Retro kitchen Flashback design tips – my first!

kitchen tips 1

As a regular new feature, I’ll be deconstructing vintage kitchens – usually from vintage ads. I think there’s a lot to learn about design from these 50s examples — given the era, people were obsessed with design so incredible thought went into it!

This kitchen is a favorite, and led to some of my kitchen’s features. Let’s get to it, starting from the left:

1. Notice how the stainless steel storage cube is built into the wall. You can see it to the right of the curtained window as well. Great use of recessed wall space, but don’t overdo it or you could end up with a very cluttered feel.

2. The soffit comes out just a tad beyond the wall cabinet. This is helpful, too, if your room is not square. If you’re wallpapering, the pattern should run level on the bottom of the soffit, not the top.

3. Really cool how they raised the soffit above the sink. It creates a nice cozy ‘nook’ feeling in this much-used work area and moreover, allows for maximum picture window space.

4. Classic window treatments: Pinch pleats over a blind. Embrace your inner traverse rod! Also notice how they’ve mixed patterns – the fabric drapes are a vertical stripe, contrasted with the geometric wallpaper. Fabric really softens the coldness of steel cabinets BTW.

5. Picture window sets as low as possible. You’ll get water on it from the sink, but light reins.

6. Super cool windows below the wall cabinets – if you can do it!

7. Warning: These cabinets hang too low, given the cooking surface below.

8. Warning: Put your HVAC at ground level, not in the soffit.

9. Very nice how the soffit comes out with the oven unit. You can do this above a fridge, too, if you don’t have cabinets that work. I did this above my Sub-Zero and it looks great.

10. And of course: The wallpaper treatment. You can see how this clearly adds a sense of height to what appears to be an 8.5′ ceiling.

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Comments

  1. Cheryl says

    This picture really caught my eye because I found a canvas fabric shower curtain a couple of years ago that are pinstriped with the same colors! Talk about a palette ready to go!

    I decided I really liked it so much that I went and bought a couple more! I didn’t want this fabric wasted in the bathroom so I put them in the two West-facing windows as curtains! I did one window in re-sized pairs with spring loaded rods threaded through the shower hook holes. I put them inside the window frame for privacy and energy control and have pretty lacey curtains on the outside of the frame. I also added one to the dining room deck door on the same wall. Now the transition between LR and DR is solved!

  2. cynthia says

    i adore this kitchen and have been looking for modern cabinets in a similar color, with a goal of creating the look of this aqua dream.

  3. says

    Loving these kitchens! Keep em coming.

    anywho: #8 HVAC. Hot air rises, cool air drops, so I assume the grill shown above is for central air conditioning (the AC in HVAC) and therefore correctly located in the soffit. Likewise if the grill is for V (ventilation) although that would be silly in most homes… just buy windows that open!

  4. linoleummy says

    Lots to like, especially the recessed storage cube and wallpapered soffits. Not hot on the wallpaper extending onto the ceiling. Thanks for the article!

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