The Anatomy Of A Modern Retro Kitchen

Retro kitchens are all the rage right now. But interestingly, what we collectively mean by retro changes over the years. Last decade, modern retro kitchen focused on old-style faucets and Belfast sinks. Now, though, it’s all about recreating the essence of the 1950s, even if the materials are totally different. Moreover, the new approach of modern retro kitchen also provide room aesthetics.


So what actually goes into a modern retro kitchen to immediately create the impression that it’s last century? Let’s take a look:

Diner Elements

Giving your kitchen a metal ceiling might be a little extreme, but you can instantly make your kitchen more retro by evoking a 1950s diner design. Think red stools, scarlet worktops, and black and white checkers.

Bright Stripes

Bright stripes were another common kitchen feature in the 20th century. Back then, people seemed less afraid to experiment with color, with even ordinary families filling their kitchens with oranges, pinks, and turquoises.

The best place to add strips is the backsplash, but you can get creative and find other places to include them, such as the area beside the sideboard, or even your pantry doors.

Open Cabinetry

During the 1990s, big-box kitchen cabinet sellers sold everyone on the idea that kitchens should look neat and tidy, with all the implements and crockery hidden behind stylish doors. However, that’s not how kitchens were done in the past. Designers would frequently have open shelving sections, allowing busy housewives to quickly grab the things they needed to prepare the evening meal.


Gender roles may have changed, but that doesn’t stop you from pinching this idea from times gone by. Open storage can look great, as long as you pay it the proper attention.

Exposed Plumbing

Making pipes visible in a modern kitchen is something of an outrage, but putting the plumbing on show in a modern retro kitchen enhances the appeal of the room. The sight of plastic piping isn’t particularly appealing, but copper and chrome can both add interest to the room.

Checkered Tiles

Checkered tiles were a mainstay of 1950s and 1960s kitchens. They set the room apart from all the others in the home, giving it a radically different ambiance.

Black and white tiles arranged diagonally with respect to the walls were the most common choice. However, some homeowners also went with black and red, or even white and green.

Throwback Appliances

Perhaps the fastest way to make your kitchen look more retro is to install one of the growing numbers of throwback appliances now available from top manufacturers. These devices come with all of the modern conveniences you would expect in the 2020s but, on the outside, appear as though they were made fifty, sixty and even seventy years in the past. Retro appliances immediately add character to the room, negating the need to make significant changes to the decor.

Clocks And Timers

Lastly, retro kitchens were spaces bristling with clocks and timers designed to make sure that the chicken was taken out of the oven at precisely the right time. Now, thanks to home assistants, timers are largely redundant. However, they still make for exceptional room accessories.

[All images were downloaded from unsplash]