The vintage kitchen features that came with your house or rental—old appliances, dated fixtures, interesting floor materials—aren't always the choices you would have made if you had designed from scratch. But if you don't have the money to renovate (or you rent and can't) or don't want to renovate, choose to work with your vintage features, not fight against them! These sixteen kitchens get it right.
The vintage cabinet doors and drawers in the kitchen of Nicole & Ben's Eclectic Family Pad in Western Australia are kept a natural wood color, while the rest of the space is washed in white, giving a clean feel to the whole room. Add in a handful of colorful vintage accessories, and the room is a delightful mix of old and new.
In Katrina, Draz & Eddie's Melbourne Home, the kitchen wasn't painted all white, or the appliances updated, or new modern furniture brought in. Instead, the mid-century modern vibes of the room were completely embraced. A period-appropriate paint color adds color to the room, while a MCM dining set fits right in.
You can make small changes in a vintage kitchen to make it feel fresh, even if you don't renovate it to look modern. In Kelly Lamb's Warm, Welcoming Backyard Boho Guest House, a crisp coat of white paint, new cabinet door knobs, an interesting mix of dinnerware and a fresh bouquet of flowers make this small kitchenette look lovely.
The bright blue tiles in the kitchen (and bathroom) of Taylor and Wes' East Village Eclectic apartment aren't exactly the couple's first choice. But since they rent, renovating isn't an option. Do they fight against it by ignoring the tile? Nope, they embrace it by playing off the '70s vibe and geometric look by adding '70s-inspired, geometric art. They haven't made their kitchen look any more modern, but they have made it look stylish.
What do you do when you move into a rental that has very loud black and white checkered floors and vintage fixtures? Well, in Anna's Warm & Sweet Chicago Studio Apartment, the features are enhanced by painting the walls black (making them feel more modern and making elements in the room "pop"). Small vintage accessories are also sprinkled in. The finished look is neither vintage nor modern, but certainly attractive.
I love how the kitchen in Sage & Gracie's Sweet & Resourceful Portland Home is a serene, subtle mix of elements. Pale pink tiled counters and older cabinetry could seem stale, but here, adding furniture with vintage details (and painted white) make all the design choices feel intentional.
Sometimes keeping your decor choices minimal is the best design direction in a kitchen with lots of vintage details. In Francesca's Cozy & Refined Portland Studio Apartment, a narrow galley kitchen has old black and white tile floors and dated cabinetry. But a modern, industrial-style pendant light crowns the space, and Francesca didn't fill the room with a ton of modern gadgets.
In the kitchen in Sara Kate's Mid-Mod Mix of Bold Lines & Flirty Florals, mid-century modern style is again embraced rather than fought against. A peppy pink adorns the walls and the cabinet (that the doors have been removed from). But it's the gorgeous collection of vintage dinnerware and glasses that adds color and style to the space, as well as sells the look!
More rooms that get it right:
- Visual Design Lessons: Dining Rooms With Perfectly Placed Lighting
- Rooms That Get It Right: For Laid-Back, Laissez-Faire Book Lovers Only
- Don't Be a Square: Living Rooms Expertly Rocking Round Coffee Tables
- Masterful Mixing: Real Rooms that Ace Multiple Wood Finishes
- Divert a Dining Room Disaster: Mastering the Art of Mismatched Chairs
- Perfect Placement: 12 Living Rooms That Nailed Hanging Art Above the Sofa
- Perfect Placement: 12 Bedrooms That Nailed Hanging Art Above the Bed