Design Trends: Retro Mushrooms

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1978 mushroom canisters

This 3-piece canister set was issued by Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1978. (Source: Etsy)

Illustrated designs, especially of fruits and vegetables, were common on kitchenware, small appliances and textiles in the 1960s and 1970s. Among the most popular designs were mushrooms, which picked up speed and held momentum well into the late ’70s.

While painted and embossed ceramics were popular, bigger and bolder was also common. Painted cookware, canister sets, trivets, kitchen towels, clocks… the mushroom kept manufacturers quite busy. For some, mushrooms were such a craze they required a kitchen overhaul.

Retro Mushrooms Tin Sign

This exclusive retro mushrooms metal sign is bright and colorful.

Retro mushrooms have regained popularity in the kitchen. From vintage collectibles to newly produced decor, mushrooms are in! The only question is, should you go realistic/organic or bright and colorful? Either works, and you could also mix and match by displaying hand-painted original canisters and serveware on countertops and shelves and simpler designs on the walls.

You should also consider if you want mushrooms to be the actual theme of the kitchen, or an accent (just part of the overall design). If you’re going for mushroom-topia, be sure to check out decorating style guides for the 1960s and 1970s to help guide you in picking the right color schemes. (I’m all about the bright and cheery, so I lean more toward simple illustrations and vibrant coloring.)

Finding the right original pieces might take some time, but there are plenty to be had via estate and yard sales, as well as online at sites like Etsy. There were thousands of items created in these decades, so many originals are quite affordable.

Retro Mushroom Coasters

These retro mushroom coasters are part of the Retro Planet Collection.

Are you a retro mushrooms fan? Do you have a mushroom-inspired kitchen? I’d love to hear your story and see those pics!

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Last updated: Mar 14, 2013
Filed under: Retro Decorating Ideas, Retro Design Tagged with: 1960s design, 1970s design, design trends, retro kitchen