Create a modern retro kitchen with pastel colours
Lemon yellow, candyfloss pink or periwinkle blue: these pastel shades are all instantly evocative of the past, so if you’re looking to bring a vintage element into your space, these retro kitchen colours are perfect. Paint all of your walls in a pastel tone, or opt for one statement wall to brighten up your kitchen. You could even opt for accessories and appliances in pastel tones for a simple way to add a pop of colour without redoing your whole kitchen.
Opt for rounded shapes
For 50s style kitchen cabinets, go for rounded shapes and curved edges rather than traditional squared-off cabinets. Curved cabinets and countertops bring a softness into your space, subtly nodding to the retro trend even if your cabinets are in a modern style and finish.
Choose vintage-style appliances
Nothing says “retro kitchen” quite like an AGA and Smeg fridge. Your appliances can really make your old-style kitchen feel more authentic, whether you go for one stand-out piece or add some smaller appliances like a retro kettle, toaster and coffee machine.
Make your island the stand-out feature of your retro style kitchen
Taking inspiration from American diners, the hub of the retro kitchen is the social space where you can catch up with the family over burgers or sundaes - so that means you need to have some great social space in your kitchen. An island is perfect for this, particularly if you have an open plan kitchen as it can help to zone off your kitchen and dining areas. You can draw attention to your kitchen island by choosing a bright colour or even a patterned wallpaper.
Go for patterned flooring
The quintessential retro flooring design is the checkerboard style. If you want to make a statement with your retro style kitchen, then this monochrome design is the way to go. It’s a classic look that works with both modern and traditional cabinets, as well as a range of different colours, whether you stick with the black and white colour scheme, or pair it with a bold colour like red for an eye-catching combination.
Evoke 1970 style kitchens with Shaker-style cabinets
Shaker-style cabinets were hugely popular in the 1970s, so choosing this type of cabinet is a great way to give a subtle nod to retro design trends. Darker tones were popular in the ‘70s, so opt for a dark wood if you want to stay true to its retro roots, or brighten up the space with a lighter shade for a more modern take on the trend.
Embrace wooden cabinets
You don’t need to go all-out with colours and patterns to get a vintage-look kitchen. Wooden tones in the kitchen give off subtle vintage vibes without being overwhelming, so light wood retro kitchen cabinets, either in a modern, traditional or Shaker style. It’s an easy way to bring a retro feel to your space without going too loud.
Find the perfect retro kitchen pictures
Brighten up your walls with some vintage artwork. Scour markets and online shops to find the perfect retro pieces to suit your space and your personality. Whether you go for Warhol prints or vintage road signs, these pieces will really pop when set against crisp white walls to let your artwork do the talking.
Go for a tiled splashback
Your splashback offers the perfect blank canvas on which to bring in a retro feel to your kitchen. From geometric patterned tiles in a ‘70s-inspired mustard yellow to clean white tiles set against retro kitchen cabinets, there are plenty of ways to work with your splashback, whether you’re designing a fully retro space or are combining retro and contemporary elements for the best of both worlds.
Use banquet-style seating
Banquet seats, or benches, are a great way to save space whilst creating a retro-style kitchen. Anchoring your seating frees up floor space for other things, and can often be affixed to a wall or the end of a kitchen cabinet. You can use this space to create a little kitchen diner space, complete with a decorative sign and quirky table decorations to make a fun space that’s great for hosting guests.