The Midcentury Kitchen: America's Favorite Room, from Workspace to Dreamscape, 1940s-1970s

An illustrated pop history from aqua to avocado, Westinghouse to Wonder Bread.

“The Midcentury Kitchen” is on shelves now! Get your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or find your nearest independent bookseller by entering your ZIP code on IndieBound.

“If you want to understand your kitchen, this is the book for you. Packed with fabulous period images and memorable detail, this is the story of how the center of the American home came to look the way it does today―and what that can tell us about gender, capitalism, and social norms.” - Nicola Twilley, writer and co-host of Gastropod

A Refreshing Retro-Kitchen History…it appears that vintage charm still has its champions.” - Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

The Midcentury Kitchen, unpacks some of those remarkable, ridiculous features and explains how they came to be, tracing the transformation of the kitchen from a functional place for labor that sometimes wasn’t even its own room to a hip family hangout space. With lots of lavish illustrations, it’s also a great, Ozymandias-like opportunity to ponder how the modish kitchens of our current era will fare down the line. Look upon my subway tiles, ye mighty, and despair.” - Kelly Faircloth, Jezebel

“Nearly everyone alive today has experienced cozy, welcoming kitchens packed with conveniences that we now take for granted. Sarah Archer, in this delightful romp through a simpler time, shows us how the prosperity of the 1950s kicked off the technological and design ideals of today’s kitchen. In fact, while contemporary appliances might look a little different and work a little better than those of the 1950s, the midcentury kitchen has yet to be improved upon. During the optimistic consumerism of midcentury America when families were ready to put their newfound prosperity on display, companies from General Electric to Pyrex to Betty Crocker were there to usher them into a new era. Counter heights were standardized, appliances were designed in fashionable colors, and convenience foods took over families’ plates. With archival photographs, advertisements, magazine pages, and movie stills, The Midcentury Kitchen captures the spirit of an era―and a room―where anything seemed possible.”