Bob Vila Radio: Recipe for a Retro Kitchen

You might not be able to serve up a malt, but a little paint and planning can get you the 1950s look for less.

If you love classic kitchens but can’t afford a renovation, there are still plenty of ways to add retro appeal. Start by digging up a few old photos with design details you want to recreate at home.



Listen to BOB VILA ON RETRO KITCHENS or read on below:

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A lemon yellow, turquoise, or bubblegum pink accent wall will take your kitchen back in time in an afternoon. For cabinets, go with a vintage-inspired pastel on the outside or remove the doors and paint the back panel to create eye-catching open shelving. When everything is dry, finish the mini-makeover with chrome drawer pulls and knobs. And while you’re at it, swap out a builder-grade light fixture with a few pendant lights to brighten up your counter or island.

Experienced DIY-ers can build their own cozy breakfast nook with hinged benches. The compartment below the seat is the perfect place for seldom-used cookware. If you’re not that handy, a 50’s-style dinette set will give your family a place to gather.

Another option? Look into retro-inspired brands that are cashing in on the new-again trend with candy-colored appliances and range hoods. Finally, put those vintage kitchen linens and dishes you’ve collected to use. They’ve stood the test of time for a reason!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!