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6+ Best Retro Kitchen Products To Create That Modern Kitsch Kitchen

Friends of Hausera - 3/26/19 8:15 AM

If you’re interested in preserving or (re)creating a retro kitchen, you’re pretty tuned into the latest trends. In the past few years, vintage interior design has become more popular, with kitchens being one of the most exciting rooms to infuse with a touch of years gone by.

Before you begin renovating your space, you’ll want to consider exactly what you mean by “retro.” When we use that term, we’re often referring to mid-century modern design, or in other cases, Hollywood Regency. You’ll want to nail down exactly what time period you’re trying to channel, because you could very easily end up with too many uncoordinated pieces that create everything but the look you really want.

Next, you’ll want to come up with a color palette and mood board. Coordinating colors and tones is very important in retro design — in fact, some specific colors can signal a time period more effectively than even an authentic appliance or light fixture.

Remember that you don’t necessarily have to go thrifting or try to restore out-of-date items for the sake of creating a certain aesthetic. Thanks to some innovative design advances, you’ll be able to select products that have all the quality and utility of current technology, while still maintaining your favorite retro appearance.

Style Definition Of Retro

Retro generally refers to a style of the recent past. Where on-trend refers to what’s current and up-and-coming, and mid-century modern refers to the period that roughly spans the 50s and 60s, retro can have a variety of interpretations but really is best defined as an eclectic mix of the most popular pieces and styles from the past few decades.

Right now, retro would be defined as using boldly colored, geometric wallpapers and designs; statement colors; synthetic chairs or tile; old-fashioned appliances; sleek but curved lines and rounded edges (think of the legs on a table or chairs) ;and statement lighting fixtures especially in star-like or asymmetric shapes. Many people who go for retro looks in their homes also use old-fashioned brands such as Coca-Cola as an accent decoration, while others utilize color tones from a specific era (such as subdued earth tones like burnt orange from the 70s).

While there’s certainly room to experiment and coordinate what you think looks best, there are certain elements that are most characteristic of retro design, and they are typically as follows:

  • Bold statement colors

  • Uniform color palette

  • Geometric designs

  • Curved lines

  • Symmetrical layout

  • Asymmetric decorations & light fixtures

  • Synthetic materials

  • Slightly modernistic or Bauhaus-inspired pieces

If you’re in the process of creating your own Retro space, you might want to consider using some of the more popular elements that define the style, such as checkered floors, black-and-white color palettes with pops of red, funky hardware, old-fashioned appliances, use of synthetic materials and polished woods, integration of clocks, scales, and other old-fashioned kitchen staples.

Retro Kitchen Inspiration

If you’re still not sure where to begin, take this kitchen for example.

While this space certainly adheres to the most important style markers — dull navy, classic red acrylic kitchenware for a pop of color, mixed pattern tiles with more subtle tones and mid-century inspired lighting fixtures — it also brings in a sense of modernity with the small drink refrigerator, fresh faucet, and overall newness of the space.

Here are some products similar to the above inspiration to help recreate this:

Barclay KFB510-PL-CP Harding Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet

Barclay KFB510-PL-CP Harding Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet

The shape of this faucet is reminiscent of a classic Retro kitchen, and with multiple finishes to choose from, it’s a perfect addition to any space.

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Kohler K-5826-0 Whitehaven 32-1/2" Single Basin Apron Front Kitchen Sink

Kohler K-5826-0 Whitehaven 32-1/2" Single Basin Apron Front Kitchen Sink

With simple, clean lines and an almost farm-sink sort of style, this is the perfect option for a home that’s Retro but still classic if not a bit modern here and there.

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 Maxim MAX-14404CHWT Bali One-Light Pendant Light Fixture

Maxim MAX-14404CHWT Bali One-Light Pendant Light Fixture

Anyone who is into Retro spaces knows that lighting fixtures are vital. This basket-woven, circular option has the right shape for a throwback space, but it’s just subtle enough to fit into a more subdued design. On top of that, the etching around the bulb will provide a unique cast of light.

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Creating Your Own Retro Kitchen

If you’re ready to get started creating the Retro kitchen of your dreams, you can begin with some of our top picks for Retro pieces.

Our Favorite Retro Kitchen Lighting

In a Retro space, the lighting is going to be centralized (no recess lights) and bold. Using asymmetrical designs, star-like shapes, unique colors, and embossing, light fixtures are essential to signaling a Retro space, and the wrong selection can offset an otherwise great tone.

Progress Lighting PRO-P5067-137 Penn 1 Light Pendant

Progress Lighting PRO-P5067-137 Penn 1 Light Pendant

This gorgeous gold pendant is the perfect accessory for your Retro space. With a gold base, globe-shaped cover, and exposed bulb design, it’s minimal but still distinctly Mid-Modern.

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Progress Lighting PRO-P500079-009 Tilley 3 Light Pendant

Progress Lighting PRO-P500079-009 Tilley 3 Light Pendant

This tri-bulb fixture uses a wire-shaped basket overhang, which when combined with a rounded shape is reminiscent of a typical old-fashioned kitchen pendant. It would work well with a room that was also slightly Industrial.

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Our Favorite Retro Kitchen Faucets

When it comes to Retro faucets, hardware is everything. Modern features can offset the look of a space, so it’s important to get it just right. In this case, you’ll need to choose between a more stylish Retro piece (what would have been considered Modern at the time) and a classic Retro piece (what would have still been considered classic at the time).

Insinkerator F-HC1100BB Indulge Contemporary Double Handle Hot & Cold Water Dispenser

Insinkerator F-HC1100BB Indulge Contemporary Double Handle Hot & Cold Water Dispenser

This gorgeous faucet is as unique as it is perfectly Retro. With curved ends, a gold finish, and a distinctly decades-old look, it’s the perfect accessory for a space that has a homey, classic feel, while still maintaining some of the best features the 21st century has to offer.

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Waterstone 5600-4-DAMB Traditional Single Handle Pull-Down Spray Kitchen Faucet

Waterstone 5600-4-DAMB Traditional Single Handle Pull-Down Spray Kitchen Faucet

This faucet is perfect for a Retro space that you want to look classic for the decade you’re trying to channel, as opposed to modern. With a beautiful brushed bronze finish, super detailed extremities and pull-down sprayer, it’s a gorgeous addition to a space that’s still old-fashioned yet classic.

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Barclay KFB510-PL-ORB Harding Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet  

Barclay KFB510-PL-ORB Harding Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet

With a symmetrical build, white handles atop an oil-rubbed bronze finish, and super-detailed spout, this faucet is a perfect option for anyone interested in another classic yet old-timey space.

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Our Favorite Retro Kitchen Accessories

When it comes to a Retro space, accessories are everything. Retro homes were almost always well accessorized, often with matching or coordinating pieces. This is your opportunity to let your old-time tastes shine and to incorporate Vintage brands, colors. and materials.

 Kohler K-8637-0 Universal 8.45 oz. Touchless Foaming Soap Dispenser

Kohler K-8637-0 Universal 8.45 oz. Touchless Foaming Soap Dispenser

Add a touch of convenience and modernity to your kitchen with this touchless soap dispenser, perfect to accompany a white or silver faucet or sink combination. In the classic retro "bird" shape construction.

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Allied Brass P-560-UPT-BBR Pipeline Under Cabinet Paper Towel Holder

Allied Brass P-560-UPT-BBR Pipeline Under Cabinet Paper Towel Holder

Towels are an important part of creating a Retro space, because you’ll want to coordinate them with the rest of your space. You’ll also want something to place the towels on, and this under cabinet holder is perfect for making sure every detail is exactly the way you want it to be. It’s also a plus for organization.

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Ultimately, creating the Retro kitchen of your dreams is all about consistency, style, and placement. Remember that it’s okay to put your own spin on a Retro kitchen, especially if you want to use statement colors that are anything but red. No matter what, it’s about utilizing a uniformed color palette, having vintage-looking appliances and features, utilizing materials that are inorganic (such as plastics and polyesters) and choosing items that have curved designs, and geometric patterns. Though Retro can often reference a very specific looking space, remember that what matters in the end is that you’re able to create a home in which you feel most at ease and comfortable. If that means having funky wallpaper and an acrylic teapot? Then so be it.

Topics: Kitchen- Faucet- Lighting

Friends of Hausera

Friends of Hausera

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