 at 5:05 am

    As time and or generations passes by,the creativity of the people all over the world had improved together with time.But the good thing that we would really do is not to forget about the past that is the introduction of the things that we have with us now.

  • 13 Greeney // Jul 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I have to admit, I don’t like 1950s cabinetry. I had it in our 1962 house. They used cheap plywood so it had to be painted. It wasn’t real wood, so if you sanded it down and stained it, it looked just as tacky as the paint did. As for size, it depended on the size and cost of the house. Small bungalows had tiny kitchens. Our back split had a very large kitchen and a pantry, but we had no dining room.

  • 14 Joshua // Dec 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    3310 Briarcliff Drive in Findlay, Ohio (my grandparents house) has a MUCH larger kitchen than THAT, with a refrigerator, an oven, and even a WASHER AND A DRYER IN A TEENY-TINEY CLOSET!!!!!!!!! So do NOT insult MY retro kitchens just for the times we’re living in and how bad modern ones make it look! HEAR ME??!!

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