3 Gorgeous ’50s Home Trends That Are Primed to Come Back in Style

TV dinners. Poodle skirts. McCarthyism. While we’re glad to leave many 1950s relics firmly in the past, we’re pretty thrilled about the revival of these three utterly fabulous, utterly retro home trends.

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Architect Prineas; Photography: Katherine Lu

Breeze Blocks

Behold, our new (old) obsession. The lacy, white sister to the lesser-named cinder block, breeze blocks were used widely in the ’50s and ’60s as chic shade and privacy screens for heavily windowed mid-century homes. Affordable and unexpected, we’re loving them in modern contexts—like indoor partitions or outdoor living room “walls”—as seen in this stunning project by Architect Prineas.

knotty pine shiplap
Clayton & Little

Knotty Pine

From built-in bookshelves to kitchen wall paneling, knotty pine was the trendy shiplap of the Eisenhower era. Funny enough, shiplap actually is knotty pine (underneath all its whitewashing). With rustic, reclaimed woods on the way out and polished, textural woods on the rise, this retro staple is getting a thoroughly modern second coming. We mean, how gorgeous is this kitchen wall, courtesy of Clayton & Little?

Sunken Living Rooms

While sunken living rooms actually date back to the ’20s, it wasn’t until the late ’50s when mid-Century modern godfather Eero Saarinen made them the height of fashion. Homes across the following decade relied on the feature to create dramatic, distinct spaces—sans walls. Fast forward to 2018’s open-concept mania, and it’s easy to see how these guys are primed to come back in-vogue. Kid-friendly? Not exactly. (Hi, tumbling into the living room). But sexy and surprising? Without a doubt. We love this Zen-like interpretation by Egue Y Seta.

Grace Beuley Hunt

Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.
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