Looking for vintage kitchen ideas? The iconic vintage era spans from the pre-war 1920s through to the more vibrant and colourful 1950s. Born in a time when the kitchen was undoubtedly the heart of the home, vintage kitchen design offers charm and contemporary convenience, similar to retro kitchen ideas. More commonly then the woman’s domain they would have been filled with more feminine décor such as folksy prints and pattern, pretty accessories and practical tools for family living.
There were no convenient microwave meals back then so cooking from scratch and homemaking was the norm. With this in mind, kitchen storage ideas consisted mainly of practical open shelving to stock Kilner jars and tins for ingredients and colourful cabnetry with plenty of room for bakeware and cookin utensils. The ‘make do and mend’ mentality was strong and so schemes were often made up of eclectic second hand, well loved furniture, perhaps upcycled with a fresh coat of paint.
Kitchen appliances were becoming fashionable during this time with the introduction of appliances such as refrigerators, electric kettles and no modern kitchen was complete without a top-of-the-range food mixer.
Take a look at these vintage kitchen ideas to give your modern kitchen a nod to the past with stylish timeless and timeless touches.
Love a quirky kitchen style? Take a look at these rustic kitchen ideas for more inspiration.
Colour is a strong part of the vintage trend, ranging from soft ice-cream pastels to bright vibrant shades. The soft cornflower blue of this Shaker cabinetry creates a calm and inviting feel. Key elements such as open shelves and retro appliances are all evident, creating that classic, nostalgic look. Metro graphic tiles above the cream Aga add a cafe twist to the scheme for an extra pop of personality.
Bunting is an iconic vintage decoration and one of the simplest ways to add retro style to your scheme to maximum effect. Traditionally triangular pieces of various fabrics stitched to ribbon or string, they instantly jolly up a room. Here, a butterfly version in pink and blue is enhanced with a pretty pink tablecloth. Rattan dining chairs and beautiful garden flowers displayed in a glass vase give the room a country feel.
A classic butler sink is quintessentially vintage. You can chose replica versions or visit recreation yards to pick up an authentic second-hand one usually at a great price. Here, the sink is neatly integrated under a pale blue worktop within a quaint, wood panelled kitchen. Iron pull handles on the white cabinets and a few pops of red against the fresh aqua backdrop give the room distinct 1950s flair.
Decorative vintage tableware is too pretty to hide away in cupboards. Mount open shelving close together or, better still, invest in a dresser to display crockery collections together. Try to find a different plate or cup each time you go on holiday or visit flea markets or charity shops and start your own ‘memory wall’.
Add some fun with clashing colour and pattern. Two-tone cupboards, chequer board wall tiles in pretty candy shades and a show-stopping floor bring a fresh, sunshine feel to this kitchen that sums up the retro vibe perfectly. Sliding doors and wood frames are classic design traits for the 1950s, while curvy accessories continue the casual yet swanky retro style. Reclaimed wood chairs spray painted with colour complete the American diner appeal.
Paint eclectic pieces of freestanding furniture in a vibrant mix of colours. Glossy bright red and turquoise shades jump out on these intersting cabinets. Wallpapered shelving adds interest while a floral sink skirt is an authentic and fun way to take your ktichen back in time.
No vintage kitchen is complete without a traditional range cooker. They constantly radiate heat into its ovens and hob plates, so it’s always ready to use and in some cases can provide heating and hot water for the household, therefore the mighty appliance was popular in an era when central heating was a luxury in your home. Here, an all-white scheme is given a rustic feel with a chunky beam, copper cookware and pretty blooms.
Similar range cooker
You don’t need a complete overhaul to create a vintage-look kitchen. This modern scheme with contemporary white units has been transformed into a retro haven by simply painting a wall a refreshing shade of aqua and adding plenty of vintage accessories. Pastel shades prevent the room looking too cluttered.
A mix of handmade wood, metal furniture and reclaimed finds creates an industrial vibe that is less girly than some vintage looks. Here, statment base units have been made using recycled fruit boxes for the unit doors. Pub stools around a circular zinc table keep the look casual while open wire shelving adds to the raw personality of the room.