Back in the 1950s, America realised an influx of new homes as suburban neighbourhoods sprang up around the country. One of the key symbols of the affluence of the period was the ability for families to provide children with their own bedrooms. Homemakers, once again, concerned themselves with the decor within their homes. Children's bedrooms, therefore, reflected the dreams of parents for their child.
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The children's bedrooms of the 1950s had common motifs that reflected the mindset of the times. Boys' rooms sported cowboys, horses and the space-age designs of rockets, stars and galaxies. Girls' rooms, on the other hand, exhibited decor of feminine ballerinas, stylish poodles and soft rose patterns. The motifs promoted societal desire for strong, adventurous boys and delicate, sweet girls. Gender divided the colour palette for bedrooms to pinks, lavender and soft greens for girls and dark browns, blues and greens for the boys.
Most often, a matched suite of furniture graced the 1950s children's bedroom. A maple twin, trundle or bunk bed, matching chest of drawers, along with a desk and bookshelf filled the small space designated to the family's children. Little girls sometimes had more traditional furniture painted white with a canopied bed.
Window and Bed Treatments
Window and bed treatments continued to illustrate the gender divide. Bedspreads for boys came with images that matched the motif of the room or in plaids and solids that matched tailored curtains. Girls had lace or Priscilla-styled curtains with chenille bedspreads. Scatter rugs or area rugs, often with matching motifs, covered some of the hardwood floor.
Children during the 1950s played in their rooms, but did not have the complement of electronics that children in the 21st-century enjoy. Dollhouses, toy trucks, train sets and dolls graced the rooms of these children. Rocket ships and aeroplanes hung overhead in many boys' bedrooms. Books shelves included classic tales, adventure stories and fairy tales along with a world atlas or an encyclopedia. The children of the 1950s spent hours playing in their rooms, dreaming of the future.
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