Retro kitchens are all the rage—we've come across many of these delightful spaces and are eager to share them with you if you, too, can't resist good, old-fashioned retro style. But let's take a step back first—what exactly constitutes a retro kitchen after all? "When people talk about retro kitchens, they’re often referring to mid-century kitchens, which were famous for metal cabinets or cottage style wooden cabinets, formica countertops, and vintage appliances," explains Alessandra Wood, VP of Style at Modsy.
Meet the Expert
Alessandra Wood is the Vice President of Style at Modsy, an online interior decorating service.
But if you live in a newer space, you can still achieve the retro look. "One way to design and decorate retro kitchens is to start with your favorite colorful appliance and create a color palette around it," designer Christine Turknett shares. "If it becomes too bold, you can also incorporate different shades and tones of the color as well. You can also maintain the bright retro feel by selectively emphasizing places like the wallpaper, appliances, and backsplash tile."
Keep reading for 28 of our favorite retro kitchens below.
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Have fun with your appliances. Retro-inspired fridges can be spotted in many different homes today—everyone is enjoying taking a cue from decades past and going beyond the traditional white or stainless steel fridge. With so many colors to choose from, there are plenty of possibilities when it comes to retro refrigerators.Continue to 2 of 28 below.
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What's more fun than bright and colorful shelving? If you need to increase storage space in your kitchen, you may as well do it in a fun, retro-inspired way. If you share a space with roommates, you could even divvy up shelves by color so that everyone remembers whose is whose.Continue to 3 of 28 below.
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Diner-Like Dining Table
There's nothing more retro than a table and chair set that looks pulled straight from your favorite diner. What could make sharing a meal with friends and family feel more cozy?Continue to 4 of 28 below.
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Don't miss a single detail when it comes to decorating in retro style—even your kitchen accessories can have some fun vintage flair. These crocheted potholders immediately take us back to the 1970s thanks to their colorful, woven design. A vintage fan and clock above the fridge keep the theme going, too.Continue to 5 of 28 below.
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Walls That Talk
Your kitchen isn't just about appliances and other cooking essentials. Don't forget to incorporate wall art that tells a story. These wall hangings are reminiscent of vintage advertisements and signs that would hang in restaurants and look fabulous in at-home dining spaces, too.Continue to 6 of 28 below.
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Orange you glad you didn't opt for boring kitchen appliances? Pick a bold color for all of your day to day essentials and commit to it. A retro orange hue is bound to put a pep in your step each and every morning.Continue to 7 of 28 below.
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Back in Black
This black retro fridge is perfect for a smaller kitchen and adds a moody touch. It also leaves plenty of room left for what is the clear priority in this space—a full blown coffee bar.Continue to 8 of 28 below.
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Have fun with floral.! Embrace the power of the flower in your kitchen with a fun print that will add some whimsy. The black and white design pairs wonderfully with the red kitchen backsplash, too.Continue to 9 of 28 below.
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Love to dance while you do the dishes? Add a disco ball to the kitchen and let the magic happen. You'll love watching light flicker around your space throughout the day, too.Continue to 10 of 28 below.
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Another way to jazz up empty walls while sticking to a retro theme is by hanging up thrifted plates. Take your favorites out of the cupboard where they've just been collecting dust and allow them to shine every day.Continue to 11 of 28 below.
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Bright and Bold
Can't stop at just one gallery wall in your home? Go on, add one to the kitchen. This setup is full of bright colors and positive feelings galore.Continue to 12 of 28 below.
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Go green. This calming hue will make you happy even while washing that hundredth dish of the week. Add some vintage accents like a wire fruit holder and printed lampshade and you're all set.Continue to 13 of 28 below.
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Don't be afraid to majorly contrast colors in your retro kitchen. Pink paired with turquoise walls? Why not!Continue to 14 of 28 below.
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What's more fun than a cute cart? You don't need to set up a bar station in your kitchen if you'd rather set up a little tea area. This one couldn't be more darling.Continue to 15 of 28 below.
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Could these cabinets be cuter? Filled with bright colored treats and accent pieces, they prove that maximalist kitchen shelving can most certainly have its moment.Continue to 16 of 28 below.
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Make It Match
Get matchy matchy. Coordinate your countertops (contact paper will help) to your towels to your artwork for a retro kitchen that looks ripped out of the pages of a magazine.Continue to 17 of 28 below.
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Have a collection of retro cookware? Don't let it hide. We love this rainbow-colored stack of retro baking dishes on display here.Continue to 18 of 28 below.
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The Little Things
It's all about the little things! A retro tea towel will make drying dishes feel a bit more festive, right?Continue to 19 of 28 below.
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You spend all hours of the day in the kitchen, so you'll want to have sufficient lighting. Why not make your fixtures both fun and functional? A sunny yellow pendant complements this retro fridge and serves as the focal point of the room.Continue to 21 of 28 below.
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Oh hello, marigold! The warm hue is a '70s favorite and makes for a happy choice for any retro appliance.Continue to 22 of 28 below.
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Cane chairs are a retro classic that continue to be ultra popular into the 21st century. They can run on the pricier side but can also be sourced at thrift stores and via online resale sites if you keep an eye out. The woven pattern was a major favorite in the 1970s and can lean classic or boho-chic depending on how it's styled.Continue to 23 of 28 below.
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Don't forget about your kitchen curtains—these can be an excellent way to add an artful touch to the space. We love how this bold textile pattern complements the dishware on display so nicely.Continue to 24 of 28 below.
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Have fun with your backsplash tiles—there's no need to opt for something neutral or stick to a pattern that plays it safe if you're looking to think outside the box. This geometric design adds a bright touch.Continue to 25 of 28 below.
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There's nothing more retro than a black and white checkered floor in the kitchen. If you're fortunate enough to have one, be sure to let it shine. If you don't have one but are hoping to achieve the look on a budget, you certainly can do so—there are plenty of peel and stick floor tiles in fun checkered patterns that can easily be removed when your lease is up.Continue to 26 of 28 below.
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Brilliant Black and White
Feel like taking things to the next level? Continue your black and white checker print when it comes to the backsplash tile, if you wish. Groovy!Continue to 27 of 28 below.
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Yes, you can mix black and white with pastels. Soft, muted shades bring a sense of calm to this retro kitchen, taking us back to simpler times.Continue to 28 of 28 below.
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Not feeling black and white flooring? Try another kind of checkered pattern—how about gray and yellow?