If you are a lover of all things vintage then there’s a fairly good chance that your home reflects your passion.

For those who are drawn to the charm of the past, it is a joy to be surrounded by reminders of a gentler and perhaps simpler bygone age.

One of the best canvasses for displaying your vintage style is the kitchen; this is because by their very nature, kitchens are the essence of all things honest and homely…and what is vintage style if not honest and homely?

However, if you love the looks which graced a number of different eras then it can be difficult to plump for your favourite when it comes to pinning down a theme for your kitchen.

Some help is at hand though…a little wander through some of the best decades should get you started on the right vintage track for your needs!

Original vintage kitchen accessories add charm to a 1930s style kitchen.
Original vintage kitchen accessories add charm to a 1930s style kitchen.

The 1930s Look, subtle and chic

The 1930s provide excellent inspiration for kitchens as this era was a particularly interesting one with regards to style…often described as a sort of dream time, a lull between the wars where softness and glamour was sought out.

The look for the 1930s kitchen that is the most workable is without a doubt a country-look. Traditional and functional with colours ranging from pale powder blue through to bright orange, utility green and cheerful poppy-red.

Prints were still soft and pretty although a hangover from the 1920s meant despite geometric prints still being around to some extent, there was mainly a proliferation of floral prints.

If this is a look you hanker after, there are a number of easy ways to update your kitchen in order to obtain an authentic look.

Keep units plain with preferably a natural finish; if this is not an option, and then paint your existing worktops in cream or white melamine paint or another suitable covering.

Boldly coloured units and original accessories give this 1960s inspired kitchen the wow factor!
Boldly coloured units and original accessories give this 1960s inspired kitchen the wow factor!

Adding touches such as fabric skirts to your under-sink area will give a quaint and pretty feel to the room…especially if you get the print right! Match your curtains to the skirt but don’t fall into the trap of having too much of the same print in one room!

Instead, try to find complementary prints in similar colours, this stops the room from being too matched-up and achieves a slightly eclectic, cottagey feel.

Search out vintage pieces to add charm including crockery and kitchenalia. These can still be found cheaply at charity shops in towns and cities around the country.

The 1950s look; cheerful and fun

For the perfect 1950s style kitchen, look back to Doris Day movies! Think gingham, think frilly, think feminine.

The 50s were not incredibly different to the 30s in many ways, fittings were still plain and functional but novelty had crept into styling in a big way.

This was the era of the fun print; poodles, pussy cats and bows…figurative fabric was big and kitchen fabrics sported fruit, vegetables and even cocktails!

You can go the whole hog and search out original curtains on auction sites, or choose from the proliferation of retro prints which are readily available online or in stores.

Again, look out for original crockery and kitchen equipment in charity shops and online. You can buy a complete set of dinnerware or tumblers for very little.

The 1970s: earthy and natural

By the 1970s the look had completely changed and whilst bright colours were still around in the form of bright geometric floral prints in eye watering shades of pink, turquoise and orange, there was a definite move towards earthy colours.

Browns and shades of green and burgundy were big as were natural displays of dried flowers whilst statement textiles were also all the rage.

To achieve a 1970s look in your kitchen, look for tile stickers with retro prints to give the walls a makeover.

Vintage 1970s dinnerware displayed on open shelving is eye catching and if dried flowers aren’t your thing, a window-sill full of fresh herbs will add to the natural look of the room and provide a handy “kitchen garden” to boot.


Creating a vintage style kitchen is simple even if your kitchen fittings are modern, visit a site like Nicholas Anthony for inspiration. The trick is to neutralise your basics and then add accessories from the era which you admire. This can be done very cheaply, especially if you keep an eye out in junk shops and online auctions.


Image credits: tWo pinK pOSsuMs and Christaface

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September 11, 2017

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