Retro Kitchen Cabinets & Countertop Ideas

Written by denise brandenberg
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Retro Kitchen Cabinets & Countertop Ideas
Some homeowners turn back the clock with retro kitchen designs. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Some people want to add personality to their kitchens with retro style and decor This type of decorating theme is often easily recognisable, and there are actually many modern products, such as refrigerators and kitchen table sets, that fit in with it. If you are planning this type of remodelling project, be sure to incorporate retro-style cabinets and countertops to complete the overall look.

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Once you choose your retro decade, such as the 1950s, 60s or 70s, you'll need to decide on a colour palette for your countertops and cabinets. In the 1950s, the most common kitchen colours were pastel shades of pink, light blue and yellow. In the 1960s and 1970s, kitchens typically featured earth tones, including brick red, gold, orange and pea green colours. Make sure both your countertop materials and your cabinet paint colours fit the theme you've chosen.

Cabinet Ideas

According to Home Designing, most retro kitchens in the 1950s featured painted cabinets with unique touches, such as glass knobs. Also, many cabinets matched the colour of the countertop backsplashes. Because takeout restaurants were not readily available and frozen TV dinners were just being introduced, housewives really needed to use their kitchens, and they were designed to be fully functional and efficient. This usually translated into several open shelves and even see-through glass cabinets in the kitchen design. You may want to incorporate a mix of both painted cabinets and open-shelved cabinets in your retro kitchen. In the 1960s and 1970s, kitchen cabinets evolved into a more minimalist look. For example, many kitchens featured rich-coloured wood cabinets, or even metal cabinets.

Countertop Ideas

Granite, marble and slate countertops are popular in modern kitchens. In 1950s kitchens, tile was king. If you are designing this type of kitchen, you need to incorporate authentic design materials and patterns, such as checkerboard tile countertops. Use a simple pattern incorporating small white tiles and one other chosen tile colour for your modern, 1950s-retro kitchen. For example, if you're planning a diner-like kitchen that features bright red barstools and seats, complement it with a black-and-white checkered countertop. Another common countertop material in this time period was aluminium or other types of silver metal. Countertop materials changed in the 1960s and 70s because homeowners wanted to match their countertops with their other brightly coloured kitchen materials. The main countertop materials in the 1960s and 70s were laminate or Formica, as well as wood or faux-wood materials.

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