Retro Kitchen “Flashback Design Tips”

I’ve always loved this St. Charles kitchen taken from a 50s magazine ad. There are at least 11 ideas you can take from it, first up: Noting the mix of cabinet styles – pink steel coordinated with wood-toned. This works really well to break up what otherwise could be an excessive amount of pink. BTW it’s interesting that today’s kitchen designers think THEY invented the idea of mixing cabinet materials!Ten more tips:

1. Countertop materials also are mixed. This appears to be the basic laminate color (also spotlighted in 9.) but without the steel edging. It’s used in what appears to be a decorative buffet spot.

2. The wall bumps out here to differentiate the stove top area. Doing these kinds of drywall bumpouts is a great solution if you’ve run out of cabinets and need to introduce a new element.

3. Stainless steel countertop on stove top area. SS gets scratched – but it’s a nice patina and you can’t beat the functionality.

4. Really great use of laminate to define a backsplash for the stove top area and to add visual interest.

5. Awesome custom stove-top exhaust fan, and in general, design element. Adding copper or coppertone elements works really well in retro kitchens – warms up all the steel.

6. Soffit ends before it hits the window – allowing window to be even taller.

7. Ceiling beams create visual interest in what appears to be a pretty big kitchen.

8. Very interesting window treatments. I’m not sure how functional this really is – would seem to block the view. But certainly cool! For stability, I think these would need to be made out of metal. Wood would to0 flimsy?

9. Here we see the “traditional” countertop set up – laminate edged in three places with stainless steel.

10. Floors are awesome. At the far left bottom of the photo you can just barely see that these are regular VCT tiles, with diamond pieces cut into them. I can definitely see this totally glossed up to a high shine!Okay, another item: Note the patio furniture used for a dinette. Seems kind of uncomfortable to me, and glass topped tables are a bear to keep clean – but the look is great.

And finally: Note in the wall cabinets – how even one glass-fronted cabinet can add visual interest and break up the wall of pink. If you don’t have a corner cabinet, you can replicate this look easily, by constructing a corner shelf – make it in ¾” MDF and use your ¾” stainless steel edging.

  1. Judy says:

    Pam, The patio furniture is awesome! I’ve finally talked my husband out of a deck and into a patio for our 1950 house.
    This furniture would be perfect.

  2. Pingback:Retro Renovation » 61 Mamie Pink Kitchens: It’s day two immersed in this classic 50s color

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