Vintage Design Kitchen Ideas for the Retro Décor Fan

Posted on: September 2, 2021

If you’ve been watching home improvement shows on TV, you’ve surely noticed that “vintage” is in these days. We seem to have a yearning for the past, when life was seemingly simpler and we weren’t overwhelmed by technology and the other things that consume our lives today. To many of us, vintage means happy days-gone-by, contented childhoods, and much more.

No wonder vintage design kitchens have gotten so popular! In many instances, they remind us of the kitchens where we sat and did our homework or perhaps our grandmother’s kitchen, where she baked cookies we weren’t supposed to eat before dinner! The elements in these vintage design kitchens take inspiration from those days long ago and are generally cozy and comforting, thanks to a design aesthetic that’s warm and welcoming.

So, what constitutes a vintage design kitchen? Are there particular items or elements that speak “vintage” more than others and how can we include them in our spaces?

Vintage appliances

Say these two words to some homeowners and they might think they’ll have to deal with refrigerators from the 50s or one of those avocado-colored ovens from the 70s. However, there are many companies that sell appliances that are retro in appearance, ideal for your vintage design kitchen, but boast all the technology and energy saving ability of today’s modern appliances.

So, if you want a red refrigerator like the one your Nana had in the early 1960s, you can find one made bcompanies like Smeg or Big Chill. They’re super cool and streamlined (many are smaller than modern refrigerators and ideal for condos or apartments) but they offer you top-notch performance along with that retro vibe that’s perfect for your vintage design kitchen. While most of these companies offer about a dozen basic colors, many will make your appliances in a custom color of your choice!


Checkerboard floors

Boring floors are not allowed to be a part of your vintage kitchen design! There’s no room for hardwood, plain old white tiles, or anything else that’s mundane. You’ll want a floor that adds interest to your kitchen plans, so why not consider something in a two-tone checkerboard pattern, like black and white if you want a classic combination or white and a vibrant color (like red, orange, or yellow) for something a little more striking? The result will be reminiscent of a 50s diner and is fun and playful, ideal for your vintage kitchen design.

Scalloped accents

While you’re planning your cabinet styles, backsplash, and other essential elements, consider some scalloped accents for your vintage kitchen design. These scallops can appear on the molding near the ceiling, at the bottoms of cabinets, or as trim on the island. There are any number of options, but scallops certainly scream “retro”. Paint them in a color to match your cabinets or in a contrasting hue that’ll really pop.


Vintage wallpaper

In most homes, you don’t see a lot of wallpaper these days. But in a home with a vintage kitchen design, wallpaper can be an essential part of the picture. Depending on what decade you’re trying to recreate, you’ll have a choice of everything from bright florals to funky geometrics to polka dots. The fun thing about wallpaper is that it comes in every color of the rainbow, so it won’t be hard to match your other design elements, even if your refrigerator is turquoise or your countertops are pink. Check out your local home improvement store for some vintage kitchen design wallpaper ideas or shop online at stores like Etsy, where you’ll find some very unique patterns.

Pastel paint colors

It’s rare that you would have found plain wooden cabinets in kitchens of the 40s, 50s, or 60s. In fact, it was all about the color during those decades. As such, the metal cabinets of the era came in all sorts of beautiful pastel colors. Maybe your grandmother’s kitchen included minty green, lemony yellow, sky blue, or pale pink cabinets, which were all the rage for quite some time. You can duplicate that by painting your cabinets in pastels or, if you prefer, choosing white cabinets and painting the walls in pastel colors. You might even choose a pastel appliance or two.

Pastels are a truly lovely way to make your vintage kitchen design look truly retro, and it’s easy to find furniture and accessories to match. Just look online, visit your local thrift store, or repurpose some existing items to make them look vintage.


Vintage kitchen designs can take you from dull and boring to happy and exciting in no time at all. If you’re interested in remodeling your kitchen in this unique style, talk to one of Mr. Cabinet Care’s professional designers to learn more about your options. We’ll be happy to get you started on the vintage kitchen design that fits your personality!