A colorful midcentury kitchen remodel featuring B&W Tile in a backsplash designed by Clay Squared

midcentury retro kitchenSubtitle this one: Fun with basic 4″ tiles! Josh Blanc, part of the team runs Clay Squared to Infinity in Minneapolis, contacted us to share the results of a recent kitchen project. Using colorful B&W Tiles, Josh collaborated with the homeowner Nancy to design the lively tile backsplash in this midcentury-style kitchen. The kitchen design also features vintage lighting, Formica charcoal boomerang countertops and loads of cheerful, coordinated color. Let’s take a look! 

midcentury retro kitchen

Josh writes:

Hi Pam,
I finally have some cool photos of a kitchen we worked on, which had to be completely redesigned from its 1980’s style back to its true mid-century roots.

I worked with Nancy designing and laying out the tile backsplash, helping her choose the colors and turning the tiles on point for her backsplash design. Nancy designed the rest of the kitchen with the help of her contractor Casey Miller.

midcentury retro kitchenThis snazzy backsplash pattern was made using B&W Tile in Yellow, Dark Green and Jade in a diamond pattern. It’s the show stopper of the kitchen!

midcentury retro kitchen



  • Flooring — Marmoleum Fresco in Red Copper purchased from Natural Built Home. The floor also featured yellow diamonds that emulated the tile backsplash, Josh said.
  • Kitchen design — by homeowner Nancy with assistance from Wm Casey Miller.

Mega thanks to Josh for sending us this story, including the list of resources!

Photos taken by of Sarah Whiting Photographic used with permission from Clay Squared to Infinity.


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  1. Carolyn says

    Oh! this is eye-popping when our eyes have been trained to unrelieved white on white on white (thank goodness for shadows to see some gray!)
    I wondered why this looked so familiar – both the blue bathrooms and green have pictures/ads for this same color scheme.
    Applause, applause to the homeowners, helpers, and design team.
    I hear a song “Oh, How Happy You Have Made Me”!

  2. Deborah Dockery says

    I just did a Retro kitchen designed around my Grandmothers red Formica 50’s table. How do I get the pics to you?
    Loving all you do to promote Retro!

  3. Kathy says

    Looks like they used a favorite piece of pottery for color inspiration! How very fresh and open the new kitchen was. I would love to see a photo of the new floor too. Wonderful job!

  4. says

    I love the happy color palette, so reminiscent of mid century pottery glazes.

    And the patterns of light from the pierced metal orb fixture- charming!

  5. emma says

    I love this, that back splash looks great! I love those lights, too— that one looks like it lets circles of light through to create spots of light on the ceiling (kind of disco ball-esque?)!

  6. Susie Q. says

    At first I thought the pendant in the corner was a mini disco ball, lol. Love the ventilator hood. I wish there were a shot of the floor.

  7. tammyCA says

    A cheerful, crisp, unique kitchen. Love the three color combo of the tiles & setting them in the dynamic diamond pattern. And, the rounded shelves..always love those.

  8. Mag says

    What a lovely, happy kitchen, but oh, I’d love, love, love to see the marmoleum in a shot. I’ve been lugging around samples of forbo’s linoleum since the early nineties, hoping for a space to use such a wonderful product in. Now, an RR follower used it, and I can’t see it. I want to release an infantile cry. If anyone can post a link to more photos, please do so. Thanks!

    • pam kueber says

      Mag, other readers have used Marmoleum. Type Forbo and then also try Marmoleum into the Search box and stories should come up.

  9. Lori says

    Love it all! Great inspiration for my kitchen backsplash. Love the cabinets & hardware, the light above sink is awesome! Is is new or old? Would love to find one!

  10. says

    Glad to have been a part of this reno! We really enjoyed building the unique range hood for Jack and Nancy and are always willing and able to take custom requests ;). Thanks Retro Renovation for mentioning Primitive Precision! We love your exposure of sweet old homes that have gotten a bit of sprucing up in the midcentury modern style. Cheers!


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