In recent years it seems the world has been struck by an intense nostalgia. In our technology saturated lives, many of us yearn for a time we perceive as ‘simpler’. Vintage style neatly encompasses this idea of ‘simpler times’, which may explain why it has become such a popular interior design trend. Here, we offer 5 must-haves for embracing the vintage style in your kitchen.
What is ‘Vintage’ Style?
You’ll probably have a picture in your mind when we say ‘vintage’. The term ‘vintage’, used in design is actually extremely broad. It actually covers from the 1920s up until the 1950s. That’s three decades of style! Vintage, therefore, is a flexible concept, giving you the freedom to choose which elements you love and want to incorporate into your own decor. So, with that in mind, here are those must-haves that will transform your current kitchen into a vintage dream.
A brand shiny new stainless steel fridge might not exactly fit in with your idea of vintage. But, then again, it does come with a digital thermometer and automatic defrosting. And you couldn’t do without your 1400 spin speed washer dryer. Fortunately, some manufacturers out there have wised up to the growing vintage trend, creating beautiful vintage style appliances that offer all the latest features. Smeg refrigeration appliances are well known for their retro style. While even the most modern range cookers would look at home in a 1950s baking ad. Or, you could hide your modern appliances behind cupboard doors to keep the latest technology without spoiling the vintage look. Most top appliance manufacturers offer expert built in ranges.
A key part of any vintage decor is accessories. From wicker trays to wall art, you can fill your kitchen with retro pieces. Search your local thrift store or flea market for some inexpensive vintage finds. You can even find some vintage gems online in places like Ebay. If you have some older relatives, ask if you can check their attics or garages, as you never know what treasures they might have stored away, such as old photographs or pretty patterned china. If you’re really struggling, designers such as Cath Kidston and Orla Kiely regularly incorporate vintage patterns into their gorgeous ranges. Don’t overdo it though if you don’t want your lovely kitchen to look cluttered.
While today’s kitchens are all about modern stainless steel and rose gold, vintage kitchens were more simple. Materials such as wood, copper and cotton give off a more vintage vibe. Back when things were made to last, sturdy materials made for practical, reliable but aesthetic touches. Plus, these simple materials harken back to times where less was more (and smartphones weren’t even dreamed of). Think large copper pots and pans, or wooden butcher block countertops. These more rustic materials look stylish and scream vintage.
Colour & Patterns
You could never accuse vintage style of being plain. Quite the opposite. Vintage kitchens were alive with bright colours, prints and patterns of every sort. Designers weren’t afraid to play around with bold designs. This is where you can really have some fun and go wild. Perhaps your idea of vintage involves lots of pretty florals. Or maybe you love the bold reds, pinks and pastel blues of 1950s diner style. You could incorporate this on every other cloth including the kitchen tea towels and curtains. Don’t be afraid to go bold. It’s your kitchen after all.
For a really authentic vintage look for your kitchen, consider your kitchen gadgets and cookware. We’re not saying get rid of your beloved espresso machine. But things like pots, pans and mixing bowls will truly add that vintage touch to your kitchen. Pyrex was one of the most popular items of cookware in the 50s. You can get vintage pyrex from your local thrift store, in a range of funky patterns and retro designs. Coloured glassware was also a common element in kitchens of years gone by. Have a look around and see what vintage cookware you can find.
Vintage style is a great opportunity to experiment with different elements, to ultimately create a kitchen you’ll love to spend time in. Have fun and show off your unique sense of style. Your kitchen will be the envy of any vintage lover.