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How to Capture a Vintage Design Scheme in Your Kitchen Remodel

Posted on: May 20, 2023
By: Mike Abatiell

Now is the perfect time to consider remodeling or renovating your kitchen. Not only will it increase the resale value of your home should you choose to sell in the future, but it will also make your kitchen more functional and attractive. A vintage kitchen design combines classic, timeless decor with a fun, unique aesthetic to create a universally beloved ambience. Let’s look at how to capture a vintage design scheme in your kitchen remodel. 

Color Scheme

Determining your kitchen color scheme will help you pick out everything else for your kitchen remodel, from cabinets and paint, to flooring and appliances. Depending on the decade or era you want to focus on with your vintage kitchen design, some color schemes will make more sense than others. For instance, the color scheme for a 50s kitchen design would include shades of pink, spring green, teal, avocado, tangerine, red, orange, and yellow. A 60s kitchen color palette would include taupe, mint, avocado, lemon, peach, robin’s egg blue, and cream. A 70s kitchen color palette would include rust, forest green, mustard, coral, navy blue, seafoam, brown, and gold. Working closely with your kitchen designer, you can browse through design inspiration in magazines, print ads, television shows, movies, and catalogs from the appropriate era.

Kitchen Cabinetry

With the wide selection of kitchen cabinetry available today, it’s not difficult to replicate distinctive looks of decades past. In the 1950s, kitchen cabinets were often crafted from rounded, painted steel. 1960s kitchen cabinets were shaker-style, minimalistic, and painted in solid colors. Kitchen cabinetry of the 1970s was typically darker wood or wood paneling, and more austere and utilitarian. Cabinetry often had details or designs that were popular at the time, like scallops, scrolls, and nature-inspired designs. Most people used wallpaper or contact paper inside their kitchen cabinets to protect them and add some extra flair to their overall kitchen design. 

Paint vs Wallpaper

When considering all your options for authentic vintage kitchen design, you’d be remiss to ignore the age-old paint vs wallpaper debate. All the way through the 1970s and 1980s, American kitchens still had wallpaper on at least some of the walls. However, even in the 1960s some homeowners began getting rid of their wallpaper in favor of a more modern aesthetic – wall paint. It’s up to you whether you want to commit to painting, wallpaper, or both. There is a strong argument to be made for having at least one accent wall done in wallpaper. With today’s vintage-inspired kitchen wallpaper designs, you can find a fun, colorful design that matches your personal aesthetic and adds a pop of color to your kitchen.

Vintage-Inspired Kitchen Countertops

Your kitchen countertops will end up being a very important element of your overall vintage kitchen design. Luckily, vintage kitchen countertops are often less expensive than more modern countertops made of natural stone, marble, stainless steel, or butcher block. Kitchens in the 50s, 60s, and 70s still primarily had Formica countertops, often with metal edging. Laminate countertops have the same look of Formica, but are more durable and are available in a wider variety of colors and designs. You can also opt for a vintage tile countertop, which might be more durable and easier to install, but will have greater maintenance and upkeep. 

Vintage Backsplash Designs

While you might not even have kitchen backsplashes on your list of dream kitchen elements, they are really crucial. Your kitchen backsplash will protect your walls from water, soap, grease, oil, and other splatters that can stain and damage the wall. You should install a backsplash behind your sink or along the entire kitchen countertop, as well as behind the stovetop or range. Authentic vintage backsplash designs were colorful, geometric, and had nature-inspired patterns and designs. You can opt for peel-and-stick designs, or colorful tile backsplashes. 

Classic Vintage Kitchen Flooring

One of the most fun design elements of retro or vintage kitchens is the flooring. Whether you prefer checkerboard vinyl tiles, painted concrete, or laminate flooring in fun patterns and colors, it’s easy to find vintage inspired kitchen flooring that matches your overall vintage kitchen design. Vinyl and laminate tiles are durable, attractive, easy to install, and low-maintenance when compared to natural wood, ceramic tile, or natural stone flooring. Plus, it looks fun and can add a lot of ambience to your kitchen redesign. 

Incorporating Retro Aesthetics

In addition to your flooring, cabinetry, wallpaper, countertops, and backsplash, you can also incorporate retro aesthetics elsewhere. Buy vintage or vintage-inspired artwork and decor. Install authentic vintage hardware on your cabinets, shelving, and drawers. You can make or buy vintage-inspired kitchen curtains and rugs, and many companies are recreating vintage designs in their dishes, flatware, and cookware. You can even find great deals on authentic vintage Pyrex, Tupperware, Corningware, and Fiestaware dishes and cookware to really bring your vintage kitchen design to life. 

Authentic Vintage Appliances 

Depending on how much money you want to invest in creating a truly authentic vintage kitchen design, you can also invest in vintage appliances. It’s easier than ever before to find period-appropriate recreations of vintage designs in refrigerators, coffee makers, toasters, mixers, microwaves, stoves, ovens, and more. You can also often find the real thing at estate sales, yard sales, antique stores, and even on Craigslist. Many vintage kitchen appliances are still in great working order, or just need minor cosmetic or mechanical repairs. Sometimes you can even use a vintage kitchen appliance like a blender as a funky piece of decor, even if it no longer works. 

Ready to Explore Vintage Kitchen Design in Vermont? 

If you’re ready to explore vintage kitchen design ideas in Upstate NY and Vermont, come see us at Abatiello Design Center. We have experienced, creative kitchen designers on staff who can take any design aesthetic and create a beautiful, functional, and stunning kitchen remodel based around it. Whether you love the 50s, 60s, or 70s, our team can find authentic flooring, tiles, countertops, cabinetry, color schemes, and little vintage touches that are true to the era and your overall goals. We’ll work closely with you to discuss your dream kitchen, your personal aesthetics, and how to achieve exactly what you want on your budget. To schedule a design consultation or to learn more about our design and installation services, call us today at (802) 773-6300 or contact us online.  

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