Mint green and retro appliances marry beautifully in this charming and colorful kitchen. In the world of design, we know that trends tend to be cyclical and we can’t help but celebrate the return of the 1950s colorful and vibrant kitchen. From the apron sink to the Chambers stove and Big Chill refrigerator, this inspirational kitchen is clearly keyed to circa 1950. With pastels on the up and up and retro appliances taking the design world by storm, this kitchen is on the cutting edge of new, vintage design throwing back to the bygone era of T-birds and poodle skirts.
We had a chance to sit down with the homeowner’s themselves to weigh in on their inspiration behind the design.
Q. Tell us a little about your inspiration/vision behind your kitchen design.
A. I have always loved the colors green and pink, and I didn’t like the idea of doing something traditional or modern in beige or white. My neighborhood is very funky and artsy, so I felt like I had free reign to do what I liked, rather than what is popular. I picked a bunch of colors and elements that I liked, and I threw them together and hoped that it would work!
Q. What was your design process like? Where did you begin?
A. We initially weren’t going to do extensive work on the kitchen, but it turned out that we needed new cupboards because the old ones wouldn’t hold the Chateaux Blanc stone for the countertops. After that realization, we decided to go all-out and redo everything that we wanted. We decided to go with a retro-country theme, so we picked retro pastel colors and appliances, an apron-front sink, and crystal cabinet pulls. My husband is the one who cooks in our relationship, and he wanted an Italian range with a European look, so I told him I was fine with that as long as it was green.
Q. What is it about retro design that attracted you to incorporate it in your kitchen/home?
A. Stainless steel appliances, neutral colored cabinets, and granite countertops are so ubiquitous today that we wanted to do something different and unique. The retro look offered fun pastel appliances and cabinets, and we could be more adventurous when picking out stone colors for the countertops and backsplash.
Q. What is your favorite element in the room? What attracted you to select our Chateaux Blanc for the countertops, White Jade Onyx for the backsplash, and Onyx Emitis for the table tops?
A. I love the Chateaux Blanc countertops. Ever since I was a child, I wanted pink quartz countertops (I saw Candy Spelling get them in one of her apartments when I was young and fell in love–which is nerdy, I know). As I got older I realized that going for countertops that were super pink wasn’t practical. However, Chateaux Blanc has depth and it has the perfect light pink tint. Most people go for dark granite in kitchens, but I wanted to stick to my childhood idea, and the Chateaux Blanc has been perfect. A lot of people were skeptical when I told them I was doing countertops that were slightly pink, but now they all love them!
Q. Tell us about your custom kitchen table and additional coffee/side tables. We love that you incorporated the mint green hue into your breakfast nook and continued the look into your living spaces by incorporating natural stone in custom table tops. What inspired you to do this?
A. I bought the Onyx Emitis for the table tops on a whim not entirely sure what I was going to do with it. My contractor knew a carpenter who offered to make some pieces with it, so I found a couple pictures of tables that I liked, and he made them. I love how they turned out. The coffee table and side tables are boxes, and it is difficult to tell, but the interior of the boxes is stained a dark green to contrast with the mint green. It was a great opportunity for us to go crazy and put together some funky elements we loved with a great piece of stone.
Q. Any advice to our readers that are interested in incorporating a similar retro vibe into their space?
A. Simply that, if they like something, they should find a way to incorporate it. When we were designing our kitchen, a lot of people were very skeptical when we described our ideas, but everyone has loved how it turned out. When we would tell people we were going with mint green cabinets and appliances, a green backsplash, slightly pink countertops, and an emerald green range, most thought we were crazy! So, even if some retro elements sound strange to most people, give it a shot. If someone is going for the retro vibe and feels like maybe they’re missing it, I think the easiest way to incorporate it is through a large appliance, like a refrigerator, which will scream retro even if other elements don’t.
Q. What challenges did you face or what was the hardest design lesson that you learned through this renovation?
A. That everything takes forever! And that there will always be something random that throws a wrench in your plans. We originally wanted to open up the entire wall above the sink, but it turned out that water pipes and electrical wires ran through part of the wall, so we had to stick to a little window over the sink. We also had to learn to tune out all of the skeptics. ; )
Project features: Aria’s 2cm White Jade Onyx kitchen backsplash, 2cm Chateaux Blanc kitchen countertops, and 2cm Onyx Emitis kitchen dining table, coffee table and side tables.