Over the last few years, we’ve seen the return of straw bags, chunky trainers, newspaper print clothes and large black headbands – retro fashion has slowly crept back into the wardrobes of the 21st Century, and retro kitchens are ready to join the comeback. Everyone has been stuck at home for the last year, which means you’re probably looking to shake up your kitchen design to add fresh vibes to your home. These retro kitchen ideas should provide some kitchen design inspiration.

Popular retro kitchens

Retro kitchen ideas range from vinyl tiles, striped cabinets and drop down TVs, but today we’re going to share the top two retro kitchen hacks that have proven most popular amongst public opinion in research conducted by Magnet UK – the walk in larder, and the dark wood cabinets. Both of these retro kitchen design ideas will add that throwback feeling to your kitchen without the clutter and peeling paint of the past. 

It’s time for a walk in larder

In the Victorian Era, a walk in larder was a staple feature of every household – traditionally, it was used to store cheese, milk and butter in order to keep them at the correct room temperature before the time of fridges. Pantries were similar to larders, but they stored bread and canned goods instead. 

Then came the invention of the fridge – in 1913, the development of fridges meant that larders became redundant. As a result, most larders and pantries were knocked through, which means that in the 45 years following the introduction of the fridge, larders and pantries became a thing of the past. Instead, they were switched out for fitted kitchens, and no trend setting 1960s housewife would dream of using a larder in her kitchen design.

History has now come full circle, perhaps moved along by the success of period dramas like Downton Abbey and reality TV shows like Great British Bake Off which focus on classic, traditional baking techniques. 

Today’s modern version of the larders found in retro kitchens would be a combination of a traditional larder, and a pantry. Used as an extension of your kitchen cupboards, walk in larders provide ample room for food storage, especially if you have a large family. If you’re someone who loves a bargain, then this retro kitchen idea is perfect for you – buying in bulk is usually cheaper, but storage is a challenge. With a walk in larder, storage is no problem – so if you’re looking for efficient kitchen design ideas, make sure a walk in larder is at the top of your list. 

Introducing dark wood cabinets

The second most popular of our retro kitchen ideas is the introduction of dark wood cabinets into your kitchen design. This retro kitchen idea originates from the 1960s kitchen after the kitchen revolution of the 1950s- in 50s America, people were enjoying life after the war. As a result, the American kitchen took over from the Bauhaus style, featuring built in cabinets, continuous worktops, and integrated appliances. Richer households could afford to completely renovate everything at once, whilst those living the less affluent lifestyle would make one improvement at a time. 

Part of this kitchen revolution included a change in the materials that kitchen designs used for cabinets – steel was used for kitchen cabinets in order to make use of the weapons factories that had been established during the war. However, jump forwards to the 1960s, and wooden cabinets were popular once more. This lead to changes in the colour preferences of kitchens, with bolder colours taking centre stage in order to match with the darker wooden finish of the cabinets. 

The fantastic thing about this retro kitchen idea is that it will work with any kitchen – regardless of size or shape, this kitchen design hack will add a retro vibe to any household’s kitchen. Traditionally these cupboards would have been a deep brown, but today’s modern twist on the retro kitchen means there are many more options available. You can achieve the same retro kitchen vibe with deep blues and sultry greens to add character to your kitchen without creating a dated and cluttered kitchen design. 

If you’re looking to add some unique character to your home, then retro kitchens are the way forward for you. With a range of techniques to suit style and space, a retro kitchen might be just what you need to bring life back into the heart of your home.



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