Mid century modern kitchen design ideas – interiors with vintage charm

by Kremy

retro interiors mid centruty modern kitchen design ideas

Mid century modern kitchen design ideas confirm that fashion and design follow a certain cycle and therefore everything new is a well-forgotten old. This season, the hit were the 50’s and 60’s and we have seen traces of this period not only in clothing but in interior design as well.

Many of us feel somewhat nostalgic for the past days from time to time. Music and films of the past, fashion, furniture and cars… Sometimes you may event want to use a time machine and travel back in time – several years, decades and even centuries ago. Unfortunately this is not possible. However, it is quite possible to re-create the atmosphere of a certain time in your home, all you need to do is choose the style of interior design and follow its basic rules.

Defining an exact time period is almost impossible and there are many disagreements, but mid century modern style lasted from the late 1930s to mid-1960s. The term “mid century modern” is used to describe the new ideas and achievements in architecture, furniture design, graphic design, etc. and clean lines, organic curves, the use of different and innovative materials are the typical characteristics of the style.

When you want to decorate your kitchen in mid century style you need to know that a great attention is given to functionality and the main concept is that form follows the function. The interiors are free of clutter, with minimal ornaments and lines are either organic or geometric. Different materials are used – combinations between traditional and non-traditional, sometimes even contrasting are typical for the style as well.

Mid century modern kitchen design ideas – choosing the interior color scheme


mid century modern kitchen design ideas retro style interiors


Mid century modern kitchen design ideas feature rich colors. However, even the most courageous combinations should be chosen competently so that the interior is pleasing to the eye.

The kitchens of the 40’s differ with a bright color scheme. Juicy colors like cherry, lilac, lemon, red, orange were exceptionally fashionable. Remember that these were the years of World War II and the bright colors, combined with stainless steel, created an atmosphere that was able to distract from news coming from the war front and the uncertainty.

The 50s are the famous era of rock and roll and the perfect American housewives. That is why the interior of the kitchens had to be completely up to it. The interiors feature exceptional color combinations, the appearance of many kitchen appliances designed to make it as easy as possible for a woman to cook, deliberately gigantic proportions, metallic shine, etc. Black-and-white or red-and-white tiled flooring were typical for the period as well.

The most popular color combinations feature gray and orange (or bright red), yellow and brown, red and white, turquoise and black, pink and green, etc. Of course, when you want to create a mid-century modern interior in your kitchen you do not have to stick to these colors. It is important to re-create the vibe and the atmosphere of the period and, at the same, time, choose a color palette that expresses your personal style and works with the overall design concept of the house. Warm and natural colors like avocado green, sage, wheat, gold, and warm reds are a good choice.

Mid century modern kitchen design ideas – designers’ tips for the furniture and finishes


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How to make the most of mid century modern kitchen design ideas and create an authentic look? We explained the color combinations that were typical for the period but we need to pay attention to the furniture, cabinetry, finishing materials, lighting, etc. Here are some useful tips that can be your guidelines when planning the different elements of the interior.

Flooring materials like terrazzo, slate, bluestone, travertine, ceramic tile were widely popular and a typical for a Mid century modern kitchen. Wood is exceptionally popular nowadays and is also traditional flooring material. Bamboo and hardwood are a good choice as they will add warmth to the room. True, bamboo is not a material that belongs to mid century style, but it is eco-friendly, sustainable and affordable. Laminate is a cost effective alternative which will give you the appearance of hardwood at a much lower price. Linoleum and vinyl flooring are also a good option as they are durable and versatile. However, if you are restoring a mid century modern kitchen, the best solution is to keep the original flooring, especially when it is not damaged beyond repair.

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Kitchen cabinets and furniture – When choosing furniture for your retro kitchen you have two main options: restore the existing (inherited) interior items or visit antique shops and flea markets.

One of the main elements that help convey the atmosphere of the chosen period is the kitchen cabinets set. Remember that clean lines are typical for the period as well as minimal decorations. This means that you need to choose pieces without trims, inserts, moldings, etc. Cabinets made of natural wood or with a solid wood look will give you the retro atmosphere and appearance. You can combine white cabinetry with colorful appliances if wood is not your personal taste.

Kitchen furniture like tables and chairs feature distinctive, and nowadays iconic, designs. Just remember the tulip table or the Eames chairs – a table with a thin top, chairs with simple, elegant lines, thin legs, seats in a solid color – this is what you need to create the mid century modern look.

Modern kitchen appliances like a washing machine or food processors can be cleverly hidden with the help of false panels. You can choose new appliances – refrigerator, kitchen stove, dishwasher – with a retro look which are available on the market and are especially designed for vintage style lovers.

Countertops, backsplash and lighting ideas – you will not see granite countertops in a mid century modern kitchen neither glass tiles. However, you have many options and can combine the retro look with modern materials. Quartz is a good option, as well as polished concrete. Matte-finished tiles are an ideal choice as a backsplash as well as stone. Lighting adds character and personality to the kitchen. If you are a fan of simple lighting – pendant lamps will be a good choice for you. Those who prefer more eye catching lighting fixtures can opt for a mid century style chandelier.


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