We’re dreaming of a retro-modern aqua kitchen

retro modern aqua kitchenNow that we have a source for a porcelain enamel kitchen sink in aqua — and since Big Chill this year began offering turquoise as a standard color — we realized we had all the elements to create a matchy matchy retro aqua kitchen — completely from scratch. We were also thinking: If we could design kitchens for the new Starlight Village — and assuming they would want all-new everything (not vintage or salvage) — what designs could we pull together? Here’s our first concept: A retro-modern aqua kitchen.

big-chill-turquoiseThis design board focuses on all-aqua, but you could easily bring in a secondary color by changing the wallpaper and accessories like the KitchenAid Mixer. And note: The first time Pam has ever “allowed” showing a solid surface countertop in one of our design boards; had to do it, because the sink is undermount. Mark this day on the RR calendar. See our sources:

  1. Wallpaper — Atomic Doodle in Turquoise from Bradbury & Bradbury
  2. Light — 12″ Neckless Opal Glass globe with Chrome base from Practical Props
  3. Backsplash tile — 1″x1″ Anthologia ceramic tile in Agerato from Nemo Tile
  4. Faucet — Foundations Single-Handle Standard Kitchen Faucet in Chrome from Home Depot
  5. Countertop — Formica Solid Surfacing in White Sparkle
  6. Sink — Houzer Porcela Porcelain Enameled Steel Large Single Bowl Undermount Sink in Aqua
  7. Refrigerator — Big Chill original size retro fridge in Turquoise
  8. Mixer — KitchenAid Mixer in Aqua Sky via Amazon
  9. Red Oak full-overlay slab-door kitchen cabinets
  10. Cabinet knob — Dish Cabinet Knob with Round Backplate in Polished Chrome from Rejuvenation
  11. Stove — Big Chill 30″ retro stove in Turquoise
  12. Dishwasher — Big Chill retro dishwasher in Turquoise
  13. Flooring — Azrock VCT in So Beige

Note: Big Chill and Practical Props are both advertisers on the blog, but they did NOT pay us to include them in this story.


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  1. Sixties Chic says

    I am so angry at GE,Whirlpool,Maytag for only making large kitchen appliances in white,black,stainless,slate and sometimes bisque(BORING!) . BRING BACKED colored appliances!!! They could use a birds theme ..Robin’s egg aqua, Cardinal Red, Canary Yellow and just for fun Jade Green. You’d think enough folks like me that love retro things would have enough interest in this to be profitable for them. Oh well, maybe someday they will get the hint.

    • Joe Felice says

      I keep saying this. They’d sell like hotcakes. People are clamoring for color. They just need some options.

      • Scott says

        I just lost my mind a few days ago when I realized Big Chill recently added ELECTRIC oven options, a wall oven and drop in cooktop. I grew up in a home with gas ranges so there is just something about electric that seems so modern, exotic, and exciting even after all these years. I’ve been in love with their fridge design for years so I’m over the moon that they finally added a retro-styled electric cooking option to go with.

        • Diane says

          I too am a Big Chill and turquoise fan! Growing up in the 60’s my Mom had a turq frig and stove! I guess that is where my love for the color originated. Last year my husband & I purchased a 1955 MCM home with the tiniest of kitchens. Open the frig door and you were stuck at the sink if you were washing dishing. Long story short, currently in the process of a remodel. Knocked down 2 walls to open up kitchen…living area. Purchased a pastel turqoise Big Chill Retro frig and microwave last year (way cool!!!). We too have electric and the cost to convert to gas is obscene. So I too was very excited to find the induction top and wall oven. However, I really wanted an electric range. Drumroll please……..BC is finally offering an induction range. They will start taking orders ~August 1. I am patiently (almost) waiting for the the day when I can place my order. Go to bigchill.com/blog/ and scroll down to the post on April 29 to see a picture and read about it.

  2. jivesnake says

    I would like to get some heat resistant paint and change my old stove from harvest gold (clashes with my lemon yellow formica) to aqua. I’ve looked for colors before but could only find black and white. I was wondering if I could have it tinted? Anyone else done this?

    • pam kueber says

      Hi jivesnake, on questions like this, I’d recommend talking to painting pros. I am guessing the companies who sell the white appliance paint have customer service numbers and could likely advise.

    • Scott says

      I still remember vividly the first time I saw turquoise appliances, at my friend Debbie’s apartment near UC campus in Cincinnati, around 1980. She wasn’t especially thrilled but for me the world stopped for several minutes.

      Turquoise is tied with red for my favorite color. I have red counters and yellow walls in my kitchen so turquoise appliances would really pop.

  3. Joe Felice says

    I could happily dig it! But white cupboards, maybe. Can you put the same ensemble together in pink or yellow?

  4. Marylou says

    I own one of the turquoise Northstar microwaves. It is by far the best microwave I’ve ever had. It matches the Kohlet turquoise apron front sink in our kitchen. The combination of the two looks fabulous and serves as the centerpiece of our retro kitchen.

  5. Neil says

    In the seventies my mother, in Nashville, started pining for Aqua, and I encouraged this wild hair of hers (she was already on an extended esthetic grin-spree, and I was her merry accomplice). The appliances (still the ones from the fifites) were white workhorses that were still going strong, so they stayed and she slathered the steelcase cabinets in Agua and……It Was Eye-Saturating. I loved it!

  6. sandi says

    Looooove those appliances. I really wish I could afford them. We replaced our outdated stuff with plain old (somewhat) affordable stainless steel and painted our walls a robins egg color instead. If I could, I think I’d just live in a house full of dreamy turquoise hues.

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