Kitchen Reflects the Fabulous '50s

Popular era springs back to life through the vivid nostalgic displays in this family's lighthearted Pennsylvania kitchen.

Runner-Up Kitchen

Runner-Up Kitchen

Entering Amy Eslinger's Milroy, Pennsylvania kitchen is like taking a giant step back into the 1950s!

Fun and colorful, her lively kitchen is chock-full of old-time lunch boxes, tin picnic baskets, vintage tablecloths, product advertisements and lots of other food-related memorabilia.

Lunch Boxes

Our judges' eyes popped as they perused the vast array of collectibles—so neatly arranged—in Amy's kitchen. They awarded her the $150.00 runner-up prize in the Theme Kitchen category of our Dream Kitchens Contest.

Recalls Amy, "I had started collecting metal lunch boxes before we built our home 2-1/2 years ago. They inspired me to decorate the kitchen with a '50s theme. I like the era's bold simple style and the bright colors.

"A red-and-white color scheme seemed to fit, and I found a fruit wallpaper border that reminded me of the 1950s. Our built-in cabinets, made of Southern red oak, blend nicely. I chose faux brick vinyl flooring to bring out the color in the cabinets—and because it's easy to keep up."

Nostalgic Atmosphere

Family Photo

The work area with island is efficient, but its design takes a backseat to literally hundreds of '50s accents.

"While I'm cooking for my family—husband Darryl, and children Mazy Kaitlynn and Paitin Robert—it makes me happy to see the lunch boxes lining the top of the cabinets. They're painted with cartoon, storybook and TV characters. I have at least 75 in my collection.

"Nearby, a stack of brightly patterned metal picnic baskets serves as the stand for our telephone, and colorful print tablecloths are folded over the rungs of a red wooden ladder and other racks we've hung on the wall to display them," Amy notes.

In the dining area, an antique pie safe, icebox and Hoosier cabinet showcase tin canister sets, bread boxes, spice tins, cookie jars and dustpans.