Vintage kitchen ideas

Add a vintage feel to your kitchen with these nostalgic ideas

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.

1/10 Vintage kitchen with blue cabinets

kitchen with blue cabinet and titles

(Image credit: TBC)

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.


2/10 Vintage kitchen with pretty bunting

kitchen with tiles and dining chair

(Image credit: TBC)

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.

Similar bunting
Sasse and Belle
Similar chairs
Hicks and Hicks

3/10 Vintage kitchen with iconic butler sink

kitchen with white cabinet and posh graffiti

(Image credit: Heather Lewin)

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.

Wooden letters
Posh Graffiti

4 /10 Vintage kitchen with pink display dresser

kitchen with storage and pink display dresser

(Image credit: TBC)

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'.

Similar plates


5/10 Vintage kitchen with authentic dining area

kitchen with dining area and chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

This country kitchen-diner ticks all the boxes for country vintage decor and style. Eye-catching patchwork ceramic tiles have been framed with classic wooden benches to create a cosy and nostaligic nook. The red and blue school-house dining chairs pick out colour tones in the tactile linen blinds, while a fringed pendant lamp completes the look.

Fabrics and Papers
Pendant Light
Rothschild & Bickers

6/10 Vintage kitchen with kitsch cabnetry

kitchen with cabentry and patern flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

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.

Tile HQ
Harvey Maria

7/10 Vintage kitchen with vibrant colour

kitchen with vibrant colour and red cabinet

(Image credit: Bridget Pierson)

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.

Similar red cabinet
Similar fabric
Fashion Interiors

8/10 Vintage kitchen with range cooker

kitchen with range cooker and dog

(Image credit: Brent Darby)

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

9/10 Vintage kitchen with pretty pink accessories

kitchen with pink accessories and white tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/Sussie Bell)

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.

Similar stool
Similar tableware

10/10 Vintage kitchen with factory style furniture

kitchen with table and open wire shelving

(Image credit: Heather Hobhouse)

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.

Quirky Interiors
Similar stool
Bodie and Fou


Rachel Homer has been in the interiors publishing industry for over 15 years. Starting as a Style Assistant on Inspirations Magazine, she has since worked for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines and websites. After starting a family, she moved from being a content editor at to be a digital freelancer and hasn’t looked back.