Image by Lori L. Stalteri
There’s a popular trend in kitchen décor to have a traditional, rustic-looking kitchen – the kind your grandmother used to have. In fact, kitchens in the past were very labour-intensive places to be, devoid of the helpful kitchen gadgets and everyday items we take for granted such as fridge freezers, dishwashers and microwaves. What people are actually looking for is a very ‘soft’ version of these kitchens, full of the modern storage and equipment that makes a modern kitchen such a sophisticated place.
Vintage Kitchen Chic
Glass cake plates, coloured goblets and graphic ceramics are all nice decorative touches to help you add a bit of ‘granny chic’ to your kitchen, but it’s best to start with a few basics. Ceramic butler sinks, wood block worktops, wooden plate racks hung on the wall and curtained storage under the counter are all traditional elements that work well in practical terms for a modern kitchen.
When it comes to the hardware, wood-fronted cabinets and a range cooker are design cues from past generations that are equally popular today and create the vintage style without looking out of place in a modern home. What you have to consider is how to integrate your high-tech appliances and other kitchen features without ruining the look. Integrated electrical appliances, for example, can be hidden discreetly behind cupboard doors – fridge freezers, microwaves and all the other appliances that are fitted as standard today have completely changed the way we use our kitchens, and you wouldn’t enjoy a return to the days when everything had to be done by hand.
The Colour Scheme
Far from the bold monochrome of today’s slick kitchens, the vintage look uses a more relaxing palette of pastel colours – soft creams, pale blues, greens and dusky pinks. It’s very feminine, very calming and very homely. It’s always a good idea to keep the expensive hardware quite neutral, so think cream woodwork, then add flair through coloured walls, accessories and other decorative elements. That way you can change the look of your kitchen without going through a complete refit.
The internet is a treasure trove for seeking out vintage-style flatware, glassware, ceramics and the other pieces you’ll enjoy using to furnish your traditional-look kitchen. Remember again this is all about the look – you probably don’t want the reality of your grandmother’s kitchen! Mixing the convenience of modern appliances with the style of yesteryear is the perfect balance.
Sara Evans is a home stylist and non-fiction writer hailing from Glasgow. She enjoys doling out tips on interior style and is currently a regular author on several home décor blogs.