Retro style is an implementation of the best trends of the past in a contemporary home. It involves the most bright and typical features of the imitated epoch. With that, retro facades usually conceal an ultramodern filling, which means you can yield to nostalgia without compromising comfort and functionality.
Versatility of retro style.
‘Retro’ is a rather vague conceptual idea, since it’s not clearly bound to a specific historical era. USA designers have agreed that the style’s time frame covers the period between late 19th century and the second half of the 20th century. Retro style includes several exciting variations, each of which has its own inherent characteristics in the kitchen context.
- Victorian kitchens relate to the style that emerged in the USA in the late 19th century. They are inconceivable without a hearth, a massive dining table, expensive-looking marble and wood items, and a dozens of needlework accessories.
- Art Deco kitchens are furnished and decorated in compliance with the fashion trends of the 1920-1930s. This retro variation is rightly reputed as the model of elegance, luxury and glamor. An Art Deco kitchen room invariably employs expensive materials (rare woods, leather, silver, ivory), furniture with alluring curves, geometric ornaments, chrome and glass details.
- Retro kitchens inspired by the 1940s are distinguished by a bright and rich color palette with small patches of black and white. The focal point is usually an interior element in stainless steel or chrome.
- Retro kitchens inspired by the 1950s and 1960s boast an impressive palette of bold and cheerful colors. Other peculiarities of this retro-style variation are furniture of clear shapes, glossy surfaces, and graphic patterns.
Characteristic features of retro kitchens.
Despite the numerous variations of the style in the USA, there are common characteristics to be considered when designing a retro kitchen.
- Artificially aged furniture may help instill the spirit of the epoch reproduced.
- Retro-stylization of all household appliances is required; otherwise, attributes of modernity should be meticulously concealed from view.
- Diverse color palette. In Art Deco and Victorian style, it’s somewhat muted; in retro kitchens of the 1940-1960s, it strikes imagination of the beholder with bright colors.
- Abundance of decorative elements (textiles, painted crockery, etc.), as the era of lifeless minimalist interiors has not yet begun.
Retro kitchen furniture.
Properly selecting retro furniture for the kitchen is already half the battle for recreating the spirit of yesteryear. There are two way to achieve the desired result.
The first option is to search for antique furniture pieces. Most likely, you’ll have to apply yourself to hard work: polishing, painting, or otherwise imparting a spectacular and stylish appearance to the piece. This option implies significant expenditures.
The second option comes to rescue when you don’t have enough funds to cover your expensive taste. It lies in purchasing or custom-ordering a complete kitchen furniture set in retro style. Such furniture made of wood or MDF with PVC coating is much cheaper, while differing from real antiques only slightly. The manufacturing process usually includes all sorts of artificial aging methods (patina-ting, brushing, craquele finish).
5 Important aspects of choosing retro kitchen furniture:
- Before the 1950s, ready-built kitchens didn’t exist as such. US designers used separate cupboards, sideboards, cabinets, etc.
- The upper line of kitchen units should be replaced with open shelves, while the lower line should consist of kitchen cabinets with hinged doors and a drawer under the counter-top.
- The surfaces of hinged doors may feature various designs. If you’ve selected Victorian style or Art Deco, opt for paneled facades decorated with carvings or inlays. By contrast, cabinets with bright and smooth doors will perfectly complement a retro kitchen inspired by the 1950-1960s.
- Retro wooden furniture appears great when fitted with counter-tops of natural or artificial stone. Furniture accessories should be chosen thoughtfully: retro welcomes brass or copper handles and hinges, as well as wrought iron elements.
- A stylization inspired by earlier epochs requires a massive dining table and equally impressive chairs. The 1940-1960s are less demanding to these interior elements – a small table of simple design and colorful chairs or stools (even plastic is acceptable!) would be sufficient.
Appliances in a retro kitchen.
Retro style does not imply rejection of modern household appliances and other benefits of civilization. All the advancements of modernity should just fit into the interior harmoniously, without disturbing the overall retro concept. Such a compromise may be achieved in two ways:
- Concealing refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances behind decorative panels, which doesn’t require significant financial investments.
- Purchasing stylized household appliances characterized by massive and heavy appearance, sleek and smooth lines, bright colors, and long loop handles.
Retro-style appliances are expensive; moreover, few manufacturers offer such. But if your budget allows, opt for this variant, as it imparts the retro kitchen interior with a special glamor.
Decorating retro kitchen interiors – Top 3 ideas.
- Renovated old furniture is the main source of inspiration in a retro kitchen or dining room. Never rush to throw away the old table and chairs you keep in the attic. They possess a special energetic and can help you create a really unique and individualized interior. Such pieces enjoy appreciation of designers and decorators.
- Things from your grandmother’s trunk represent the best decorations and accessories for your kitchen. Vintage engravings, yellowed black-and-white photos, fine porcelain cups and saucers are beautiful complements of a retro interior.
- Deliberateness and redundancy should be absolutely avoided in a retro kitchen. The old and antique items should cause positive emotions and enhance your sense of comfort and homeliness.