Blog by All-Star Home Inspection Services LLC.

<< back to article list

The Old styles are New again

Vintage-Style Kitchens: Good As...Old

Posted: 10 Oct 2011 09:24 AM PDT

As it is often said, what's old is new again! And when it comes to renovating or rejuvenating kitchens these days, many homeowners seem to be looking to the past rather than the future for their inspiration. We're not talking about outdated style, but pulling the best from past decades to create vintage looks that become timeless. How do you do it? Here are some ideas:

Retro Style Kitchen IdeasVintage-Style Appliances.  Actually having an old kitchen and original period appliances could end up being a hassle--but why not get the look you want and still retain modern convenience by purchasing vintage-style appliances instead of the real thing. These faux classics are amazing. For big impact, think refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers. Go smaller with retro appliances like toasters and blenders for your counter tops. Check out some great examples here: and

Farm Sinks. Farmhouse or apron-front sinks (like these by Kohler) make a modern kitchen look a bit more like it would have in the early part of the 20th century. These deep basins were used for hand-washing, jarring, and even bathing babies. Setting the nostalgic mood will likely set you back quite a bit, but for many homeowners, the end result is worth the extra coin.

Open Shelving. Poggenpohl Möbelwerke, a cabinet manufacturer based in Herford, Germany, led innovation in the kitchen area by presenting the "reform kitchen" in 1928 with interconnecting cabinets and functional interiors--these are the walls of cabinets you and I are used to. But prior to that time, and even during the 30s and 40s, many kitchens featured at least partial "open storage," or shelves. The open shelving idea is becoming very popular again (just type "open shelving" into a Google search and you'll see what I mean), but it's also another way to bring your kitchen back to its roots. Think it's too difficult to maintain open storage? Try using them for everyday items like dishes. Purchase a classic all-white set, and you'll never have to worry about a mismatched appearance.

Classic Colors. Who can forget the avocado green or harvest gold appliances of the 1970s? Many times a kitchen will look dated simply because of these colors, but we can also use color to our advantage and help identify the particular era of our vintage kitchen. Try Big Chill's robin's egg blue for your mid-century modern style refrigerator, or choose orange for an updated take on 1970s harvest gold. In the same way, classic whites and creams can help define the simplicity of your farm-style early century kitchen. Some quick research on the internet can help you find the colors that were commonly used on walls or appliances in a particular decade. Wanna go all out? Visit a site called and you can even find retro wallpapers.

Retro Accessories. Bread boxes, aprons and toasters—oh my—what an easy way to give your kitchen some retro style. Whatever era kitchen you're aiming for, there are plenty of gadgets and gizmos to help set the tone. And as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure! Garage sales and flea markets can be a great place to find gems like egg beaters, retro appliances, washboards, cookie jars, and canisters from every time period. Or find brand new vintage-style items online like these aprons on

From US Inspect Bog.