1970s Kitchen Makeover

Written by tamiya king
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Laminate counters and cabinets, along with food-inspired colours such as carrot or pumpkin orange and pea green, were staples in a 1970s kitchen. If you've purchased a home from this decade and want to update the kitchen space, or if you're inspired by 70s kitchen decor and want to create an updated version of the era, the right colours and textural elements will help do the trick.

Cabinetry and Counters

Update the laminate kitchen counters and cabinets in a 1970s home by changing the colour with laminate paint or primer. If you're updating to a modern look, shades of white and grey are ideal and will match a black accent wall nicely. To retain the '70s theme while modernising the kitchen area, choose a bolder shade of orange or red for the counters, such as a peachy orange for the pumpkin-coloured counters, or cherry-red cabinetry to update cabinets in an understated red hue.


Add texture to a 1970s kitchen by installing or updating the back splash. Instead of plain white or tan wood behind the stove, adhere tiles in bright shades of lemon yellow or lime green to wake up a mostly brown or black kitchen. Or, lend an air of sophistication to your kitchen and do away with the '70s look by having a contractor install a granite black, white or grey back splash. This can be the main source of impressive texture in the kitchen, particularly if the main colour is white, off-white or medium brown.


When it comes to colour in a kitchen inspired by 1970s design, think food. The reds are the same shade as tomatoes; shades of yellow resemble squash and bananas; and shades of green that were popular in the decade may remind you of avocados. Mix one of these shades with a neutral or metallic colour to give the kitchen a decade-specific feel that isn't outdated. For instance, choose banana-yellow small appliances such as blenders and toasters to grace a bronze-coloured counter, or choose platinum-coloured appliances and wall hangings to complement the tomato-red walls and cabinet handles.


To replace the plain-white or tan large appliances in the kitchen, such as the refrigerator or dishwasher, opt for stainless steel to give the kitchen an updated look. Colours such as pea or spinach green, along with corn yellow and muted shades of red, were also common in a 1970s kitchen in small appliances such as the toaster or food processor. If you want to keep this colour scheme, opt for brighter hues such as kelly green instead of an olive shade or use brunt orange to add sophisticated colour to a kitchen in which brown is the main neutral shade.

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