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1970s kitchen design — one harvest gold kitchen decorated in 6 distinct ’70s styles

st-charles-kitchen-cabinets-1As we like to say here, “There’s more than one way to retro.” This circa-1974 St. Charles Kitchens catalog — just added to my personal collection — proves it, yet again. St. Charles trots out their interior design experts and shows one harvest gold kitchen … decorated in six different styles of the day. From Early American to Mediterranean to 70s Contemporary — and more — they show us how to get our 70s style cookin’.

1. 1970s country style kitchen:

1970s country kitchenUse checkboard wallpaper, delft backsplash tile and butcher block cabinets to create a Dutch “Country Charm” kitchen.

  • Viewing tip: Click on the photos – they will double in size on screen.

2. Contemporary 1970s style kitchen:

1970s-kitchen-1Dig the stainless steel backsplash and appliances, the woven wood shade, smoked glass table and oh my, the fabulous floor in this kitchen that St. Charles anointed “Contemporary Sophistication.”

  • Note: There is no date anywhere on my catalog. I’m guestimating 1974 based on… the clothing.

3. 1970s Early American kitchen:

1970s-early-american-kitchen-1There’s an ox yoke in one of the other photos that goes with this kitchen design. Did I ever mention: I have an ox yoke. It has a mirror in it. It came from Grandpa. I think he made it. From an old implement used on the farm. Shoot me. I am sure I will never be able to throw it out. St. Charles officially called the style “American Heritage.”

4.  1970s flower power kitchen:

1970s-mod-kitchen-1Of course, the flower power kitchen is my favorite. The cabinetry in this design is painted Dover White, St. Charles says. The design is “The Now Look.”

1970s-kitchen-colors-1Note: Harvest Gold was introduced to kitchen appliances in Spring 1968. It was one of the longest enduring color trends — popular through at least 1984. Above: Other colors available from St. Charles this year. And YO: The cabinets are textured steel, “St. Charles DURALON finish” with a “soft-to-the-touch feeling of fine-grained leather.” Why did steel kitchen cabinets introduce texture to their cabinetry? I hypothesize: To better mask fingerprints and better hide dings. There also may have been a desire to make them appear more organic, less… antiseptic.  I’ve also talked about steel cabinet maker’s introduction of wood door fronts, too.

5. 1970s Mediterranean style kitchen:

1970s-mediterranean-kitchen-1And of course, we have the “Spanish Villa,” or as we have been known to call it, the “Casa de Torquemada” kitchen style. Ya gotta love the creativity.

6. 1970s Asian style kitchen:

1970s-oriental-kitchen-1I feel like this “Oriental Influence” kitchen concept is something you’d have seen in Florida. Don’t forget the electric wok!

Memories of the 1970s, anyone?

  1. Markus Kobi says:

    This entire concept is rockin awesome!
    St. Charles. . . The Distinctive Elegance of The ‘Fashhhion Kitchenn…’
    Awww…Can’t we all just go back to this…? Everything was a style opportunity…brimming with such exciting choices and inspired expressions of flair!

  2. Markus Kobi says:

    I’m actually diggin the Mediterranean Kitchen…I’ll make paella in the electric wok though. My mother went all out with the plastic grapes for a year or two back then!!

  3. Kathy says:

    Great collection of images, and I admire all the different ceiling treatments. Not a big fan of the carpeting in the “flower power” option, and I doubt many were able to commit to that wall color. The contemporary is the most timeless I think, and the bright white ceiling and walls more to contemporary taste. I do rather like the country version too, although with less gingham.

  4. Cissy Foster says:

    I love the combination of #’s 1 & 5. My Early American Country Style. Which by the way, is the way I try to decorate my home today in 2018.

  5. Jacki says:

    I believe that’s my sink ???? Elkay Cuisine Centre
    Have the stainless Hotpoint stove top. Wish my stainless double oven was still here.

  6. Victoria says:

    #1 is how I’m still trying to design my kitchen today. My walls are yellow and my cabinets are blue. Adding red accents. I love the blue accents in the picture, of the back splash and above the window and even the stoneware on the table. timeless!

  7. Joe says:

    Victoria, you need to get some vintage Corningware to go with that kitchen scheme! Go check out the corningware pattern Country Festival (aka: Friendship) pattern. It’s always on ebay and in thrift stores and yard sales. The pattern was produced just in the year 1975, but was extremely popular because of the Americana look inspired by the Bicentennial.

  8. Joe says:

    Took me 24 hours to ponder and decide. Here it is: a marriage between Contemporary and Flower Power. Basically, the Flower Power kitchen with the Contemporary’s dining set and roman shades. For flooring, I’d have Armstrong Solarium nowax sheet vinyl in the popular burnt orange/harvest/white pattern. I’d match the color of the walls to the burnt orange in the flooring. The roman shade fabric would be easy to match with the flooring.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Ah, the old ox yoke mirror! We had one of these in our living room when I was growing up. I was born in 1979, and I believe my mom’s decorating style was a mashup of Mediterranean and Early American. We had black iron filigree sconces everywhere, including around the ox yoke mirror. By the time I came along, she had reupholstered her Mediterranean style living room furniture in an up-to-the-minute gold, orange, and brown toile with scenes of barns and wagon wheels and whatnot. Took me all these years to figure out that her style when I was little was transitional: I’m assuming she started out with Med in the seventies and cheaply and cleverly kept almost everything while altering it to look more up to date in the eighties: i.e. new upholstery, paint and wallpaper everywhere to lighten up the look and make it more eighties Country style. Ah! I wish she had just stuck with the Med. I remember when even public spaces such as the hospitals and grocery stores were drenched in olive green and gold tile, dark dark wood, and jungles of huge potted plants and sometimes, drippy stone water features. Everywhere you went had a sort of hidden grotto feel to it. I absolutely loved that look!

  10. Pam Kueber says:

    I actually own an ox yoke mirror — a real yoke from the family farm in North Dakota, converted into a mirror. Ya can’t make this up!

  11. Dot says:

    The stoneware on the table is Pfaltzgraff”s Yorktowne pattern. They began producing the Yorktowne pattern in the 1960s: I think it was 1967. That pattern is still in production, although it is no longer made in the U.S.A. It was very popular and you can find lots of the older, original dishes made in U.S. on Ebay for low prices, although the shipping is high because the old ones were heavy. I have had these for many years and have used them every day, even as my kids were growing up. After the company was sold and production was moved out of the country, I was looking to replace some broken pieces. I was disappointed to see that the new ones were so different. That was several years ago. Maybe they have improved now. i just buy older ones fron resale stores, garage sales, Craigslist, or ebay if I want to add to my collection.

  12. Raina says:

    I just stepped back into my childhood. I can actually feel the green shag carpet beneath my bare feet as I stand nearly eye level in front of our fancy color console TV watching Bob Barker give away kitchen appliances this color along with Chevy Vegas.

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