1950s diner-style interior decorating

jukebox image by cachou34 from Fotolia.com

While the 1950s ended long ago, many nostalgic decorators still wish to capture this decade in their decor. The 1950s diner was an engaging place full of fun-loving people, tasty treats, and bold decor pieces.

Capturing the feel of this vintage restaurant in your decorating scheme can allow you to feel as if you have stepped back in time to a simpler era.

Chrome Accents

At many 1950s diners, chrome is king. This reflective metal makes a bold decorative statement, and screams classic diner. Select chairs, tables, and accessories crafted of chrome for your space. While this material does require cleaning, it immediately conveys the feel you desire when trying to recreate this restaurant classic.

Bold Plaids

Plaid table covers were quite common in 1950s diner settings. Echo this feeling directly by placing plaid tablecloths on your surfaces, or create a less obvious reference by selecting bold plaid chair covers or napkins as subtle accents to this trend. If you really want to go all the way with your homage to plaid, consider covering an accent wall in your space with plaid wallpaper or fabric.


Jukeboxes were ubiquitous elements in classic diner environments. Purchase a full-size model or a more affordable tabletop recreation to act as an accent in your space. This accent is more than just appealing to the eyes; as guests use this classic music-making device to fill your space with tunes, it can help transport inhabitants back to simple times with lighthearted musical selections from the '50s.

Classic Pay Phone

Trade your standard phone for a classic option by getting a classic pay phone to grace your space. Purchase a recreation of this classic look, or buy a vintage model. Hook your phone up to a phone line to make it operational, or just use it as an accent. If your phone is not operational, consider placing a tongue-in-cheek "Out of Order" sign on the device.

Pop Culture Pictures

Just as in diners today, pop culture images often graced the walls of 1950s diners. Select an assortment of photos or posters that reflect the culture of the 1950s to cover your walls. Images of musicians like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, or culturally significant figures like Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball make a great addition to your space, and reflect the important figures of the era you are trying to emulate in your decor.