This kitchen is a masterclass in mixing classic touches with contemporary style

Old meets new in this couple's revitalised modern retro kitchen where high-quality fixtures sit alongside classic vintage elements

A modern kitchen diner with access to garden, skylights and mid-blue cabinetry
(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

Mixing styles and eras is a sure way to create a modern retro kitchen. For these homeowners, it allowed them to retain their traditional kitchen appliances while adding contemporary and functional fixtures.

Living with their two adult daughters, they were able to refit the kitchen in their four-bedroom 1930s house in southwest London. With a healthy budget of £44,480, they were able to future-proof their scheme to transform it into a timeless and tranquil cook space.


A cream kitchen with Aga oven and multicoloured tiled splashback with green, brown, blue and taupe square tile decor

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

'The kitchen was tired and dated, and had always lacked proper food storage.' explains the homeowner.


A modern kitchen diner with access to garden, skylights and mid-blue cabinetry

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

‘The kitchen was here when we moved in 16 years ago. Apart from painting the walls, we’d never changed it, so it was time for a refresh. I wanted a relaxed blend of old and new, and a more streamlined space, with better kitchen storage,' begins the homeowner.

'I discovered Pluck Kitchens via Instagram. I liked that they were local, and their gentle colours and pared-back style were a great fit for our 1930s house. The building work took six months and the kitchen fit cost about £3,000 and took four days.'

'We stayed here the whole time, so it was quite tough, with no functioning kitchen, or garden access. We kept the room’s existing footprint but updated it with a new, contemporary glass roof and fabulous glazed steel doors. This kitchen will certainly stand the test of time, and everything is so much tidier now.’

‘I decided to keep the kitchen peninsula as it zones the room, and my workspace looks out over the garden.'

Looking back on lessons learned, the homeowner adds: I’d recommend input from designers – we picked up tips about details like the depth of the drawers, that I would never have thought of.'

Get the look: Try Haddon Plank dining table, £540; chairs, £320 each, Curiosity Interiors. Floor tiles, try Hardrock natural matt Light Grey speckle tiles, £23.95sq m, Walls and Floors.


Sage green kitchen cabinetry with built-in-oven appliance and skylight on ceiling

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

‘The cabinetry has a bit of a retro feel, so even though my Aga is decades old, it fits in nicely. I wanted to keep it, as I grew up with one, I love it, and I’m so used to that cooking style.’ says the homeowner.

‘As we only had the Aga, I requested a microwave and second oven with a grill for extra cooking options.’ she adds.

Get the look: Brockwell Moss and Helix Grey laminated birch plywood units, £620 for a 600mm base unit, Pluck Kitchens. Aga Rangemaster, Aga.

Larder storage

A wooden larder with light green cabinetry, filled with spices, condiments and dried goods with yellow wooden step

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

‘Unorganised food storage was an issue before, but when I saw Pluck Kitchens’ signature larder, I knew I’d found a great solution. I suggested the yellow interior to add a bit more character, and I painted my stool so it ties together.'

Get the look: Brockwell Moss laminated birch plywood units, with Market Mustard interior, £620 for a 600mm base unit, Pluck Kitchens.


A modern kitchen with blue cabinetry, cream aga cooker, stainless steel kitchen sink and wooden shelving

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)

'The kitchen tile design covers the wall to worktop height at the side of the dishwasher – they add texture, as well as being splash-proof and easy to clean.'

Get the look: Linear Light Grey wall tiles, £23.95sq m, Walls and Floors.

Focus on vintage lighting

If you’re after something unique and good for the planet, consider a vintage kitchen lighting idea as a focal feature.

A contemporary kitchen with skylights, white pendant light fixtures and cream aga cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC / Malcolm Menzies)
  • There’s a vast selection of second-hand, salvaged lighting dating from the 1900s onwards to be had: opulent chandeliers, or industrial, ex-factory metal pendants. Choose striking sputnik designs or ribbed, opaque, and vividlycoloured glass numbers from the 1960s and ’70s.
  • Prices vary hugely. If you’re just after the right light, second-hand sources like flea markets, car boots, and eBay are good bets.
  • For genuine antiques, try websites such as Vinterior and Skinflint. Lights often come from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, or the US. Bear in mind delivery costs, as the items are often large.
  • Rewiring and inspection are essential before vintage lighting is installed, to ensure it is fully working and compliant with UK safety standards. A qualified electrician can make the required checks.
Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less. 

With contributions from