The kitchen has always been one of the most important rooms in the house.
In the 1970s, this was certainly the case. Kids gathered at the kitchen table after school to do their homework and families still ate dinner together in that same space each night.
Though many moms worked outside the home, she was still there to put the food on the table when Dad got home and the kitchen was her kingdom.
The kitchens of the 70s were colorful and interesting spaces. As with the rest of the house, the colors that permeated kitchen decor included browns, rusts, and oranges. These earth tones were, by far, the most prominent colors in America’s kitchens throughout the entire decade and into the early 80s.
For example, white and off-white appliances were not in vogue during the 1970s. Instead, appliances in colors such as harvest gold, avocado, and a coppertone/brown shade were the most popular.
The most well-known appliance companies, like Hotpoint, Kenmore, and Maytag sold millions of ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers in these unusual colors.
Usually, these appliances were paired with dark colored cabinetry and the latest in Formica countertops. Formica had first come into style in the late 1950s though it was invented long before that.
It remained quite popular during the 70s and well into the 80s and 90s before being replaced by granite and other materials. Formica was available in a huge variety of colors but, again, the earth tones were the most widely selected of all the choices.
The other thing that truly distinguished a 70s kitchen from that of another era was the type of wallpaper used during that decade.
On the kitchen walls, most homeowners would install bright floral or geometric print paper that would add a little pizzazz to the room. Again, oranges, yellows, greens, and browns were a common choice.
In many cases, the wallpaper was metallic. That means it had a shimmery quality to it. Shiny gold, silver, or bronze often played into the pattern somehow or another. This metallic wallpaper was often made from vinyl, which made it very easy to clean and, therefore, appropriate for use in the kitchen.
If the kitchen was large enough for a table and chairs, families tended not to select a traditional wood set. Instead, chrome furniture was a huge hit during the 70s and many families chose this modern, almost futuristic-style as part of their kitchen decor.
Kids loved it because it looked like something right out of The Jetsons. Parents liked it because it was both affordable and durable.
The tables generally had a chrome frame and a Formica top. The chairs may have included chrome legs and frame, topped with a standard cushion for the seat and backrest.
Often, the chairs were on casters, which allowed diners to roll around the kitchen without getting up!