I’ve been writing a lot lately about embracing the unique style of your home, in whatever form it takes; about not letting trends and the opinions of others have full say over what you like and don’t like about your space. Today we’re exploring this concept through what is the heart of many of our homes: the kitchen. Because kitchens have so many inherent design elements, they’re often one of the first spaces in a home to show their age…and today I’m here to tell you that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s my hope that this post will encourage you to see your own kitchen in a new light, no matter what decade its elements are most inspired by. Because by welcoming elements that aren’t necessarily “on-trend,” you have the opportunity to develop a unique style that’s personal and one of a kind.
After we moved in, I was surprised at how much I appreciated the details of this kitchen, which we’re pretty sure was last remodeled in the late ’80s or early ’90s. While the cabinets aren’t in great shape these days, there are plenty of elements that shine in unexpected ways. For instance, the brown tiled countertops and floors hide crumbs like no other (key when you’ve got an active family frequently cycling through!). For the most part, we love the L-shaped layout and are even looking to keep some of the wood paneling when we do eventually make updates to the space. I love the patina that’s showcased throughout, and that no one else I know has a kitchen quite like this one.
Even if it’s not exactly what I thought my “style” was, it feels like playing dress-up every time I walk in the room, and for a designer like myself, that provides much more inspiration than a blank white space ever could.
Even if this kitchen is certainly a bit dated, it’s unique and interesting. Even if it’s not exactly what I thought my “style” was, it feels like playing dress-up every time I walk in the room, and for a designer like myself, that provides much more inspiration than a blank white space ever could.
Meggie is a friend and from the moment I walked into her kitchen, I was struck by the minimal nature of the cabinets. I love the clean lines, pops of color, embrace of the Formica countertops, and the hardware that both makes the cabinets stand out and honors their original ’60s aesthetic. And, as an added bonus, by embracing the era in which this kitchen was first built, Meggie’s allowed herself a perfect backdrop for some of her many amazing thrift store finds.
The Mod Bar is an account that’s as pure as possible in keeping the original design elements of a home. Midcentury design details can be found all throughout the house and are especially prominent in the kitchen.
I love the hardware on the cabinets, the beautiful color of the wood, and the brick facade that houses the oven. It’s amazing to see homeowners be stewards of the original design of a home, and do it so well in the process.
At first glance, the kitchen in Jessica Reilly’s home looks very current. Then you realize she’s expertly blended original glass cabinetry, wood paneling, and unique brass pulls with neutral shades to create the perfect backdrop for her eclectic style. It’s the perfect way to illustrate that there are thoughtful ways to honor the heritage of your home and still make it your own. (You can watch her Instagram highlight for more info on the design process!)
Monica, the owner of this lovely kitchen, wrote in a recent post, “Originally, I planned to paint the lower cabinets dark gray, but when we sanded them down and revealed a beautiful green, I changed course and never looked back.”
I love that Monica brought a bright, fun color into this eclectic space, along with vintage elements and textiles. I also love that different materials and cabinet styles were embraced throughout, proving that a bold color scheme can create visual unity, even if every element doesn’t match “perfectly.”
This kitchen is the one that’s made me rethink my own tile countertops, which were initially hard for me to embrace. I’m inspired by so many of the elements throughout this space. Along with the bright yellow countertops, I love that Tash let the various tones of brown live together in harmony, instead of changing them to create a more “blank slate.” And I love that the kitchen is such a cheerful environment; you can tell that the owners thought about ways to make this space work for their family’s modern life while fully honoring the original aesthetic of the home.
While this kitchen isn’t technically “dated,” I can definitely appreciate that the elements are inspired by a bygone era, from the checkered floors to the vintage refrigerator design to the colorful stand mixer. I love the wood accents on the cabinetry and the fun decor elements that highlight the playful punchiness of the space. This kitchen is a breath of fresh air in a sometimes monochrome design world.
While some may shy away from slightly beige cabinets, I think this particular version of cabinetry is gorgeous and creates a backdrop for a truly stunning kitchen. From the blonde wood to the mismatched chairs to the delicate artwork to the vintage accessories, every element of this space works together to create a kitchen that’s quaint, charming, and unique. Can I move in?
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - July 30, 2020
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
I love this post so much! My instagram feed & suggested pinterest images are all basically the same five kitchens over and over. These kitchens are a breath of fresh air!
Agreed. I really appreciate this refreshing take on embracing your home. Thank you!
THANK 👏 YOU 👏 if I see one more beautiful home gutted just so that it can look like every other house on Instagram, I’m going to scream.
Love this & the encouragement to embrace our homes and the gift that they are as they are.
Thank you, Lenore! I’m so glad that message resonated.
I saved this post to read on my big screen and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m amazed that you are able to reflect and come to these realizations about your changing style via your new home so quickly – it takes me so much longer to see where a change in taste or perspective is taking me! Thank you for continuing to share.
It’s so good to hear you enjoyed the post, Shannon. I can guarantee you it takes lots of time to come to these realizations, and there’s no guarantee I won’t still change my mind on some things in the future…we’ll see! Thank you for taking the time to comment!
I’ve saved this post and keep coming back to it. I am restoring, rather than remodeling, my 1950’s kitchen cabinets and adding some updates that make the space better fit our life. It’s so refreshing to see that vintage can be stylish!
Oh that’s amazing, Katie, I love that you’re restoring your kitchen! Vintage can ABSOLUTELY be stylish. Thank you for your comment!