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RETRO KITCHENS: They're Cozy, Kitschy & Cute!

Updated on July 30, 2014

Creating a Nostalgic Kitchen is Easy, Fun & Affordable!

Creating a retro or vintage kitchen does not necessarily involve hard work or a lot of money, and you do not have to live in an old house to get the nostalgic look. Choose the right color for your walls and cabinets, find a cute wooden farmhouse table or Formica-top table, buy some vintage utensils and retro appliances and hang a cute curtain over your kitchen windows, and you will have a cozy, retro kitchen that will probably become your favorite room in your home.

If you do not want to fork out the extra bucks for the funky appliances, then purchase or make some appliance covers in cheerful, retro fabrics to cover your existing appliances. You can always hide the toaster, mixer, blender and coffee maker in a pantry or cabinet when you are not using them. If you already have a table, but it is not the right style, cover it with a vintage tablecloth or a choose a new one with a retro look.

You do not have to own a kitchen full of antiques to get the right look; a couple of vintage pieces can make a big statement as long as the kitchen is free of clutter and most of the modern items are out of sight. It is fun to slowly add things to your kitchen to achieve the retro look you want, and it can become a hobby for you and your family!

photo by Pat Williams (Flickr)

Red is such a classic retro 50's color, and it is bright, cheerful and energetic. I am not brave enough (yet) to paint an entire room red, but I love to add splashes of this racey color to my kitchen, laundry/sewing room and a little to my office. Red seems to really perk me up when I am feeling the blues!

G reen and red accessories with antique white walls and green cabinets are my favorite color combination in a retro kitchen. Below are some modern appliances in vintage green to assist you in preparing meals while adding nostalgic charm to your retro kitchen.

Atomic Retro Kitchen-HGTV - video by HGTV

Turquoise is another classic retro color, and it is one of my favorite colors for a kitchen or laundry room.  Imagine these accessories in an all white kitchen, for a clean, crisp look, or paint your kitchen bright red and toss in some turquoise things and feel the energy! Other cool retro color combinations are turquoise and black or turquoise and pink. If you are really bold, try turquoise, black and pink together to create a really nostalgic 50's kitchen! To see even more fun turquoise accessories, visit where you will find dishes, small appliances, artwork and all kinds of groovy things for your retro kitchen.

Yellow is another cheerful color to have around, especially if your home lacks natural sunlight. Mix a few of these sunny yellow items up with blue, red or green accessories for a retro-riffic kitchen!

Funky Yellow Color Combinations I Like:

yellow and red
yellow and green
yellow and turquoise
red, yellow and cobalt blue

P ink and white, pink and green, pink and red, pink and black, pink and pink.....I LOVE PINK! Pink is so pretty and girly. I have loved pink ever since I can remember, and my mother used to tell me she wished I would "grow out of pink". NEVER!

Bid on Vintage Dinette Sets - Nostalgia for your dining room or breakfast nook

What better way to create a retro kitchen than with a vintage dining table and matching chairs? eBay is loaded with old dinette sets that are bursting with nostalgia and screaming for a new home. Below are just few of the really cool vintage dinette sets you can find on eBay.

Vintage Tablecloths on eBay

Vintage tablecloths are beautiful additions to the vintage or retro kitchen. Most antique tablecloths from the 30's, 40's and 50's are very colorful and cheerful and will brighten up any dark, dismal kitchen or breakfast room. If you find an old tablecloth with stains, tears or holes, don't throw it away! These tattered linens have many uses besides just covering a table. A worn-out tablecloth can be re-purposed into many useful items such as aprons, pillows, chair cushions, curtains, window valances, place mats, napkins, laundry bags, clothespins bags or anything you like.

Video of Awesome Retro Kitchen - video by ZiggyVintage on YouTube

Vintage Kitchen Utensils on eBay

These cute, vintage kitchen utensils and gadgets will add the perfect touch of nostalgia to a retro-style kitchen. They are functional items to use in the kitchen, or you can display them on a peg rack, in a shadow box or however you like.

Vintage Bread Boxes & Bread Bins on eBay

Vintage breadboxes add a great touch of nostalgia to any kitchen. If I had a larger kitchen, I would love to collect old breadboxes, but they take up too much room. Also called "bread boxes" or "bread bins", these nifty containers were often made of wood, plastic or metals such as tin or enamelware. I have a green, metal breadbox from the 70's that has a handy shelf inside. I have stored many things in my breadbox including my kitchen towels or storing my cats' canned food, treats and medication in it.

Here are some other uses for a breadbox:

Storage for crackers, cookies, home-baked goodies or snack foods.

Store frequently-used cookbooks or recipe cards.

Keep important papers, receipts and kitchen appliance warranties in it.

Hold dish towels, napkins or other kitchen linens.

Re-purpose it as a cell phone and iPod charging station. (I saw this idea in a magazine, what a neat idea!)

Video of a Cute Retro Kitchen - video by fjbutch on YouTube

Retro Loco! is the world of nostalgia I live in and the online business I am building. Currently, is an online store that sells vintage-inspired aprons, (new) retro kitchen wares, dozens of retro cookbooks, music from the 1920's through the 1980's, retro clothing and costumes for men and women, funky clocks and other groovy retro stuff. My store is small because it is new, but I am adding to it almost every day. I will soon be selling my retro artwork on along with a ton of old stuff I have inherited, purchased and "acquired" over the years. I hope you will visit and bookmark it so you can visit it again to see all the neat things I have added.


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    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      4 years ago

      This was fun -- you've put together some wonderful collections of retro kitchen furniture, accessories and decor.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice designs! They remind me of the sets I see in the '60s films.

    • faeriesong7 profile image

      Mary Collings 

      5 years ago from Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland

      I just love everything! The best present my DH ever bought me was a cream coloured Kitchen Aid. When I'm not using it I just love looking at it. It's a work of art!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      love retro kitchens, designer kitchens are just so boring and seem like they been stripped of any soul.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      We live in the suburbs, and our home doesn't suit much retro but I love i nevertheless.

    • designworld lm profile image

      designworld lm 

      6 years ago

      i want a retro kitchen

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 

      6 years ago

      what a great looking retro lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I remember drinking from those aluminum tumblers - and they would get sooooooo cold! Fun retro kitchen products!

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      6 years ago

      I have a retro kitchen...mostly cause I live in an old farm house whole house is retro and I LOVE IT. Nice lens

    • cdevries profile image


      6 years ago

      Fun idea for a Lens! I find really old decorating books or magazine articles and ads a good source for ideas and period colors (I design a lot of retro kitchens for on stage).

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • johnncrick profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice concept. Visit my lens to learn more about kitchen pantry cabinet. Thanks.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 

      6 years ago

      I really like the red and turquoise kitchens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago



    • Retro Loco profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      @Netlexis LM: Thank you for visiting and for the nice compliment!! I am jealous of anyone with a vintage stove, no matter what brand or era! I bet your stove is going to be beautiful. I'm curious to know what color it is. I discovered those KidsCraft kitchens while creating this lens and almost fell out of my seat when I first saw them! I probably would have sacrificed ice cream AND my dolls for one of those kitchens if they had been around when I was little!

    • Retro Loco profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      @anonymous: I had a similar child's table & chairs featured here for a while; it was adorable, and I wanted it for myself! I don't have kids, but it would still look cute. Maybe my cats could eat off of it?? I just found two table and chair sets on eBay that might be similar to the one you bought. You can look at them here:

      One set has a starting bid of only $75.00 and the other is $750.00. Quite a difference in prices! Your red table set sounds really cute, and if it's in great condition, it looks like you could get up to several hundred dollars for it.

      Thank you for visiting my Retro Kitchens lens! ~Vicki~

    • Netlexis LM profile image

      Netlexis LM 

      7 years ago

      I'm a big fan of retro. I have an 50's O'Keeffe and Merritt stove waiting for rehab, so while I'm waiting, a couple of Christmas ago I bought my granddaughter the KidsCraft kitchen. It's sharing a space in the corner of my kitchen. Great, great lens.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image


      7 years ago from Omaha, NE

      I'm fortunate to have just bought a house last year with a vintage 1961 custom built kitchen. It is AMAZING. The builder designed in every conceivable amenity, right down to a mirror on the cabinet door for June Cleaver to check her lipstick when the doorbell rings, LOL!! Great lens, I will be back to look at this more in depth later.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I thought all these retro ideas were great! enjoyed browsing and viewing them, thank you.


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