How Retro do You Go?


I will never, ever, and I mean NEVER EVER get sick of looking at and admiring vintage kitchens!  Even though I have personally just redecorated my kitchen into more of a farm style, I know that it won’t be too long before the vintage look makes its way back.  Anyone who loves or appreciates anything vintage will understand exactly what I mean.  But when trying to write this post, I found myself struggling to put into words just what it is about the vintage kitchen look that I so much love.  Upon thinking, I have found that it contains both physical and mental attributes.  The idea of family, homey-ness, and just good old fashioned cooking makes up the mental appeal. But to describe the physical, I had to find some examples…..

First off,  take a look at this kitchen below:


Ahhhhhhh!   It looks so appealing, clean, sunny, and fresh!  From the striped cushions, the plate rack above the sink, to the geranium in the windowsill, everything oozes welcome and home.  But what is stopping me from creating a kitchen just like this?  Well besides the fact that I would have to do some major reconstruction, the idea of a tiled wall just seems a little out of date.

But what about this kitchen?


I mean a cozy siting area in the kitchen complete with fireplace!  Sign me up!  The glass cabinets and breakfast nook all add to the overall appeal….but again, something stops me.  Perhaps it is the commitment to one and only one color?

So you see, no matter how much I love the kitchens of the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s 50’s, and yes even 60’s, I just can’t seem to recreate the entire look in my own home.  So I have to ask the question: How retro do you go?

When looking for images for this post I have discovered that there are two major types of retro home decorators out there.  One type that loves to replicate and the other that likes to use a touch.  So I gathered some examples of each to see what you all thought!

Let’s begin with those true-to-form decorators out there!

From color, to pattern, to accessories, these kitchens look as if they have been plucked right out of a 1950’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine!

And then there are those that let color hues or accessories bring a gentle vintage wash to the room…

I debated where to put the bottom left hand image…that one really could belong in both categories.

So, where do you fall?  Which style speaks most to you and which one do you use to decorate your home?  I flip flop almost on the daily…. 🙂

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

7 thoughts on “How Retro do You Go?

  1. I have a vintage inspired kitchen. I’d like to vintage it up a bit more someday. My home was built in ’62 and the kitchen was simply updated in the 80s (the entire home was actually). I love it the way ti is! It still has much of the original early 60s charm. But, you can see where it has been updated as well. It makes sense it was updated in the 80s and still has that early 60s charm since they had that 50s revival going on then.

  2. Love this post! Where we live, it seems to me that kitchens (sadly) are often the first room to be updated in an old home, and often the only room modernized. I think this is a shame because (to me) a vintage kitchen has more charm, personality, and homeliness to be than the popular style of modern ones. Granted, I am biased – our home luckily has an original kitchen still in our 1930 home. We’ve only “updated” things like the electricity and such practical things. Our kitchen has lovely coral tan vitrolite glass tiles, and yellow ivory walls, handmade painted wood cabinets, and a 1940s glass lamp.

  3. I think the attraction for me is the sense of order – everything has its place – no matter what the images. The real talent lies in making the most of what you have – not replicating exactly a magazine image that is a fantasy – so you have a fire and sofa in the corner… how safe would that be for a toddler etc? Everything out on show is going to need washing regularly – because kitchens steam up so is it really practical to have lots of plates on the wall? I am not trying to burst your bubble – its about getting something that works for you. Personally – I love a neutral background – because you can transform a room with coloured accents – that means if most things are neutral – a change of curtains and cushions, tea towels and a few chosen plates and your kitchen is transformed. Colour ages and dates a kitchen quicker than any other elements so choose with care. Another tip is to try a paint colour on a piece of paper, make sure there are no white borders and then tape it to various parts of the kitchen – the variation in light will show up clearly. How something looks in sunlight might be different in fluorescent lighting. We are so influenced by the magazine images we see – that it is difficult to really pin point if a colour is for you. An example of this is the trend to paint interior’s dreary grey – we live with grey skies most of the year, it is a depressing colour – but the trend and the fact we see it in all interiors at the moment makes it attractive. Colour impacts on our wellbeing – some colours energise others calm – this theory is being put to good use in working with clients with dementia – so try and step away from illustrations and magazines for a while and give yourself space to surface what you like. Then you will have a kitchen that will be a true investment because it will be from your soul – and it will be your happy place. I hope all that helps xx

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