It’s no secret that trends come and go, and what’s old is suddenly new again. As a result, retro design trends are popping up throughout the home — including the kitchen. Adding retro features to your kitchen can make it feel warm, personal, and inviting. The kitchens of the mid-20th century are homey, comforting, and have striking details that shine through. So, whether you already have a retro-style kitchen or you’re looking for ways to add some retro-inspired elements to your space, here are some ideas for channeling a throwback vibe.
When you look at kitchens from the 1950s, the most prominent features are the bright-colored appliances. A retro-chic pastel pink or powder blue fridge will instantly give those '50s vibes. Pastel colors were a huge element of kitchen design back in the day, so investing in those retro-inspired appliances can instantly transform your kitchen. When you swap your modern fridge for a retro one, you can easily keep other modern appliances around to balance it out. If you want to make a statement, a fiery cherry red is a stunning color to evoke a vintage feel in your kitchen. Bold red appliances that match the kitchen stools or the dining chairs will instantly transform your kitchen into a retro-inspired diner. Even if you’re shy to include bold colors throughout the kitchen, that one major appliance in fiery cherry will be enough to set the tone.
A subtle way to embrace this adorable kitchen decor trend is to blend in retro-inspired patterns in the kitchen and table linens. Polka dots, florals, and cozy patterns will give those vintage vibes without requiring major decor updates. Plus, you can easily swap them to match the season, so your kitchen will be up to trend no matter what. You can also include more patterns with the curtains, kitchen towels, and placemats. Again, this is a subtle way to infuse your kitchen with retro vibes without having to get new furniture or finish a complete renovation.
The easiest way to channel the retro kitchen is to add vintage mixing bowls. Incorporating vintage serveware and dinnerware in your kitchen is a great way to get that retro feel without a complete renovation or the need to invest in major appliances. You can also include retro advertisements and vintage posters in the kitchen for decor. Look for decorative accents that look distressed or have a vintage flair to them to complete the decor.
Is there anything more retro and iconic than checkerboard floors? Install linoleum black and white checkered flooring to get those '50s diner vibes. If you can’t change the floors, consider at least getting a checkerboard kitchen splash instead. Textures and materials are also important in retro-inspired kitchens. So, in addition, to colors and patterns, opt for metal decorations and distressed wood. Pair this with the checkerboard floors, and your kitchen will transform into a 1950s kitchen.
Another easy way to incorporate retro-vibes into your kitchen decor is to get as many retro appliances as you can. New, stainless steel appliances will look too modern and clash with the rest of the decor. Instead, opt for retro toasters, microwaves, and other tabletop appliances in bright vintage colors. Today, it’s easy to find many brands selling retro-inspired countertop appliances in colors like mint, powder blue, and pastel yellow to channel those vintage vibes in style.
Find space in your kitchen to highlight your retro-inspired drinkware and glassware. An old-school cocktail bar is a kitchen decor accent that’s both functional and stylish. Try to find a picnic-style portable cocktail bar you can leave open on the corner to showcase the beautiful vintage-inspired glassware. The more small decorative accents you can add, the better.
Retro homes were all about wallpapers, and that included the kitchen. A great way to showcase patterns, colors, and retro vibes is by using wallpapers. You can find peel and stick wallpapers that you can easily swap out if you want to change things up. Retro wallpapers vary, but they can be geometric designs, florals, colorful circles, swirly patterns, and striped designs. Play with different styles until you find the one that perfectly matches your kitchen style. PD: Don’t be afraid to mix and match other patterned wallpapers; retro kitchens were all about patterns.
While little decorative accents, wallpapers, and retro-inspired appliances can transform your kitchen into a vintage wonderland, having a statement furniture piece is crucial. The kitchen table is the best way to incorporate a statement furniture piece. A vintage diner table, a checker top table, or a classic drop leaf table can really make a difference. Get matching stools, chairs, or a vintage bench to complete the look.