Five Tips For Designing a Stylish Retro Kitchen

Are you looking to remodel your kitchen, but unsure of what direction to go in? You can always take a look at the style that used to be it for kitchens. Now, while we can all agree on going back to the past is a bad idea overall, there are some good aesthetic pointers that still look good after a few decades. Here are five ways to bring a retro kitchen into the modern day with a little paint and a good attention to detail.

Island lighting drops down from the ceiling to give the island a more comfortable feel without taking up table space. (by Jackson Design & Remodeling)

First and foremost is lighting. You need good island lighting to cover your bar and preparation section no matter what, and then either more island lighting or recessed lighting, depending on how low your ceiling is. I prefer island lights because you can find a lot of quality retro designs with them than chandeliers or other down-hanging lights. A good light source in a retro kitchen accents your bright surfaces and checkered tile, making your colors pop for maximum cheer when you’re in the room.

Colorful bar stools have a vintage charm to them that regular chairs just can’t quite reproduce. (By Chi Renovation & Design)

Bar stools give you that small-town diner look that is key to selling the atmosphere of a retro style, so surround your kitchen island with them. To really nail the look you’re going to want a bright color for the tops, like a bold red, but it may be too much color for your renovation if you usually keep neutral colors as your decorating base. Cool as bar stools are, this is not a good choice if you’re planning on having family dinners in this room due to the lack of back support. Don’t hurt yourself just for a look if you don’t have a dining table to supplement your kitchen seating.

Colored ranges are hardware that look better in the context of your home than isolated at the store. (by Jackson Design & Remodeling)

The range can be easily overlooked when renovating, which is a shame because there are a lot of cute oven and stove options out there. Yellow as a color has been getting brushed aside in modern design, but this is the best room to bring it back in. It’s a bright, cheerful color that makes you think of early mornings and good days. If you are a staunch no-yellow person though, there are other colors for ranges on the whole color spectrum; from pale greens and blues to bright oranges and reds.

Don’t force yourself to abandon the retro kitchen look if you can’t find a matching fridge; just work around it! (by Canyon Design Build)

A quality retro fridge is much harder to find when it comes to completing this look. You don’t want a used appliance, as it may be way past its life expectancy, but new fridges are all about being modern and chrome. If there’s anywhere you need to compromise the retro look, it would be here for the sake of needing a functioning refrigerator. If you choose a pastel to designate as your main retro kitchen color, white or gray are the best options, as a black refrigerator may stand out too harshly against light colors, and that’s going to be your best bet with modern fridges.

Red Spoke Clock, MM-CL-06-Red by ModMade

Once you have all the hardware settled, it’s time to talk accessories. Because these pieces aren’t necessary for the functionality of a working kitchen, you have a lot more options; you’re largely only limited by wall space. A¬†wall clock, a kitschy painting, a decadent cookie jar, whatever brings home the retro style for you. There aren’t any wrong choices, and if you decide you don’t like what you picked, kitchen accessories are easy to replace.