Retro kitchens are distinguished by bright hues—turquoise, tomato red, avocado green. If your struggling to choose colors for your space, be guided by the time period you're seeking to recreate. After all, different decades favored different palettes. Pick one dominant paint color, then place coordinating accents as highlights throughout the room.
In any kitchen, glass-front cabinets make for a timeless addition. Their appeal is twofold: They possess old-fashioned charm unto themselves, but they also serve as a display space for vintage dishes, glassware, and collectibles. An alternative are solid-wood cabinets, whether they are whitewashed or painted to match the colors of the room.
Playful, Colorful Fabrics
An affordable way to introduce color and pattern to your retro kitchen is with tablecloths, dish towels, and curtains. Opt for convincing reproductions or scour architectural salvage shops, flea markets, and thrift stores for items made during the time period that inspired the design theme of your kitchen.
Period appliances are a fun touch in a retro kitchen, certain to delight your guests. Homeowners today can purchase new designs that resemble older models, or they can search for refurbished originals. If your budget does not allow for appliances that match the era of the room, opt for simple designs that let other retro details command attention.
Replacing existing hardware with salvaged originals or new products that replicate a nostalgic look is an easy and inexpensive way to bring retro style to any kitchen. Some popular options include polished nickel half-moon drawer pulls and glass cabinet knobs in fun colors like green, yellow, or red.
Although marble, granite, or stone counters are among the most coveted countertop materials in today's kitchen, homeowners of the past preferred brightly colored, easy-to-clean laminates. Fortunately for anyone looking to revive this style, Formica introduced a line of retro colors and patterns to celebrate their company's 100th anniversary in 2013.
Chrome chairs (or stools with vinyl seats) are as popular today as they were in the past. These can be found in many hues, from simple black to bold red, to match any room's color scheme. You can shop around in vintage shops, but many home furnishings stores carry new products that capture the classic style.
Like no other floor type, a checkerboard design works wonders to underscore the retro kitchen theme. Vinyl flooring, ceramic tile, and floor paint are all options for creating such an effect. New squares of linoleum—a mainstay of many yesteryear kitchens—can also be found today in a variety of vibrant hues.
Positioned in a glass-front cabinet, perched on an open shelf, or laid out on a table, retro-style plates, platters, bowls and cups add an extra dash of eye-catching color. Fiestaware, popular as far back as the 1930s and 1940s, is just one type of nostalgia-steeped dinnerware still in production today.
For more kitchen ideas, check out:
Want to step inside old, new, bold, beautiful, weird and wonderful homes around the world? Subscribe to the House Lovers newsletter today!