Woodgrain and tapered legs have been popular in the design world for quite some time, but they aren’t the only game in town when it comes to vintage style—especially in the kitchen, where well-placed throwbacks from any decade are typically right at home.
A growing number of homeowners are integrating their cooking and eating spaces with other classic design elements, reconsidering everything from the size of the space to the colour scheme. Modern kitchens are finding a fresh new face in the past, whether it’s through a homage to the strong style of the 1930s or the kitschy embellishments of the 1960s design movement.
1. Pastel hues
The colour Millennial Pink has been on the walls of homes for a few years, and now its pastel cousins want to get in on the action, too. Houses painted in everyone’s favourite pink tone are increasingly being paired with other soft hues, such as robin’s egg blue and mint.
Choose a modern countertop, such as butcher block, to bring these colours to life, but consider foregoing the wooden cabinetry altogether. If you don’t, you can find yourself sliding past “vintage” and slamming into “dated.”
2. A return to smaller kitchens
Homes are becoming more divided, rather than cramming everything into one large room. As a result, smaller spaces are being sought after instead of larger ones.
Smaller kitchens are becoming increasingly popular, and you can credit the current property market for this trend.
Cindy Peschel-Hull, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle, predicts that kitchens and living rooms will remain open as long as homes have the square footage to support them. For millennials to afford to house, smaller [kitchens] are becoming increasingly common, according to the New York Times.
The good news is that retro styles were created to be effective in small spaces; after all, the open kitchen is a relatively recent phenomenon. If you want to make your small space feel more spacious, look beyond the white walls: Bold hues and brilliant metals bring a touch of retro splendour to the area while also making it more comfortable.
3. Decorative flooring
Even though hardwood flooring (laminate or otherwise) is a standard issue in builder-grade housing, today’s ambitious renovators are venturing out of their comfort zones and reviving creative flooring designs that were popular in our parents’ and grandparents’ homes. Today’s kitchens are all about making a statement, whether it’s with antique black-and-white or funky-patterned tiling (take these Moroccan tiles on for size).
4. Vintage appliances
Other manufacturers are following in the footsteps of retro-fridge maker Smeg, which gained fame for its candy-coloured appliances. Other manufacturers are also following suit, releasing a variety of appliances that are influenced by old designs. More like a time capsule, actually. And you don’t have to go all out with the pastels to incorporate vintage gadgets into your kitchen. Elmira’s stainless steel lines are a modern twist on the classic style, which is offered by many manufacturers, including Northstar and Northstar.
5. Bold pops of colour
When it comes to adding antique colour, pastels aren’t your only option. Bold colours are excellent for the retro look, and small appliance manufacturers provide a plethora of alternatives.
6. Retro furniture design
Remember how we speculated that kitchens would be getting smaller? A smaller room, on the other hand, lends itself well to retro furniture, which “fits the bill in smaller spaces,” according to Peschel-Hull.
Traditionally designed pieces, such as Eero Saarinen’s tulip chairs, are intended to fit into small spaces without appearing bulky or excessive.
“They encapsulate that nostalgia while preserving modern practicality in contemporary kitchens,” says Visco of the collection.
However, she cautions that, as with other retro styles, it is easy to go overboard with this furniture. To keep your home looking fresh, incorporate contemporary components such as stainless-steel appliances and waterfall islands into your design.
7. Dining nooks
On the other side, the open kitchen is also the ideal location to include the latest retro trend: dining nooks into your design.
According to Cruz, “even with an open kitchen arrangement, individuals like to have a dedicated area to sit.” In addition to adding character to a place, built-in benches are a more convenient option than cramming a large open space with several chairs.”
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