Retro kitchen ideas on a budget

Svetlana April 04 2022

Rustic, modern or retro? Any style can be achieved on a budget with the right planning. Check out our tips and tricks for creating a kitchen that's both stylish and affordable. When it comes to kitchen design, there are endless possibilities. But if you're working with a limited budget, it's important to be strategic about your choices. Here are some tips and tricks for designing a retro kitchen on a budget.

What is the retro-style kitchen?

A retro-style kitchen is a distinctive interior that stands out largely due to its unusual equipment and color palette. Decorative grooved wooden cabinets with a vintage feel are generally utilized in the space. The appliances are often vintage-inspired as well, with a focus on function over form. And finally, the color scheme is usually bold and eye-catching, with hues like orange, yellow, green, and red being popular choices.

The main features of the retro style in design are:

  1. Unusual equipment;
  2. Eye-catching color palette;
  3. Vintage-inspired appliances.

Unusual equipment means that your kitchen will have some unique and interesting pieces that will really make it stand out. This could include things like vintage-inspired cabinets or even just fun and colorful appliances.

An eye-catching color palette refers to the fact that retro kitchens often utilize bold and vibrant colors. This is one of the defining features of the style, so it's important to choose your colors carefully.

Vintage-inspired appliances are another key element of retro kitchens. These can be anything from vintage-style refrigerators to stoves that have a more old-fashioned look.

What should you keep in mind?

While all of these features are important, one of the most important things to consider when designing a retro kitchen on a budget is the layout. The layout of your kitchen will determine how well everything comes together and how functional the space is. So, before you start planning your dream retro kitchen, be sure to map out the layout and make sure it will work for your needs.

Once you have the layout down, you can start thinking about the equipment and appliances you'll need. As we mentioned before, vintage-inspired pieces are a great way to add some personality to your space. But if you're on a tight budget, don't worry – there are plenty of ways to get the look without breaking the bank.

First, take a look at your existing appliances and see if they can be given a new lease on life with a little bit of paint or a new knob or handle. If not, see if you can find some second-hand pieces that fit the style you're going for. There are also a number of companies that sell new, vintage-inspired appliances at an affordable price.

Once you have your appliances sorted, it's time to move on to the cabinets. Again, if you can't afford to replace your existing ones, see if you can give them a makeover with some paint or new hardware. If you're starting from scratch, there are a number of ways to get the look you want without spending a fortune. For example, consider using salvaged wood or recycled materials for your cabinets. Or, if you're handy with tools, you could even build them yourself!

When it comes to the finishing touches, remember that less is often more in a retro kitchen. A few well-chosen accessories can really make the space pop without breaking the bank. So, get creative and have fun with it!

How can I make my kitchen look retro?

Here we prepared for you the 10 most common ideas for retro kitchens to look like a 1950s movie set.

Choose pastel colors for an authentic retro look:

This tip will allow you to stay on a budget because you can use colors you already have in your kitchen. If you want to go all out, then consider painting your cabinets or walls in a pastel hue. Another way to add color is with accessories like towels, rugs, and dishcloths. Pastel was a popular color choice in the 50s, so it will definitely give your kitchen that retro feel. You can notice such a tendency in the pictures of Marilyn Monroe's kitchen or in the film "The Help". Pay attention to the details, no need to go monochromatic because that can be quite boring.

Opt for vintage appliances:

One of the easiest ways to get a retro kitchen is to invest in some vintage appliances. You don't need to go out and buy all new appliances, but consider picking up a few key pieces like a retro fridge or stove. These will really help give your kitchen that 1950s feel. You can find these appliances at yard sales, thrift stores, or even online. Just make sure they're in good working condition before you use them in your kitchen.

Make a vintage kitchen diner with this foldable picnic table:

You must have noticed how in old movies people always seem to be eating in the kitchen. That's because in the 1950s, the kitchen was often used as a dining room. So, if you want to create a retro kitchen, consider making it into a diner. This can be done by adding a small table and chairs, some vintage posters or pictures on the walls, and even some jukeboxes or old-fashioned radios.

With vintage appliances, add bright accents:

It would be perfect if you managed to find some colorful accents to go with your retro appliances. This can be anything from a retro clock to some vintage dishes. If you need to make a budget version, try looking for colorful kitchen towels or even some fun dishcloths. These will add a splash of color and help give your kitchen that retro feel. Such cheap appliances you can buy at Amazon. For instance, it may be a toaster of bright colors or a hand mixer.

Use gingham fabric:

Gingham is a type of fabric that was very popular. It's usually made from cotton and has a checkered or plaid design. Adding some gingham fabric to your kitchen will definitely give it that retro feel. You can use it to make curtains, tablecloths, or even dish towels. It's a very versatile fabric and can be found in most fabric stores. Retro style features not only particular colors but also a certain pattern.

For a little touch of color, consider cream cabinetry with contrasting worktops:

This idea of the retro kitchen is quite easy to achieve and doesn't require a lot of money. You can simply find some cream cabinets and then add a contrasting color for the countertops. This could be black, white, or even a bright color like red or blue. This will help give your kitchen that retro feels without being too over the top. Besides, you can repaint the cabinets whenever you want to change the look of your kitchen.

Add interest with a tiled splashback:

This idea will be perfect if you want to add a little bit of color to your kitchen. You can find some retro-style tiles and then use them to create a splashback behind your stove. This is a great way to add a pop of color and interest to your kitchen. Plus, it's a relatively inexpensive way to give your kitchen a makeover. In particular, you can buy such tiles on websites like Etsy.

Use chrome fixtures and hardware:

If you want to add a touch of glamour to your retro kitchen, then consider using chrome fixtures and hardware. This can be anything from cabinet knobs to light fixtures. Adding some chrome will definitely give your kitchen that vintage feel. Plus, it's a great way to add a bit of shine and glamour to your space. Chrome is also very easy to find and relatively inexpensive. You can find it at most hardware stores or online.

Use stainless steel to give your space a monochrome touch:

This tip is usually used by designers for a more modern kitchen. However, it can also be used to create a retro kitchen. All you need to do is find some stainless steel appliances and then add a pop of color with your accessories. This could be anything from red towels to yellow dishcloths. Moreover, you can add a bit of retro style by adding some vintage posters or pictures to your kitchen.

Create a feature wall with wallpaper:

Wallpaper is a great way to add interest and character to your kitchen. And, if you choose a retro-inspired design, it can really help give your kitchen that vintage feel. There are tons of different designs to choose from, so take your time and find something that you love. You can even find some vintage wallpaper online or at antique stores.

How do you make a homemade kitchen?

If you want to save money and make your kitchen without professionals, we advise you to use the following tips on how can you make it better.

At first, you can make DIY cabinets. For this project, you will need some tools, like a saw, a screwdriver, etc. But the main thing is to have some skills in working with wood. If you are not sure that you can do it by yourself, ask somebody for help who has more experience. If you are still eager to make the cabinets yourself, here is the full instruction:

Step1. Get all the measurements of your kitchen

Step2. Cut the pieces of wood according to the size

Step3. Make sure that all the pieces are cut in a precise way, so they can fit perfectly

Step4. Take two pieces of wood and put them together using screws or nails

Step5. Do the same with all other parts until you have all the cabinets done

Step6. If you want, you can paint them in any color you like

As for the countertops, you can either buy them or make them by yourself as well. It is not that difficult, but if you have never done anything like this before, it is better to ask somebody for help who knows how to do it.

Step1. Decide on the material you want to use

Step2. Cut the pieces according to the size of your countertops

Step3. Put them together using screws or nails

Step4. Use sandpaper to make the surface of your countertops smooth

And that is basically it. These were some tips on how you can make your kitchen without spending too much money. We hope that you found this information helpful and that you will use it in your own kitchen project.

You can also make shelves for your kitchen in a retro style. Usually, they are made of wood or metal. The most simple kitchen shelves you can do in this way:

Step1. Get all the measurements of your kitchen

Step2. Cut the pieces of wood or metal according to the size

Step3. Make sure that all the pieces are cut in a precise way, so they can fit perfectly

Step4. Take two pieces of wood or metal and put them together using screws or nails

Step5. Do the same with all other parts until you have all the shelves done

Step6. If you want, you can paint them in any color you like

And that’s it! These were some tips on how to make your kitchen in a retro style without spending too much money. We hope that you found this information helpful and that you will use it in your own kitchen project.

Final words

A retro kitchen on a budget is possible. You should focus on do-it-yourself projects like cabinets and countertops to save money. Also, don't forget the shelves! They are an important part of every kitchen. With these tips, you can easily make your kitchen in a retro style without spending too much money.