Retro Kitchen Ideas

If you’re cooking up a new look for your kitchen how about trying a cool retro inspired style?  Kitchens have become so serious over the last ten years, all that stainless steel, harsh lines, granite and efficiency – the heart of the home often looks more like an extension of the office.  But kitchens don’t have to be as stressful as an episode of ‘Masterchef’.   Designers are increasingly turning to retro looks to bring some familial warmth and coziness back into this increasingly streamlined room.  But don’t fall into the kitschy kitchen trap, a retro kitchen is a classic vintage look.  Here are some fun and simple ways to recreate a nostalgic style….

1)      Colour
Forget boring neutrals in favour of something more eye-catching.  In the 1940s World War Two brought patriotic reds and blues to the kitchen design.  The 1950s introduced pastels, such as pink and light blue, as well as their more vibrant counterparts, flamingo pink and turquoise.  In the 60s and 70s, kitchens typically featured earthy tones, including brick red, gold, orange and pea green colours.  Make sure both your countertop materials and your cabinet paint colours fit the theme you’ve chosen.
2)      Countertops
In 1950s kitchens, tile was king.  If you’re designing a 1950s kitchen try to incorporate authentic design materials and patterns, such as checkerboard tile countertops.  Use a simple pattern incorporating small white tiles and one other chosen tile colour.  For example, if you’re planning a diner-like kitchen that features bright red barstools and seats, complement it with a red and white checkered countertop.  Countertop materials changed in the 60s and 70s.  The main countertop materials in those periods were laminate or Formica, and wood.
3)      Cabinets
Painted cabinets were fashionable in the 1950s.  Choose a white or cream hue as a neutral background for the more colourful elements in your retro kitchen.  Adding white cabinets makes the room feel larger and brighter.  Unique touches like glass knobs give a vintage appeal.  Frozen TV dinners and takeout restaurants hadn’t been introduced in the 50s so housewives really needed to use their kitchens, so they were designed to be highly functional and efficient.  This meant there were several open shelves and see through glass cabinets in the kitchen design.  You may want to incorporate a mix of painted cabinets and see through cabinets in your retro kitchen.  In the 1960s and 70s, kitchen cabinets evolved into a more minimalist look.  Many kitchens of this period had rich-coloured wood cabinets or even metal cabinets.
4)      Appliances and Accessories
This is the easy bit because the High Street these days is awash with retro revivalist appliances and accessories.  The great thing about them is they look as if they belong in Grandma’s kitchen but run like their modern-day cousins.  A smeg fridge is the ultimate retro appliance.  Lots of kitchen appliance manufacturers now make blenders and mixers and processors in funky colours – including pistachio and tangerine – to add panache to countertops.  And finally don’t forget the gingham pinny, and where’s grandma’s recipe for peach cream pie?
Ben loves to re design his home in a retro style and makes use of tool hire to keep the costs down.