Perhaps there is more then 1 person loving the 50′s look.
Dear Hating Martha,
I want to redecorate my kitchen in a bright and colourful 1950′s style. Problem, the kitchen in my ‘rental’ house has wood cabinets of a dark-ish grain, a dark grey ‘stone’ countertop, and ‘stone’ cheap lino floors–none of which I can take out.
How do I reach domestic 1950′s bliss with these blah ’80′s generation pieces?
Dear Mystery Maiden…
Or perhaps you have seen my lean toward Cath Kidston, like my living room wall?
I am going to assume that you do not have an unlimited budget. If you did you would probably not be renting? Or you would at least be renting something you like. So, these suggestions are assuming your budget is as close to zero as possible.
I am thinking you have a pretty good starting point. It sounds like your kitchen is in good shape, if not your style? Yeah for that!
- remove some of the doors, if not all. Store them properly and replace them again before you move out. Shelves with colorful dishes, jars, and fun accessories would go along way towards your look.
- a couple well chosen, well placed pieces of art on the cabinet doors are fun (secure with 3M removable hooks), chalkboards, even mirrors are great choices (I tried to find photos for this…none? But, in my head it works. Therefore…try it!) This adds a bit of personality and helps cut down the large expanse of dark cabinetry. Just choose carefully. Or simple wreaths, greenery, mason jars hung with wire…
|yes, the cabinet color is fun but the accessories are what makes it work|
|not matchy, matchy is key to a retro look that isn’t too kitchy|
|creativity, color, and textile turned this boring counter into something great!|
|a colorful cutting board helps take your eye off the large blah coutertop|
|check out the chalkboard, simple bowl of fruit, picture hanging from a clothespin, and wood box with grass.
nothing fancy, yet oh so sweet!
- color or chrome are key accessories in retro designs. If you don’t want to shell out the money for brand new stuff…grab a can of spray paint and go to town or scour your thrift and dollar stores!
- canning jars, tin cans wrapped in ribbons, pop bottles, oilcloth, cake platters, even old dishracks make great storage ideas for the countertop.
- vintage textiles, or interestingly colored dish towels are a great accessory. Can’t afford new dish towels? Simple add a ribbon to your current towels (use washable fabric glue if you don’t have a sewing machine) in a fun, matching color or pattern.
- use your fruit, veggies, and plants to add needed color and texture! Line up tomatoes on the sill, put some herbs into a jar with water, or simply put your fruit into a colander and set it on the counter. Instant art in great colors.
- A big cutting board in a fun color can take up some space on the vastness of gray.
- prop up some artwork, vintage sign, chalkboard, or message board against your backsplash
|several braided rugs attached into one runner|
|a great rug adds alot!|
- Yeah, not much can be done about that. Rugs. That’s all I can say. Rugs. Vintage rugs are great…braided rugs…black and white…colorblock. Make your own with cheap rugs attached together with colored ducttape.
|vintage tea towels, hankies, or placemats simply hung|
|a nontraditional window treatment…a pennant?|
|this look can be achieved by adding large, colored ribbon on all edges of white sheers|
You might see that color is my main advice. But be very careful. Keeping the colors fresh and vibrant is important. Pastels mixed with red. Turqoise mixed with pink and yellow. Navy blue with yellow and lime green. Color combos should combine a primary of some sort mixed with a pastel. Adding a kick of a neon or bright color will help. If you are scared of your ability to combine colors stick with your favorite in some key pieces. Keep the remaining accessories chrome, black, white, and natural elements.